How I Got the Shot

How I got the shot for these Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

I did a photoshoot featuring Red Wine Braised Short Ribs. In this blog post, I talk about the planning and implementation of this shoot. I’ll be going through how I planned this photoshoot, the items I used for props, and the lighting technique. I will talk about how I got the shot.

I wanted the image to be both vibrant and rich in color.

I think of hearty stews and braises when I think of wine pairings. What better way to showcase a complex red wine than with a delicious short rib! 

When I began planning the shoot, I knew that my goal was to create a portrait that would capture the dish’s flavor. My mind went straight to colors, texture, and composition. I wanted to showcase the rich texture of the short rib with mesmerizing colors.

Keeping the props and ingredients to a minimum.

Simplicity can be a food photographer’s best friend for certain dishes. And in this case, it certainly was my best friend. The more elements you add to your plate, the harder it becomes to compose a well-balanced photo. A minimalist styling helps showcase the rich, delicious meatiness of the short rib. I needed very few details to create an interesting photograph for the red wine braised ribs. For added texture, I placed the rib on a bed of mashed potatoes. I added swirls and ground pepper to the mashed potatoes to create more contrast and interest.

Short rib with red wine sauce on top of mashed potatoes in a bowl and with a fork.

Getting the ideal combination of a subtle, natural light with hard shadows.

I’m all about creating fun and interesting looks when it comes to food photography. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m a huge fan of hard light. It’s beautiful, but if done incorrectly, you’ll end up with unflattering results. I use a technique of balancing hard, direct light, and soft, diffused light to achieve that perfect balance.

I used a Westcott strobe behind a large diffuser for soft fill light. One Godox flash positioned high up and pointed down at an angle towards the plates to create the hard shadows. 

Exploring the unconventional with a beautiful, inspiring photo of a complex dish.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed this project and look forward to doing more of the same. My aim was to create an artistic, stunning piece that showed this dish in all its glory. And I believe that I accomplished that with this one image. But what excites me most about this image is how it has set the bar even higher for me as an artist and photographer. I am already hard at work on my next experiment!

A bowl with a fork and mashed potatoes and a short rib on top.

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