Where to begin. Well how about where it all started? I got an email asking me to join in on a workshop at Restaurant Riva. We would get a chance to test and play with the newest photo camera’s from Nikon. Mmmmm yeah, hell yeah! And that wasn’t everything. The workshop would be hosted by Sacha de Boer! Previous anchor woman turned professional photographer. Whoop tie doo was I doing this? But ofcourse, YESS super nice!

I get asked quite a lot how I make my pictures. Well nothing special really, I usually use my iPhone 5. That was what I liked doing. Making the prettiest food pictures ever by using my mobile phone. That was the case until I started cooking for the boys from Koken met Aanbiedingen. Then I thought, ok enough is enough. I just had to grab my DLSR camera and not be afraid of all of the buttons.

After I’d been cooking for a month or 2, I decided to do a workshop at the nicest teaching couple ever: Suus and Johan from  FoodBandits. The workshop was a success and seriously after 15 minutes I had my “investment” back. I totally forgot about one option on the DLSR, the Av button that determines aperture. DUUUH I can hear you all say, but seriously this has made ALL the difference ever since. As my house is quite dark and lighting is always an issue, I tend to make everything during the morning using daylight as my BFF. Now this Av button made my life easier. A lot easier and I started using my DLSR camera every time I’ve made a recipe ever since. I am a little more satisfied every time and I now actually enjoy using it. Yes yes yes, I can hear you think…

I even dared to make a picture in the dark the other day. As its wintertime over here and it gets dark around 4.30 pm, I still managed to pretend like it was daytime. Whoop whoop for me! The picture I made was this one:
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Ok so back to the food photography workshop with Nikon. On the day itself, we got some ins and outs about Nikon and their philosophy and some golden tips from Sacha. Sacha has ben photographing for a long time, but specialized in food a few years back. Don’t let that fool you, because she has written not one, but two amazing cook books.  She made those together with 3 Michelin star chef Jacob Jan Boerma from restaurant de Leest in Vaassen.

As I like to document everything white on whiter than white, I thought it would be nice to learn how to make some darker pictures. Sacha is the one who learned me to photography like that. Thanks so much Sacha, I am really enjoying this new found style. I went home and tested the tips and they worked too. Nice to know that the pictures below are my gems of that day and I didn’t even have to edit them afterwards ( P R O U D). Daan Vasquez from Nikon advised me to use and play with a Nikon d750. WOW can someone please tell Santa that I would die to get this one. Believe me, I am worth it! In the mean time I will start saving up (yep, reality sucks big time!! Hahaha)
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So what tips did Sacha de Boer give to us exaclty?

Preparation is key
Be sure to arrive on set and start checking out your light.
– Day light is your best friend, yes really! You get really nice soft pictures using day light.
– Use reflectors and back drops to spice up your picture.

Use a main character
– It is important to choose a main subject of like Sacha tought us, who is your VIP of the day and focus on that. To prepare, you can easily use a piece of fruit and check out the lighting and see if you need to change your settings on your camera.

Timing is key
Shoot a picture the moment your dish is done and ready to be served. It looks a lot more fresh and appealing. The longer you wait, the more it will loose its “shine”.

Dare to change
– Try analyzing your set up and if your not satisfied, dare to change the whole set up and start all over.
– Use back drops, color popping items like a spoon or something simple. Think about the dish you’ll be photographing and anticipate.
Edit pictures
The program “Lightroom” can be used to tweak your pictures in an easy and intuitive manner.

Nikon currently has a super cool give away: #Nikon_Kerstdiner. The tips I just gave you should help you to take out your DLSR and start clicking. Upload your prettiest picture of a christmas dish between december 23 – 27  on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use #Nikon_Kerstdiner as a hash tag and who knows you’ll win a Nikon D3300!

The picture that I made at home using Sacha’s tips is the following. My version of a Pavlova for the Taste of Christmas event I attended. Not bad he, without my precious Nikon d750?!
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Do you still have some more questions on this topic, tips you’d like to share. Don’t hesitate and leave me a comment!