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Slumdog Millionaire

Thursday, 9 April 2009


"Hulle skiet an advert!" I heard one of the little guys who had just walked past say. I was intent on  getting the shutter speed and aperture settings just right. If I had had the time,  I might've turned around and explained that it wasn't for advertising's sake that I was photographing Andrew but rather for the inclusion in his salsa recipe book.

The scene reminded me of Slumdog
Millionaire; and specifically the scene where the famous movie star comes to town in his
helicopter; and landing is swamped by adoring fans. Now, we are by no means stars, nor
were we being swamped by a mass of adoring fans, not even by one googled eyed being of
any sort for that matter, but the surroundings somehow seemed similar. The likeness was
in this - it doesn't matter where you are in the world, poverty always wears that same
acrid mask.

I put the thought aside, I had a job at hand; and who knew, perhaps one of those kids, or
more likely their parents, would want to buy our finished product. In Slumdog
Millionaire, the lead actor does everything in his power to be with his childhood
sweetheart, so why wouldn't a poor epicurean pay for a beautiful book crammed with
delicious salsa's of every sort?

So I did my job as best as I could and the end result is a selection of really great shots
of Andrew which epitomize what we are trying to achieve with this recipe book:
attractive and tasty food, easily made and for all occasions.

What hasn't been as easy as making Andrew's salsa's though, is taking photos of them.
Three things I've realized can make a world of difference when taking photos of food are;
1. With property its location, location, location but with food shots its setting, setting,
setting! It influences lighting, ambience, background and can give one space to work in
or totally restrict the variety of shots one is able to take. So do your best to get the best
setting for your shoot! It's worth the effort.
2. Having a food stylist to co-ordinate and organize the decor for the shoot and then
to help on the day with the setting up of the table and to make sure that the food
looks photo sharp all the time(Its amazing how quickly a sprig of whatever can wilt).
3. Equipment, the better the better and the more the better. Things almost never go
according to plan and so its safe to say be prepared for all types of situations, like too
much light, too little light, no electricity etc etc.

But at the end of the day, we can't always have the best all the time, especially if just
starting out, and if that's the case, then be prepared to just slumdog it and use what you
have!

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