Food Styling and Photography – Part Dos!

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zSo… after the first day of the Food Styling and Food Photography class we were sent home with a homework assignment, we had to think of what we wanted to shoot the next day and we were responsible for all the food and prop styling. Now let me tell you, normally I don’t have a hard time thinking of what to cook, bake or eat… but for some reason I had the HARDEST time thinking of what I wanted to use in my photoshoot. I didn’t want to pick something easy because I could figure that out at home. I wanted to pick something that would be visually appealing but at the same time I wanted to use all natural tricks so my product was still edible. After much thought on the drive home I decided on mini cheesecakes with graham cracker crusts and toppings!

And this is how it turned out…


Ok I am not one to brag, well… actually… maybe I am, but how fabulous does that cheesecake look! And the crumbs, and those cute glasses… I just want to grab a fork and dig into that mini cheesecake!

Matt taught me all F-Stops, ISO, exposures etc… all of which I learned in High School but have since forgot!

eGaby 5

Here are some other shots with different settings…





You can find the Cheesecake recipe here: Cheesecake – You can also adjust the shape and size as well as the crust type however you want!

Its crazy to think that 1 little button on your camera makes all the difference in the world! Here are a few quick tips for photographing and styling your food

  • Always Always ALWAY use natural light
  • Using a light reflector can totally change the feel of your photo (see examples below)
  • Use the manual setting on your camera and play around with the different settings! Try taking pictures with different ISO’s and exposures will help you figure out what looks best!
  • Props are also your best friend – make your photo interesting!
  • Think about ways to make your photo different and interesting, adding different backgrounds, garnishes etc.

Okay… onto the second photo, which is actually the first but I wanted to share the cheesecake first!

I really wanted to experiment with an ingredient shot… and this is what I came up with!


Notice the difference between the first photo and the second. The second looks totally dramatic, at least to me, and its because instead of using a white reflector board – Matt suggested I try it with a black board, and the results look great! I personally love both photos but they each have different feels to them!


After 2 days of soaking up a TON of knowledge from Denise, Cindy and Matt, I am heading off to the art supply store to pick up some much needed supplies and will be visiting each and every garage sale, antique store and flee market to find some fabulous props of my own!


  1. Your photos are AMAZING!!!! WOW! I wish I could of taken this class with you. My photos are really struggling! Glad you learned so much! You are a pro now!

  2. These are wonderful images! Definitely magazine-worthy – and the cheesecake looks delish! You must be a quick study!

  3. Gorgeous cheesecake! I went for the workshop the week before you and had exactly the same dilemma about what dish to shoot. Went for curry in the end thanks to the many Thai restaurants in Long Beach, and it was so much fun. And I recognize the Mud plate you used 😉 Love love love those ceramics. Happy prop hunting!

    1. omg Danielle – they showed us your shot of the curry and it was AMAZING!!!! I always have the same problem when photographing curry that you had before – but yours looked fab!

  4. Gaby, your photos from the class are terrific. I love the cheesecakes. You’ve really learned a lot and improved! Aren’t you glad you went?. Can’t wait to see what you’ll be posting next.

  5. Those cheesecakes look delicious!! Not only should you be the next food network star you should also be a food stylist!

    1. Anya – you are amazing – good thing your my sister 🙂 Now if just the rest of the world would realize what they are missing…

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  7. wow! your pics are so impressive! I would love to take a class like this, I am always drooling over matts pics and I see he must be a great teacher!!! you pics are mag worthy and i want to duplicate those cheesecakes….so beautiful!

  8. Hi,

    Matt’s workshop/raffle link to your blog. Nice work. Does the class involve any use of studio lighting besides natural? I’ve been learning from the Strobist blog, but the food styling isn’t so great :c Only the lighting techniques helped, but wondering if the applications are different.

  9. Could you do a blog post on food photography “must-haves” with specific brand names and such for cameras & tools for people just starting out? And maybe a basic “how to set up a shot” using he reflector boards, etc? Just a thought because you and Matt create such GORGEOUS work!

  10. Hi Gaby! I took that same class with Denise, Cindy, and Matt! I loved it SO much! I wish I could take a class like that once a month. I made a peach cobbler that had to go into the garbage bcuz of the cotton balls it was stuffed with, and the Bouquet Garni that gave it a more browned appearance. I’ve always loved the art of food styling! Thank you for sharing your fab photos!!


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