This cheese plate situation can get fancy, however, this one is not, it’s approachable and crowd-pleasing. All consumable items were purchased from Trader Joe’s, bar the Provita crackers, from South Africa, purchased in Atlanta. Thank you road trippety-trip. Any flat, savory crackers will do to create this smorgasbord.
Food blogging is wonderful and incredibly vulnerable at the same time. I want you to know that this post is for a food photography contest and in order to enter I have to tell you, so here goes. this is a contest. So let’s just pretend I never told you so we can look at pretty pictures and talk about cool blog stuff. Moving along.
This collection of cheese, meat, fruit and nuts pairs well with wine. Lately my son (3) has been singing about cheese and wine. He is actually supposed to be singing “deep and wide, deep and wide” but “somehow” that turned into ‘cheese and wine, cheese and wine.” and stuck. The subsequent lyrics are “there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.” How appropriate. Ideal early evening on the weekend, glass of wine + recipe book, add some cheese you might just catch my cheshire cat grin…island fantasy. Ok I’m back.
Let me tell you about my cheese board, AKA the canvas. It was initially bought as a food photography surface to shoot on. This cheese plate is bigger than most of what I usually shoot and so it was the perfect size. It is made from pine that I bought at Home Depot for about $10. I stained it and voila! Go DIY me. Self encouragement vital.
This is my entry to CuttingBoard.com photo contest.
CuttingBoard.com Contest 2017
Tips for putting it all together:
Don’t overcrowd your cheese board. You don’t want people to touch items that they are not intending to eat. Leave some space on the board so it’s not likely to happen. The last thing you want is your guests to feel like your cheese plate is finding a parking space at a Cubs game.
Offer a different knife with each cheese so that the cheese flavors remain separate and don’t start tasting like each other.
Pickings for the plate like a fashionista I chose items that would look pretty and shoot well. I was looking for interesting textures and different sized and shaped items. It’s like a little choreography going on in my brain at the grocery store.
Add fruit or preserves as they cut the fat of the cheese and meat, that is why we like to layer the cracker all together as the fruits balance out the fats.
A fun part of this process is to let you, my wonderful reader into my world and to hopefully encourage other photographers to get behind their cameras and sets and GO FOR IT!
Set proof #Cutthecheese2017
When my little ones “take a nap” the race is on, I bust out my photography equipment. The vision of what I am shooting is usually there and it is a matter of getting my act together before they wake up.
The Manfrotto tripod goes up, this piece of equipment has helped me so much with getting good shots. The Manfrotto 131D Lateral Side Arm is huge for getting excellent over head shots. I love my camera too, I used the Nikon D7200. DP Review had great things to say about this camera and so do I. Filtering light, essential. I used a diffuser from a 5 in1 kit of diffusers and reflectors.
The blackboard under my photos is a chalk board piece that I found at Home Depot. I saw multi-purpose. Entertain kids with a giant chalkboard and a black background with a large suface area to shoot on. I also used an earthy burlap fabric which was a table runner to create some texture. I like that the edges are stitched so that you don’t have to pick up a hundred burlap fibres after the shoot.
Then there is the kid who woke up during the shoot and steals your pear piece and you do a quick dance to save your tripod with camera on. Next priority, save the wine because red wine stains, not awesome. There has to be passion, creativity and enjoyment and a little bit of oomph to push through the resistance to get creative. Happy cheese plate making and sharing.