Some of my favorite things in life … photography, ocean sunsets, sage, flip flops, and FOOD. If I could have all those things on a little island, I would be a super happy camper. When I started out, one of the areas that I thought I’d be least likely to photograph was … food, flip flops, sunsets. Well, turns out, photographing things you love comes easy. There are a few hundred pictures of my lovely feet in flips on instagram (, believe it :).

And, by chance on vacations, I’ve taken even more pictures of sunsets. Sunsets are one of the most difficult, challenging but rewarding types of photographs. I’m still trying to master that one.

That brings me to food photography. At first, I was a little hesitant. There are the instagram pics, facebook pics, other social networking pics of what you are eating…. I kinda wondered why people would broadcast what they were about to eat… but, when you get that dish just right – beauty. What I’ve found with food photography is a challenge. I love – challenges. Anyone can take a picture of food, dish, you name it. The challenge is how do you set yourself apart from the next picture. Also, how do you connect food to a person looking at it. Especially for a restaurant.  It’s finding that right light, composition, and colors. The bokeh makes a huge difference in how the final picture comes out. Pretty much, I took what I know about portrait photography and used food as my model.

Brings me up to my point of this rambling blog post… I was lucky enough to photograph for a couple Oakland restaurant – one in Rockridge (Fillipos) and Lake Merritt area (Barlago). Both restaurants beautifully done Italian kitchens. You feel as though you are in a part of Italy by the well done decor and dishes.

Picture below is my favorite so far of my shoot at Fillipos. Those crab legs. Yum.

I was able to use some natural light from the left of the food, then some flash – pointed straight up – bouncing a little off the brick wall for fill lighting. Using my beloved 50mm f/1.8 lens. Some of the pro photographers out there are non-believers on this little $120 lens … but it’s fantastic. I use this one at almost every shoot. My 480ex canon flash unit. One of the cheaper ones, but it does the trick. Using natural light w/ flash is one of the ways to get that picture perfect. At least I keep trying !