Food photography and a cook book

Every semester, Chef assigns us a class project to create a portfolio of recipes we made during the semster, with photographs. The point is to end up with something tangible you can take with you on job interviews.

My first semester, I didn’t really know what I was doing in terms of cooking or photography. As the year went on, I got better at both — a lot better. I’m now entering my senior level cooking classes, and holding myself to very high photography standards.

I asked Chef if I could bring in a bounce board and cart to keep in the back closet in the fall. He was worried they might walk off and suggested I just bring in some inexpensive foam board and throw a table cloth on the ground outside, just beyond the delivery doors, for natural light. This isn’t really any different than how I take photos at home. Using a rolling cart, I bring everything out to the back porch where I have the best lighting options in the afternoons. I lay my apron over the hot tub {seriously} so the background is neutral and you don’t see the tub, and can roll the cart around to photograph the food from different angles. Here’s my set up:

And here’s my final shot – not bad considering I’m not using any professional equipment and only the lens that came with the Nikon D40 I use:

I’m looking forward to applying this at school in the fall. I’d really like to go beyond a 3-ring binder portfolio and actually create a published cookbook.

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            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

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            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.