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Food Photography: Milk & Cookies!

I know I’ve been taking a lot of photos of deserts but honestly I’m not a sweet-food guy. It’s just that deserts are safe. You can make them or buy them and they will retain their look without wilting, drying out, or anything in between. As soon as I build up my confidence more I’ll move on to other foods.

This photo was a pain in the butt and I’m just not sure if I like it or not. The big thing I did here was play with the lighting. Here is my set-up:
I used a soft box, a foam board, and a home-made reflector.

Here are the cookies without the reflector:
Here there are with it:
So it really makes a difference.

I decided to go with the softbox in the background because in Nicole Young’s “Food Photography Book” I noticed she back-lights a lot of her photos. Honestly it’s not something I would’ve thought of doing in a one light set-up. My gut instinct would’ve been to put the softbox to the side and slight above the cookies, but I really like the backlit look because it gives a slight rim and highlight to them.

Ultimately I went with an above shot of the cookies. I can’t explain why. I just know that when I sat down to look at all my photos the one that popped out the most was the picture at the top of this post. To achieve it I had to do a bit of focus stacking. I took a photo with the milk in focus, I took a photo with the cookies in focus, and then using masking in photoshop I blended them together.

The only real thing I can’t decide if I like or not is the red. One one had I like how the blurriness in the depth of field gives it an almost glow, however I don’t think it’s the best color to match with the chocolate chip cookies. A cooler tone color would probably work better with them.