May 31, 2019


Restaurant / Food Photography,

Project Description

Bionic Burger’s Philly Cheese Steak sandwich is the pound-for-pound the most flavorful in Wichita. When offered to photograph one of their menu items, I opted to choose a rustic yet classic approach to capturing this tasty behemoth.

Before ordering the food, I needed to get the studio setup and ready to go. I set up a Godox AD600 with a large softbox on a light stand. I then situated my camera overhead to get a top-down shot.

Next, I needed to set the table. I went to Lowes to find something to use as a table surface. I noticed some boards that had groove slots made for flooring. They had this rustic look to them that I thought fit well with the mighty cheese steak. A store employee helped be cut these down to size so I could use these boards to make a table top. When I finished I simply separated the boards so they could be stored neatly. Total cost $8.

I also needed dishes to present the food onto. The plastic baskets from the joint would have been okay to use but they wouldn’t fit well with the rustic boards I purchased. So I found myself at a local thrift store. I was not having any luck. Most kitchen ware were dated back to early 2000’s – nothing noteworthy or rustic. But then luck struck me. I came across two silver plated dishes: one long and one smaller circular plate; perfect for a long sandwich and fries! The silver needed polished but I preferred the oxidized look, but made sure to clean them before plating. This is, after all, an editable project. Total cost: $6.

Now all that was left was to head to Bionic Burger and order a fresh Philly Cheese Steak. The studio was not far but time was of the essence. I wanted to get the cheese looking sloppy gooey and the fries crispy. I hurried back and plated the food on the fine silver.

I wanted to capture the detail of the boards as well as the food so the depth of field had to be fairly deep. I set my aperture to f/6.3 with an ISO of 100 at 1.3 seconds. My camera’s meter showed that I was underexposed at about 2 stops. The light strobe was about a meter away so I compensated by added 2 stops of light to the strobe. I first used a reflector board to bounce more soft light onto the subject. But after reviewing the images with and without the reflector, I noticed that the shadows were a welcoming sight without the reflector. Sometimes less is more.

Bionic Burger - Commercial Photography

If you are interested in hiring a local Wichita food photographer to spice up your menu or website or to capture professional video for social media or commercials, I would be happy to talk with you about your upcoming project.