I have previously blogged about food photography when the photographer is at the mercy of the available light. The same principles apply when you control the light sources: high soft backlight with fill in the opposite direction makes food look good. There are more adventurous ways to light comestibles; however, when you need something to fall back on, you can’t go wrong with the basic method.
My father has good friends in Germany who sent us a set of Meissen coffee cups as a wedding gift. Four years later, we finally drank some coffee out of them; such an occasion ought not go by without some kind of memento. A small TV tray covered with the nearest available tablecloth, umbrella back left, and umbrella front right were obvious and easy, while composition of the still life and choice of lens were less immediately obvious. I knew I wanted perspective compressed across the frame, so I grabbed my longest lens and set my tripod accordingly. With the frame defined, I attempted three or four arrangements of food, china, and silverware. This is the best arrangement, although I kicked myself later for not tucking the fork in a little closer to the plate. That notwithstanding, I’m proud of this image; it’s very close to my original mental conception.