Thursday, March 01, 2012

Just released: Food Photography for Everyone

Food Photography For Everyone

Also posted on For The Love Of Baking

How is it to take a food photo that really works? Can I use my simple pocket camera? How can I start with my entry level DSLR? How is it to perform a photo session when I am on a budget, have only few equipment and choking constraining time? How does different lighting make the food different? What is it about focus, DoF, PoI, angle, composition, styling, props? What are they really all about? I just want to take a good food photo. Period. How?

If you have such questions lingering your head like bees night after night, you need this book.

Neah, I just want to tell a story about how this book materialized in the first place. Never in my life I had the slightest idea of writing a book by myself, not to mention a photography book! It’s true I like taking photos since I was little. I got familiar with SLR cameras in my early age, around 7-8 years old I guess? My brother lent me his Fujica SLR and 50mm lens for the whole my senior high school year where I took it everywhere. But when I got my first digital pocket camera in 2005, I never expected what life might bring me. Little did I know it would take me to a place I never imagined exists, where I found new respect for things in life and (hopefully) brought me even closer to The Maker.

One thing led to another. One simple photo after another. One request to teach after another. One paid photo project after another. One DSLR camera after the old ragged pocket. One culinary book after another. Ultimately, one food photography book, after another.

I was in the middle of getting the material together for the book Food Photography Made Easy by Empat Rana, when Elex Media, the publisher, contacted me for a meeting. Cut the story short, they wanted me to write another book. It confused me. I was writing a similar book with my friends, why did they need me to write another? I had no idea. When Pak Whindy insisted on his brilliant concept, all I could do was nodded with an ear-to-ear smile. The book would consist of sixty food photos with a set of step-by-step instructions for each photo. And, and.. with a diagram of lighting, for each photo! The diagram would describe the position of the food, the camera, the main light, the reflector. The instruction would elaborate where, what time, how to style, etc. Bottom line: a fool-proof food photo book presented in the concept of recipe book. I was beaming to the point where you can no longer tell if I was a balloon about to explode or merely having a bulb face. I was ready to rumble like a rolling thunder.

After the release of Food Photography Made Easy by EmpatRana, which I was very happy for *please, buy it too :)*, I started to gather my material and got down to write. You know, in between backpacking from place to place. After Wakatobi, I wrapped it up and finished just in time before Raja Ampat voyage. I was back in Jakarta to find my editor telling me to cut 40 pages out of the initial 200, practically cut 20 photos. Fortunately it was not the other chapters he asked me to delete.

Struggling to choose which 20 photos got cut, handed over the final material, sat down with Pak Bandi -the layouter- the following week, finalizing everything. About a month later, my friend texted me: hey, your book has just been published! Congratulation! And I was like: no, it hasn’t. False alarm. And he was all: it is in my hand now, i’m paying it at the cashier. I went nuts!

So, yeah. This book is everything I know, everything I’ve learnt, experienced and absorbed during the whole food photographic journey up to this point. Everything I believe in and all the things I want to share. And I want to share so bad. I can’t hold back anything, paying it all forward is simply a necessity, a natural thing for me. Now I can move on to.. becoming a goal keeper? Or a shipwreck diver!

My ultimate hope is that this book can benefit whoever reads it, in any ways.
Or in other words, buy it, buy it now :)

Food Photography for Everyone
Riana Ambarsari
Foreword by Arbain Rambey
Publisher: Elex Media Komputindo
ISBN: 9786020018089
168 pages, 300 gram


  • Choosing your camera
  • Basic digital photography
  • Basic lighting for food
  • Angle and composition
  • Playing with depth of field and focus
  • Edible food styling: concept, props, baked goods vs cuisine, secret weapons, etc.
  • Workflow
  • 15 food photos taken with pocket camera + step by step instruction + diagram of lighting
  • 22 food photos taken with DSLR camera + step by step instruction + diagram of lighting
  • A classroom: frequently asked questions

Available at all Gramedia bookstores
Order via Natural Cooking Club, click here
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  1. Congratulationnnnnn!!! *nggak sabar nunggu kiriman buku di markas*

  2. Mbak Riana,
    Now I admit that I am your works fans ...
    Your works always makes me jealous on how you made those all so perfect.
    Congratulation for your book.
    As your fans, I'll buy your book, definitely ;)

  3. @ all: thank you so much *haru*
    @ Ei: you're too kind *hug* Segala puji hanya bagi Allah..