Instead of showing you some the of photos that are going into the book, I thought I’d show you one that isn’t.

This is a photo of Indonesian Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce. I do looooove the photo, however, I’ll have to re-shoot.

Let’s play! Can you guess why?

Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce

Photo Analysis

I purchased my my meat pre-sliced at the market – it was thin-sliced sirloin, and all I had to do was cut the slices into strips, marinate and skewer. However, the meat was sliced about 1/8″, which tasted just fine, but for the photo, it just looked too skimpy…kind of like beef jerky. The meat also gets lost in the photo – brown on brown on brown on brown. The satay looked lifeless in the end.

What do you think of the tray? I bought it at Crate and Barrel. I think its cute, but is it too cheesy?

As I’m shooting photos for the book, I’m learning so much about food styling and lighting and using my camera’s multitude of settings. But there’s one thing that my friend, RasaMalaysia reminded me, and it’s that I’ve gotten away from showcasing the beauty of the food. I’m concentrating so much on composition, the props, plates, mats and other styling stuff that it’s become a little too Food and Wine Magazine-ish? Too fake?

I think I need to go back and look at some of my early photography on the blog, where food was king. Some of my favorites are the clean, simple and pure photos, like these:

Sesame ShrimpGrilled Sichuan Prawns

German Oven PancakesSweet Yogurt Sundae

While those aren’t necessarily cookbook-worthy shots, these were all taken last year when all I focused on was the food. Do you kinda understand what I’m getting at? I love the lightness and textures of all these photos. So, my next batch of shots for the book will take what I’ve taught myself technically about photography and food styling and go “back to the basics.”

Would love to hear your thoughts.


More food photography posts:

My food photography lighting setup: Lowel EGO

Green Beans with Garam Masala Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts (light setup)

Kona Kampachi on Citrus Soy Soba Kona Kampachi on Citrus Soy Soba (see my step by step photo analysis)

Sparkling Ginger Lime & Mint Cooler Sparkling Ginger Lime & Mint Cooler (see my step by step photo analysis)

Escargot Escargot with Garlic Butter and Splash of Cognac (see my step by step photo analysis)

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