Food Network: Take Two

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I was told to take more photos for my amateur home chef submission for Food Network…angled “almost professional” shots of round white plates of delicately plated food. I sent a few shots I thought were more artistic and appealing than my original submission, as shown below:


These photos were better, but I was nowhere near satisfied I had given the judges my best, or what they wanted to see to consider me a top candidate for the show. I don’t know who else functions this way, but when I learn a new task that is out of my comfort zone, I often stress and worry and work at the smallest of details for hours and hours. My first instinct was to grow irritated and reject the idea of doing something that wasn’t “me”, but that was just my reaction to the fear of trying something new. Trying means you risk failing.

“If you try, you might fail,
But if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed.” – Thomas A. Knight

I knew I had to at least try to do this, though, some nagging voice in my head wouldn’t let me just give up. ENESHA STRINGER, a dear friend and sometimes fill in mom of mine would say that voice was her, but I’m pretty sure it was just that same voice that tells me I have to get to a chore or catch up on something at work…

I decided to do a small shoot with my new camera phone, a friend’s backdrop lighting, and big round plates of tiny food creations prepared especially for my Food Network entry. I watched Youtube videos of 1-3 Michelin star rated plating and how to videos on gourmet food plating. I learned the right way to slide a spoon of sauce across a plate to make a rectangular pattern (so in right now). I went through various emotions, feeling very much out of my element. I was stressed, felt like a fake, and was definitely delving into a style I didn’t feel was my own. But in the end, I knew it was worth it. Even if I don’t make it onto the show, not trying is a failure. But trying is a triumph al its own. ☺

Here are my most recent food photography attempts. The lighting and camera aren’t the best, but you can see the progress I’m working towards:

Tower, from top to bottom: Wild flowers, seaweed salad, cubed salmon sashimi, and sticky rice with sriracha and spicy mayonnaise.

Seaweed salad/my “garbage” plate:

Seaweed salad, ikura (salmon roe), shredded nori, and wild flowers

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