Steamy Kitchen Food Porn Room

‘m going to give you 6 letters, out of order and I bet I can show you just ONE IMAGE and in that image you’ll be able to see, hear, feel and smell EXACTLY what those 6 letters form.

Here are the letters….in random order:

H I S O T H

Ready? Ok….read on…

See?!?!? I TOLD YOU. Well, now that it’s happened, wanna see how far I can throw a digital SLR lens what the inside of a digital SLR lens looks like?

It was an accident by one of the kids, but really, it was my fault for not realizing that:

TALL TRIPOD + EXPENSIVE CAMERA + CHILD RUNNING AT 8 MPH BEING CHASED BY ANOTHER CHILD WEARING SUPERHERO COSTUME WITH FLASHING LIGHTSABER = DISASTER.

The good news is that of all my lenses, this one was the least expensive. I’ll just deduct it from the kid’s’ college fund. Since I’ve turned the spare bedroom into ‘the place where Mama takes pictures of dinner,’ it’s been off-limits to the kids, and they generally remember not to cross the electro-magnetic force field protecting my precious space.

But when somehow when they put on their superhero costumes, they think that rules don’t apply to them anymore. Which makes me think I should just go out and buy a Wonder Woman costume for myself:

DAMN. Do I look hot or not?! Like the angelic aura of innocence? I wish I looked like that for real! If I had a body like Wonder Woman, do you REALLY think I’d be in the FOOD business????

And let me just say, honey, any male villain being chased by two big bouncing boobs, stars pointing at a crotch, a gold whip and built-in wrist-cuffs, would hee-haw to the angels up above and surrender in a heartbeat. I’d kick ass with this costume body.

Note to husband: Sweetheart, this was PHOTOSHOPPED. Don’t you dare think I’d wear this costume, even for you.

***

Now, what were we talking about? Oh yes…I’m showing you the place where I take food photos…..a.k.a. my Food Porn Room.

The Steamy Kitchen Food Porn Room

which used to be the spare bedroom. See the guest bed? Self inflates in 3 minutes to a full-sized bed. Convenient. Comfy. But not too comfy so that guests to stay too long. ;-) KIDDING!

I’ve got a box of fake tropical flowers and greenery. A big box of dishes that I got on sale at CB2 (owned by Crate & Barrel but way cheaper)

My “set” is a small square “Table in a Bag” that my brother got for me from Crate & Barrel. The cool thing is that the table is very sturdy, but the legs screw off and the top rolls up. It comes with a duffel bag to sling over your shoulder so that you can set up a table at the beach. The wicker thigy that is propped up is really just a fancy placemat.

Those lights? AWESOME. I’ll tell you about them in my next post. (what’s a Porn Room with out a little tease???) Ok done teasing! Here are my lights.

I have black and white foamboards that I use for backgrounds or to reflect light. That shiny gold lame is not my wedding dress! Really. It’s used to reflect light onto the food. The other side is silvery. Do you want a warmish glow to the food (gold) – or a cool, white glow (silver or white). Of course I have a tripod too.

click on photo for larger image if you have a Flickr account

I shop at Target, Walmart, outlet stores, Home Goods, Pottery Barn, basically any place that has a sale. I usually just get one placemat and add that to my collection. The fabric stash includes yards of gorgeous material, usually I buy on-sale remnants from fabric stores. I use them for my food shots sometimes, especially if I want a nice subtle texture (linen) or bright Asian look (Chinese embroidered silk/brocade). If you get fabric, buy 1 yard. That should be enough for a food shot.

Ok. That’s all I have time for. Gotta go teach a Japanese cooking class!

Hey, so now that I’ve shown you my porn room SHOW ME YOURS!

Comments 76

  1. Tracy

    Thank you so much for showing us your porn room. I find myself looking at the gorgeous photos that are out there in the blogosphere and wondering why my photos suck so much. So I see that a lot lies in the equipment.

    My kitchen table is next to the sliding glass door in our kitchen. Every now and then I have natural light to work with, but at this time of year I usually take a photo on every single setting on my camera and hope something is usable. And then fool around with an old version of Photoshop to see if I can improve it.

    As I’m feverishly trying to get a usable shot of the hot food, my husband is in the background making wisecracks like, “I hear the camera clicking, so it must be time for dinner!”

  2. mochachocolata rita

    http://picasaweb.google.com/ritasuttarno/FoodPhotoStudio/photo?authkey=KRJh5Ey_TcM#5161471864329083250

    this is just too professional to believe:

    – set camera (canon ixus 850is) to macro, vivid color, turn off flash

    – hold dish under halogen light attached to the exhaust fan on top of stove

    – endure the heat from hot dish on hand

    – try not to shake (holding breath helps)

    – hold balance while the other hand try not to drop the camera into the stew/soup/kitchen sink

    – prep the model “work it, girl…work it! yeah u look faaaabbbulousssss”

    – click shutter 100-150 x for each pose, hopefully some aren’t so blurrrrrrrrryyy

    – sort and select 1 file out of 10001 out-of-focus ones

    – open selected file/s in microsoft photo editor

    – select ‘image’, then ‘auto balance’

    – upload

    HAHA, you amateurs can just eat my shorts (i am not wearing any)

    *now i know why ur food pics suck and mine are so fab* LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    ps. i hope u guys dig sarcasm?

