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Photographing Food – on the Road

Okfwww14 food 2 - photographing food - on the road

I’m on the road back from Kelowna, from the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers’ Workshop which this year was held at the Cove, a spot I hadn’t heard of but won’t soon forget. The pools were still closed for the season (open next weekend!) but the resort is spectacular, with big, airy rooms complete with full kitchens and washer-dryers hidden away in a closet – I love being able to toss the weekend laundry in before we leave and pack it freshly clean to unpack directly into dresser drawers at home. (It’s the little things – especially when travelling with a family.) And I adore having a small kitchen to make my coffee in, a fridge to stock real quantites of coffee cream and stash cold beer and local apple cider, to cut apple slices and make a batch of nachos for nights we’re going to be in the room. I love not being at the mercy of local restaurants 24/7.

The cove 1 - photographing food - on the road

I was there to be part of the action, to hang out with Anita Stewart and be among like-minded people, to share ideas and mull over what to do when you get writers’ block and the future of print and digital media. I was also there to present a food photography workshop – a session not unlike this post, at which we talked about light and food styling tricks and camera angles and F-stops.

Orchard 1 - photographing food - on the road

Everyone brought their cameras, complete with straps to fling them over their shoulders to tote to a winery or orchard tour. I was the only one who didn’t have a camera strap – I find when I’m shooting down toward a plate of food, it tends to dangle and get in the way. Then again, when I’m on a road trip I do like to have my camera at the ready rather than have to dig it out of my camera bag. A small thing, but enough of an inconvenience to make me miss a moment or discourage me from bothering with some shots altogether. (Silly, I know.)

Phat straps 1 - photographing food - on the road

Fortunately, I was recently sent a PhatStrap – a hip looking (compared to the one I had, that I’m pretty sure came with my camera three cameras ago) and sturdy strap that’s going directly onto my camera as soon as I get home. After all, my camera mostly goes where I go – and at events like these, when there are a dozen black cameras on the table, it will be a nice way to make it stand out. 

Okfwww14 food 1 - photographing food - on the road


When I’m working, I have to have my good camera in tow. But I’ve heard a few friends bemoan having to bring their SLR with them when they’re out and about, who went and bought small pocket cameras or upgraded their iPhones – which I’m considering doing as backup. Food photography is becoming more and more mainstream – many hobbyists and travellers have fancier cameras than I do, just to take to dinner or on their vacation. But then again, I ran into a friend/professional photographer Shallon Cunningham in Kelowna, and she had a sleek little point and shoot with her – to make it feel not so much like work, but still get the occasional shot.

Phat straps 2 - photographing food - on the road

What do you think? Are small point and shoot and iPhone/android cameras getting good enough to compare to the almighty SLR? Do you have a camera that you love? Leave a comment, and I have a fancy PhatStrap to give away! I’ll do a random draw of the comments in a few days.

a man carrying two children

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