More food photo laws

illustration by mark stivers

Last June, we covered the rules of good citizenship for food photography in a restaurant. But what about when out and about? There are plenty of amazing cultural and food events going on in the Sacramento/Yolo/Placer region during the year, and the markets, bakeries, ranches, wineries, all offer plenty of venues where you can express your photogenic culinary creativity.

Some advice: Don’t just focus on the food, but the situation and people who make the food happen. Are you with a fisherman? Don’t just shoot the caught fish, but grab a picture of the fisherman stringing the rod or gutting the fish. Notice the waitstaff polishing silver as they ready for the big night ahead. Photograph the stacks of dirty dishes that go into the creation of your favorite dish, and take note of the hard-working dish washer. Snap a few of the customers jovially enjoying their meal (ask permission, of course). Take pictures of the surrounding pastures at a dairy—all that grass, after all, is what is flavoring the milk and cheeses you’re eating.

The food may be the main subject, but all that goes on around it is what makes it happen and gives it depth.