Ice cream is one of my all-time favorite photography subjects, so I really had a ball putting together my new ebook. The challenge of snapping that perfect shot before your carefully scooped spheres begin melting and pooling on the table just keeps me coming back for more. That, and the fact that the subjects must be quickly consumed once the camera is turned off, make for some great foodie photo fun. Previously, all of this work had to be done in the few hours in the day where the sun was at just the right position, otherwise the ice cream would melt at an incredible rate under the hot light, and all of the day’s work would thaw and waste away right before my eyes. Really, they don’t call it “hot” for nothing!
Now, things couldn’t be more different- It’s actually become a rarity for me to use natural light these days, working away in the darkness of the night to accomplish more than ever before.
If you had the chance to peruse that ebook, you should recognize this photo as the Rose Petal Ice Cream. A light, delicate little number that seems to simply glow. The secret behind that ethereal lighting is actually very simple…
Using the back of a chair to prop up my solid pink poster board, I start by laying the foundation with a smooth, seamless background. The strobe is positioned directly behind the set, facing away, with my usual white umbrella reflecting the flash back onto the subject, creating a nice, soft back light that highlights the edges of the ice cream. To soften the shadows in front, I set up my two little makeup mirrors on both sides.
Slight variations of this arrangement are my usual approach right now, and I couldn’t be happier with the consistently well-exposed results.