Capturing the fall harvest and making the most of the pumpkin season is what fall is all about for me. And on this first day of fall, photographing pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, pumpkin fritters and more just gets you in the spirit of things!
Whether it is food photography, product photography or still life, pumpkins are fabulous to photograph. Add to that the light at this time of the year is my absolute favorite. Fall has such beautiful natural light, inside and out.
Start with light
For me it’s all about the light, making it soft and diffused or dark and moody. By blocking bright light and using a reflector to bounce a little candlelight, creating a soft warm glow.
Natural light is free and just so beautiful at this time of year, streaming in through my window in the morning or soft and diffused in the afternoons.
I still use a scrim or diffuser, but sheer curtains can work really well, too. Don’t forget to bounce some of that window light back onto your subject with a silver or even gold reflector, so it’s not completely in shadow.
Set the scene
I adore pumpkins, large and small. Check that the flesh is undamaged, preferably with stalks attached (for some reason the stalks are always cut off in Australia). Think soft muted colors, with accentuating props, light and shadows. Keep them soft and muted, or make them pop!
Food, glorious food
Don’t forget to dress food up — even the humble old pumpkin soup. Work with complementary colors to really make it pop. Adding in elements to tell the story — fresh cream, peppercorns, cutlery, even warm toasty bread rolls. Create images that make your viewer crave your dish, even if it is simple fare.
Want a copy of my pumpkin and sweet potato soup? It’s quick and easy and so tasty and for me, it really is the best bit about capturing the fall harvest … eating the final results!