  3. Terry B

    Sorry about the lens, Jaden! Very cool post, though. When I can’t use window light, I generally use a spartan set-up with just one umbrella light and maybe a handheld reflector. I’ve been tempted to shoot a picture of the actual set-up in action sometime. Somehow, though, it feels like it would be a magician explaining how he does a trick. Even though we beg to know, once the magic is explained, we’re always disappointed.

  4. Cindy

    Hahaha your wonder woman picture was awesome,
    Looking at your food porn room reminds me that I need to get a tripod this weekend,
    Any recommendations?

  5. Tartelette

    Something I can totally see myself doing and something much nicer than Hubby would say if I had the same equipment…hopefully next month!

  6. Cakebrain

    Too bad about the lens:(
    Your setup is cool. I just recently set up an old box for a studio. My lights are crap. My lighting consists of the ceiling light, an 80’s fluorescent desk lamp that sporadically flickers and a torchiere from the 30’s with frayed wiring… I’ve moved from taking my food porn in the kitchen to a corner of my exercise/junk room. I figure if I get frustrated enough with my lack of focussing skills with my macro lens, I could just electrocute myself or work out my anger on my treadmill. Because I just got my D80, I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what an F-stop is, but I suspect it’s something you say to the camera when it’s not taking good pictures.

  7. Vitor Hugo

    For now my dining table is the studio! Some fancy fabric, good light and ta-da! But I want so much make a homemade photo studio.

    Sorry for you lost! heheh

  8. Jeff

    very cool, i’m going to have to do some experimenting. yeah, kids and expensive camera doesn’t mix.

    by the way, what type of cool lights did you use? can you take pic inside your sets to see how your lights are set up?

    great redesign of site.

    Gung Hay Fat Choy!

  9. Jane

    It’s so interesting to see how you set up! I have been taking pictures of food recently (for paintings) and I had been wondering how you got such beautiful shots. The food in my pictures usually looks somewhere between dull and gross. Good thing I can fix it up in the finished peices with a little imagination.

  10. Meg

    Your food porn set-up is impressive. I mostly use the windowsill or a leather chair in our living room. My husband bought me a tripod for my birthday last fall, but I use the family point and shoot camera and am growing increasingly covetous of fancier equipment.

    My kids seem to go through the same “but I’m a superhero/dragon/alien and the rules are DIFFERENT for superheroes/etc/etc” syndrome when in costume. I’m sorry your lens ate it as a result.

  11. Andrea

    Nice food porn room! We’ve been in this house 11 months now and I still don’t have a dedicated space for food porn. I have two sheets of poster board (black and white) and a very large box that I stand up on the kitchen or dining room table and use to hold the poster board. I also taped some white poster board to a couple of diaper boxes to use as reflectors. Sometimes I skip all the nonsense with the poster board and box and just shoot on a placemat, it depends on the subject. I did get two nice photo lights with bounce umbrellas for Christmas, which is huge because now I can shoot at night. I almost never shoot during the day anymore precisely because of what happened to your poor camera. (And yes, our boys got superhero capes for Christmas…I’m such a glutton for punishment!)

    Now if I could just talk hubs into that 10 megapixel Digital Rebel…he’s still holding out!

  12. Simply...Gluten-free

    I’m suffering from Food Porn Room Envy! And your lights! How cool. Although I must say I use the most impressive lighting system in the solor system – it’s called sunlight!

  13. Bellini Valli

    You don’t need a costume to be super woman!!! Your photo set up separates the men from the boys. No wonder your photos turn out brilliantly and I rely on Photo Shop!…I do have a spare room……..

  14. canarygirl

    Oh, man! I want a food porn room! Great set-up, Jaden! Congrats on making the featured list on Tastespotting! :) Unfortunately, I cannot share my food porn set up, because it is a total mess right now. lmao I use the countertop with my kitchen window…I do have a growing collection of placemats, napkins and dinnerware, but nowhere near what I’d like. It’s an addiction, really. :)

  15. cbgjr

    Ouch! Double Ouch !!

    Sadly, I can relate to this.

    I was on a three week stint in Italy. My camera bag was stolen in Rome, leaving me with camera body, one lens and the tripod.

    At the end of my next week, I’m sitting reading in the study of my hotel room. Out of the corner of my eye I see motion. Focusing, it is my camera/tripod “spontaneously” beginning to lean. I heave myself out of the chair and start across the room.

    To late.

    There on the floor is the camera with my EOS 28mm-70mm f2.8 lens displaying its innards. Blink. Blink. No it really is broken !

    My heart goes out to you.

    *************

    [Canon repaired the lens – took their own time to do it – BUT five years on it is performing flawlessly.]

  16. Rebecca

    Oh, the husbands are so understanding-mine just came in and told me I’m actually married to a blog and not to him! I can’t wait to hear more about the lights-I’ve been using whatever comes in the window. Thanks for the laughs- better go pay attention to my man!

  17. babycakes

    WONDERFULLLLLLLLLLLL tips … thank you so much.
    I just have a little question : I really like the font you’ve been using on your photos explanations …actually I think I am in love w/ it ;)
    could you pleeeeeeeeeeease tell me the name of it.

    tks SO much.

  18. Dhi

    Hey, great posting, thanks for sharing your mini studio. Am working my way there, now building a huge collection of props. Will stop by here often.

  19. Pigpigscorner

    Haha…this is cool. It’s nice to see other people’s set up. I’ve just gotten serious about food photography recently and am slowly setting up my little food porn corner. Have been taking pictures at different parts of the flat lately, still searching for the “perfect corner”.

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