Learning how to photograph food has been a challenge and joy to me these last few years. I took it on when I lost some mobility and couldn’t continue to shoot events anymore. But that’s another story..
I am an internet junkie, and I spend a lot of time surfing. It was more fun ten years ago, but there are still fun things on the net that are not solely aimed at making money although they are few and far between. That too is another story. But what I also do, is try and learn things like food photography by watching experts on Youtube or Vimeo, or reading blogs and other sources for tips and tricks.
From the get go I was a little depressed by the seemingly endless photographers who all mandate that, to be a good food photographer, one must use a tripod. I understand the usefulness. I get how having that stable support lets you play with shutter speed far beyond what you can do by hand. I do understand it, I respect those who create fascinating and creative images that make me just stop and stare…
I simply can’t do it. I cannot give up that control. For me, photography is a passion, it is an artistic extension of what I see. It is also the way I move in relation to whatever I am shooting, capturing the light, the angles, everything. This is partially because of my event shooting background where everything is candid and immediate and absolutely fluid. When I started shooting food I brought the same skill sets to bear.
So that’s why I have a problem with tripods. It is, for me, abdicating the passion I feel having my camera in my hands. The way I move and view the world through the viewfinder. Tripods (in my mind) are much the same as hiring someone else to do the work for me. I simply cannot do it and consider it “my” work. Plus it’s boring to be a button pusher.
I can already hear many photographers howling in the wings about me saying that. And in all fairness, if I was making a blanket statement about all photographers they’d be right to do so. But this is a personal preference. I need to be “hands on” when I make what I make. Its part of how I do things and who I am a photographer. So I work hard to not need one, and I think I’ve been successful. But I’ll let all of you be the judges of that. Happy shooting!