How I Got the Shot: Yessica Duque

Posted by: on Mar 22, 2021

How I Got the Shot: Yessica Duque

What was the concept of the shoot?

On the 1st. chapter of Bea Lubas’s Food photography Book called: Tame your gear,  she said: “Your camera doesn’t take photos – you do”. 
And she shows 2 examples: Same tool vs. Improved skills. And that makes all the difference. 

Joanie Simon in one of her videos said: “It is so fun to look at old photos that you’ve taken, it is not cringy, it’s so great because you definitely see how you’ve hopefully improved since you took those old photos and you can also see like hey you know I had good taste, I knew what I wanted to do, just not necessarily how to execute it.”

After understanding all this I felt motivated and decided to do a personal exercise called:

Pancakes from 20017 vs. Pancakes 2020 – How Much I’ve Learned Along The Way.

What setup and lighting did you use to get the shot?

Photo 1  – 2020 Tethered.

Shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark III &
& SIGMA 50mm 1.4 art. ISO400 f/5 1/60 daylight 

Photo 2 -2017

Shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark III &
& Canon 50mm ISO400 f/3.2 1/125 daylight 

How did shooting tethered help you achieve the shot you wanted?

In terms of composition it is a big plus, I wanted to recreate a similar capture from 2017 with some improvements in food styling and also photography setup. It helped me to capture the action exactly how I wanted without shooting thousands of photos.

What was your biggest challenge?

It used to be the technical aspects, how to control my camera to achieve what I wanted. But after accepting that the camera is just a tool, I realized I was focusing my attention on the wrong problems. Small details in styling and composition are the toughest challenges, especially when textiles like napkins are used. That’s something basically all the food photographers might struggle with, linen or napkins can be difficult to get used to because of all the different angles they create and how the light hits them. Capturing the action of pouring the pancake syrup in a elegant way was on the top of my priorities.

What type of post-processing was involved?

 Some lighting adjustments with Adobe Lightroom, nothing too elaborate.

What was the logistics and/or gear needed to achieve this shot?

  1. Mood board and concept: Only one image from 2017 with all the mental notes I have about how could I do this better.
  2. Props: A selection of backdrops, plates, cutlery, napkins.
  3. Cooking preps: Perfect cooked pancakes, fresh blue berries and syrup.
  4. Setup: Set styling including gear/equipment  arranged in order to take advantage of the daylight.
  5. Lighting: 100% daylight, I had this romantic idea that pancakes always look good with natural light.
    I helped myself placing my translucent reflector closed to my window to make the light a bit softer.

Who was involved and how did they play a part in the shoot?

All done by myself. Hardcore multitasker. Hand-model as well.

About Yessica Duque

Yessica is a photographer based in The Netherlands, specializing in Food Photography. She’s been working in the hospitality industry since 2016 as a Food Photographer and Food Stylist.