Not everything that shines is gold. Not every strawberry, however beautiful, is the strawberry “da Moranguinho”, and details make a lot of difference when it comes to food photography. A simple fruit salad can take hours to set up for a photo, and not always the point of the fruit to eat the perfect fruit salad, it will be the same point of the fruits chosen for the photo. Firmer fruits are always the best, as they will keep their shape and texture for longer.
I always recommend buying more than one fruit, because, however great the experience is when choosing a fruit, the moment to open it can be a box of surprises. That sweet orange juice broth is, for the most part, vetoed at the time of the photo. The cut must also be well thought out, so that it is not disproportionate.
And we can often surprise by cutting food in unusual ways to better show its shapes and textures. Some fruits require greater care than others, such as red fruits, which are so fragile and delicate.
Care begins with the choice of fruits, which are usually accommodated in plastic trays. It seems obvious, but never stop looking at the bottom layer, the ones that “hide” when we go shopping. As it is not normally possible to find “the perfect tray”, I end up leading it to contain the best strawberries, blueberries or blackberries, since they will be the stars in the photo.
After choosing the fruit, another very important moment is the transport of the fruit. When I go to buy fruit for photo, I usually take a thermal basket, so that they maintain the correct temperature, and do not crush it on the way. As soon as I get home or in the studio with the fruits, I usually make a “natural selection”, separating the ones that I will definitely use, the ones that I will definitely discard, and the ones that will be “step”, in case you need more volume or happen some accident with the star fruits!
I do not usually wash the fruits, since they will not be consumed, but photographed, so that they do not change in color, shape or texture. Some are just polished, as is the case with apples, lemons and plums.
In the case of red fruits, if necessary, just use a cotton slightly moistened with water to clean any unwanted dirt.
As strawberries are often used to produce the scenery that will compose the environment of the photo, I usually put them with the leaves, because they are more beautiful, natural and give a beautiful color at the time of the click.
Strawberry leaves are usually rebellious, and that’s not always what we want when assembling the dish. In these cases, I brush patiently sheet by sheet of each strawberry with a little honey, and then press all of them gently until they are well fixed.
This detail usually makes a difference!
Another care that may seem like an exaggeration, is to remove those “little hairs” that are present in blackberries and raspberries. But they make a huge difference, especially if they are the star of the photo, and captured in tightly closed photos. In these cases, even more care and patience is needed, care when holding the fruit, so that it keeps its original shape, and patience to remove the “little hairs”, one by one!
Another fundamental care is the cleaning of the production to be used in the photo. Use alcohol, and give preference to good quality paper towels, which do not leave small marks, and also avoid the dish towel, which usually leaves lint.
In the case of glasses, such as cups and glasses, I usually use surgical fingers or latex gloves to leave no visible fingerprint. Once clicked, many times not even hours of photoshop are able to get a fingerprint on a raspberry, for example.
With this care, simple pictures of fruit can become true magazine cover photos!