Say hello to #EatCamCam – our brand new food photography competition!
In conjunction with Cambridge-based professional photographer Charlotte Griffiths, we’re running a competition to find the best food and drink photograph snapped at the Eat Cambridge festival! We’re looking for top snaps capturing the fantastic food and drink happenings at this year’s events. The competition is open for the entire festival fortnight, so you have plenty of opportunities to show us Eat Cambridge through your camera lens.
To enter #EatCamCam, all you have to do is share your Eat Cambridge photographs (as many as you like!) with us on Instagram or Twitter using the #EatCamCam hashtag. Photo entries can be taken at any Eat Cambridge fringe event taking place between Friday 18 May and Sunday 3 June, including photographs capturing the Main Event and the food and drink you’ve discovered there. Before you get snapping, take a second to check out our full T&Cs here for more details. You’ll need to submit your entry by the end of the day on Monday 4 June.
Judging will take place after the festival ends, and we’ll then award an extremely special first prize to the winning photographer. We’ve collaborated with Aabelard, an amazing local company producing British artisan aprons, and local artist Naomi Davies to offer a bespoke Cambridge-themed apron to the person taking the top shot. It is a beautiful and durable waxed cotton apron, with antiqued brass buckles and a luxury leather trim. What makes it even more special is Naomi’s contribution: a one-off, beautifully illustrated Cambridge skyline takes pride of place across the apron’s signature leather breastplate. The kind folk at Aabelard would also like to offer a 25% discount to festival goers for online orders of aprons – just use the code EATCAMB at checkout when you order on aabelard.com.
If you fancy getting your hands on the grand prize, read on for Charlotte’s top tips for taking the finest foodie photos. We want to see your discoveries from the delicious array of food and drink stalls at our huge food and drink fair. We’d love to get your take on the talks, tasters and pop-ups going on at the Main Event. We’re keen to see you sharing your finest flat lay from your favourite festival fringe events. Get creative with your #EatCamCam entries, too: treat us to some tantalising food close-ups, capture an exquisite supper table, or maybe catch an action shot of the chefs in the kitchen… Whether you’re into quick snaps on your phone or impromptu photo shoots with a fancy camera, the competition is the perfect chance to practise your skills and show off your highlights from this year’s festival.
Charlotte Griffiths (@Photolotte) – professional food photographer and director of Cambridge-based creative marketing agency Lottle – shares her advice for taking the finest foodie photos
Food photography has moved on a long way from a simple snap of your sandwich. Modern phones, powerful editing apps and super-light mirrorless cameras with wifi or bluetooth picture-transfer make it extremely easy to capture beautiful shots of the delicious food we encounter every day.
Eat Cambridge’s annual celebration of our county’s finest plates, people and places involved in food presents the perfect opportunity to practise your photography – so here are a few tips to ensure you and your camera make the most of the edible experiences ahead!
1. Let there be light
If you’re allowed to choose your own seat, have a quick scan of the space and see if you can pick out the table with the best natural light. Next to a large window and out of direct sun is ideal, but neutral or cool white over-table lights can give a good dramatic look to flat-lay style images.
Obviously, don’t make a song and dance if your spot isn’t well lit – but if the eatery isn’t too busy and the front of house team seem friendly, a polite enquiry about taking a few photos on that “gorgeous wooden table next to the window” can’t do any harm.
2. Look around
The star of the show is the food on your plate – so before you start snapping, take a look at the area around your meal and – well, tidy up a bit. Straighten cutlery, move glassware in or out of shot, add strategic crumbs or wipe up messy smears – anything you spot at this point will save you time when you’re editing later on. Think about clashing colours, and adding texture – a folded napkin under a plate can add softness if the shot’s looking a bit empty, and could even work as an impromptu tablecloth if your deck (the surface you’re shooting on) isn’t quite right.
3. Framing up
Consider the angle you’re going to use before you begin shooting. If you’re not immediately sure how you want to capture the plate then start out seated, looking down from eye-height at a 45° angle – as this is the perspective that food is most often seen from, it’s the easiest way to make something look delicious. And as an added bonus, you won’t cause too much disruption!
A flat lay shot from above is a classic way to capture a fully-laden table and can look fabulous – particularly with hands reaching in to grab plates – but to do this right, you’ll probably have to stand up, and possibly even hop on a bench or chair (careful please – ask first, and take your shoes off!) to get the height you need. Try to frame the shot so dishes round the edge of the photo are half-in, half-out – you want it to look like the table goes on for ever.
If you’ve got a towering stack of food in front of you, get your camera down near the tabletop and go for a side-perspective shot to show the depth of the table and the scale of the food. Again, make sure your backgrounds are clear, or showing happy diners, and ensure the food is in focus before you take your shot.
4. Tell a story
The best food photography has narrative behind it. Where are you? What’s happening in the photo? Why is the food so special? If you can work out how to make your photo tell a story – by including a glimpse of a napkin with the restaurant’s logo, or angling your shot to show more of the space, or strategically adding other items which are relevant to the location – then your picture will stand out from the pack.
5. Share your shots
Don’t leave your photos languishing in your phone or camera’s memory card – if you’re not already part of Instagram, starting an account is super simple and makes a great way to collate your foodie adventures. Instagram’s built-in image filters can also allow you to tinker with the way your shot looks – but if you’re taking your pictures seriously, a dedicated image-editing app like VSCO gives you more powerful control and a wider set of filters for greater choice. You can then save your image, and upload it to Instagram later on.
Have a think about the hashtags you add to your photo – obviously, you’ll want to throw in #EatCamCam to be in with a chance of scooping the grand prize – but other local tags like #InstaCam or #CambridgeFood can help others find your pictures. Be sure to tag in your location, as well as the Instagram handle of the restaurant or eatery you’ve visited – if it’s a good shot, they might even regram it to their followers.
And the most important piece of advice – if you’re intending to eat what you’re taking pictures of, don’t get caught up in the shoot and forget to enjoy your meal! Work quickly and politely – especially if you’re eating with friends – so you can tuck in before the food gets cold or before your pals’ patience wears thin. Practicing as much as possible will help you speed up your shoots – and is a great reason to go to as many Eat Cambridge events as possible…
Charlotte & Heidi x
Find our competition terms and conditions HERE.