Putting meals in motion and photographing action shots in the kitchen

There are so many ways you can allude to a sense of movement in your images without making a video or an elaborate stop motion. You can capture simple movements to give the viewer the sense of motion taking them along on the journey and involving them in the task. Adding a human element such as your hands often is the key to this sense. Effi Tsoukatos, one half of the foodie duo from @sydneyfoodsisters takes us through some examples of these actions or as I like to call them…the dance moves of food styling! Here are the steps…

The sifter…

How Effi brought this image to life

This photo was the last one taken on this tart shoot. I wanted to create a very messy looking scene to capture an overfilled sifter (which I wouldn't normally do with a sifting photo). The photo was taken on a tripod however the shutter speed wasn't set high enough to capture the individual specks of the cocoa powder, hence the movement is blurred.

Tip: When you take a sifting shot my most practicable tip would be to have a second replica of the scene set up - once you have gone to far with the icing sugar or cocoa powder, there is no going back, so having spare food or a replica scene set up is always a great option.

The classic pour…

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How Effi brought this image to life…

This photo was taken as part of a series of mother's day photos for Baci chocolate. I wanted to bring in the blue Baci package colouring in by using a blue background, and having Caterina wear a very feminine white dress with subtle blue tones in the frills.

Everyone loves a pouring shot, especially when it involves chocolate, so I wanted the main focus to be on that. I always use a tripod when taking pouring shots to avoid any camera shake. This was shot early in the day when there was plenty of natural bright light with a fast shutter speed.

Tip: When taking a pouring shot, keep your hand completely still so that the only movement being captured is the pour, rather than in the hand.

The squeezer…

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How Effi brought this image to life

This is my favourite squeezing shot. This was photographed during the peak of citrus season and I wanted to capture the brightness, freshness, happiness and 'juiciness' of the mandarins we were using to create a new recipe. I used a dark background to highlight the bright orange colours.

I set the tripod up with a timer on the camera and a high shutter speed (1500 is where I usually sit at). I wanted to capture individual beads of juice, which can only be achieved at a high shutter speed (a low shutter speed would produce blur on the juicing). It is best to create these photos in a setting where there is plenty of natural light.

Warning: This can be a messy process, so be sure to expect the mess before it hits!

The sprinkler…

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How Effi brought this image to life

Sprinkling shots are my absolute favourite when creating movement in photos. It gives the photo a beautiful, almost magical feel.

This was shot on a tripod at a shutter speed of 1000. The sprinkles of nuts are not completely defined and instead slightly blurred. Children make excellent models in sprinkling shots, because they just love sprinkling anything! Especially when it involves cake. This series of sprinkling photos are my favourite to date because they capture my daughter's innocence and playfulness so beautifully.

Thank you to Effi for sharing some insights into adding motion to your still images. Effi is the guest mentor for our July 15-21 creative challenge‘Meals in Motion’and will be featuring her favourite entries and feedback on the @creativelysquared Instagram account. You can find Effi at@sydneyfoodsisterson Instagram. We invite you to join Effi and the rest of the Creatively Squared community for another moving week of experimenting with motion in food styling. Hit the button below for entry information and full resources.