Pro Photo Tips from Andrew Scrivani

Super Photo Magic School

Andrew Scrivani, food photographer and stylist extraordinaire, recently answered a great Q&A via Twitter. Read on for tips and recommendations from a professional who regularly shoots for the New York Times dining section, including settings, equipment, and even Instagram!

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I pulled together a few of Andrew's responses to questions he was asked during a Twitter chat hosted by Foodista. There's a lot of juicy, sage wisdom in each of these tips, which are kept to under 140 characters of course! It's useful information for budding food photographers but relevant for anyone interested in shooting at a more professional level. Thank you for being so generous in your tips Andrew!

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Photo Tips from Andrew Scrivani • I fire my flash through a milky filter at a low setting.Gives me a good daylight feel. • I use 2 (lenses). A Canon 50MM macro and a Zeiss 50MM macro. Both beautiful. • Honestly buy a first generation 5D for that price. It will be so much more camera. • Turn the flash off. Push that ISO up as high as you can and get as much natural and available light.
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• I think with cellphone cameras I have found that filters you like are the best way to go.
• Not sure if it's a rule, but 4.0 (aperture) is about as shallow as I go these days.
• Instagram has really brought a whole new audience to food photography.

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• White balance your pics: too many yellow food pics out there. It doesn't have to be.
• I think we are moving away from shallow depth of field . . . Overhead and darker, more graphic shots are on the come too.
• Lookout for workshops in your city. Twitter is a good outlet for this.

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• More on ISO and WB. You must dig out the manual and understand these things. It will make a world of difference in your pics.
• Color and shapes are everything. At the end of the day it's still art, and those things matter.
• Props should be about the time and place. Put the viewer at the table. Only props can do this.

(Images by Andrew Scrivani)