Back to Basics

Todd Bennett
Karin Calloway's Peppery Bacon-Cheddar Spread
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Karin Calloway's Vietnamese Chicken Salad  Todd Bennett
Todd Bennett
Karin Calloway's Vietnamese Chicken Salad

It's hard to believe it's been four years since Karin Calloway and I last worked together on a food shoot. What's worse? I've been back in Augusta since January and haven't scheduled myself for a food shoot until this past week.


But I have to admit, we didn't miss a beat getting back to shooting food for her weekly column in the Augusta Chronicle. What four years?


Before our layoff, Karin and I worked together for over ten years photographing food for the Chronicle and Viking. And in that time, we refined our approaches to food photography. Neither one of us had been a food photographer or food stylist prior and it became on the job training. A "we'll figure it out as we go along" process.


It took a while, but I like to think we solved that problem.


I know for me, that when we started years ago, I really had no idea what I was doing. To overcome that, I'd throw equipment at it. I'd bring in studio lights, modifiers, lenses and just about every piece of gear I owned to a food shoot. My car was a rolling photo studio.


It'd take me years to develop a style of shooting that would be centered around simplicity. And that's important. Because in the end, it's not the camera or lens I used. How many lights it took. Or whether I used a softbox or bare bulb. 


It's about the food.


Today, a food shoot is as basic as it gets. I use a camera, tripod and white reflector cards to shoot food. And, for what it's worth, my rolling photo studio is now affectionately known as a car.


It's good to get back to the basics.

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