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PMH Photo Challenge #6 – Food

Welcome to the Project Motorhouse Photo Challenge!

Are you 18 or under and living in Thanet? Then you are eligible for the Project MotorHouse Photo Challenges where you could win up to £50 for 1st place, or £25 each for two runners up! In honour of our ‘The Camera Eats First’ workshops and upcoming exhibition, June’s
challenge is FOOD. Follow us on Instagram at @pmhramsgate, and tag your photos with #pmhphotochallenge6 to enter. The deadline for the competition is midnight on Wednesday June 30th. Photos taken with any type of camera or phone are allowed. We’ll be
judging your photos on criteria such as relevance to the theme, creativity, composition, lighting, and so on. (This is a challenge to practice your photography, not your Photoshop skills or crazy filters, so please no excessive post-production).


Even before the advent of Instagram, food has been a big part of photography. From photos to make food look delicious for recipe books to artists like Martin Parr who use photography of food and eating to tell stories about how people live, it’s a big genre where you can explore many different styles. People are sharing pictures of food more and more – In the UK, it’s estimated that over 130,000 pictures of food are shared every day! But there is a lot more to food photography than simply snapping your breakfast… 

Here are some tips and ideas to get you started:

TIP #1

1 – STILL LIFE / FOOD MAG – Think about how to make a meal look as photogenic – and delicious! – as possible. Shallow depth of field works well for this type of photography (with a blurry background so the focus is on the food only). Think about the best lighting – most food looks best under natural lighting rather than artificial lights which alter the colour. Choose the plates and cutlery wisely so as not to distract from the food. Maybe try sprinkling a few crumbs, or have the food part-eaten to see what works best. 

Photo Copyright Ash on Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/@ash-122861

TIP #2

2 – FOOD PREPARATION – add a human touch by photographing someone cooking or preparing food, or two people cooking together. What do you like cooking? Can you capture yourself preparing your favourite meal? 

© Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mother-and-daughter-preparing-avocado-toast-4259707

TIP #3

3 – SHOOT THE INGREDIENTS – It doesn’t have to be a complete meal that you choose to photograph – try making an image of ingredients! Composition and layout is going to be really important here so it doesn’t look messy. Maybe arrange the ingredients by size or colour, and think if you want to take them out the packaging or use containers or a chopping board to lay them out. 

© Photo by Pixabay on Pexels (https:// www.pexels.com/photo/agriculture-ceramic-closeup-cook-269245/) 

TIP #4

4 – GET INSPIRED BY MARTIN PARR. Martin Parr’s famous for his colourful flash documentary photography, and food often plays a big part in his work. A long way from the ‘posh’ food photography of recipe books and food magazines, he prefers to photograph ‘real’ or junk food, the brighter coloured the better. Look for people eating McDonald’s, a full English in a cafe with retro table cloths, or a cream donut on a brightly coloured plate. 

© Tim Topple


Most of all, have fun and experiment

Here are some links that might inspire you:

Here are some resources to help you:
• Food Photography basics: (https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/foodphotography-basics/)
• 6 Food Photography Tips (https://www.photoworkout.com/food-photography/)
• Martin Parr’s Food (https://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/pop-culture/article/martin-parr-real-food-photos)