Color Theory and Food Photography

Working with color and composition in food and product photography.

Do you need to photograph some food or products for your marketing purposes? There are some tried and true methods I use to get mouthwatering images easy on the eyes, but I also like to research methods and to keep learning new things, so I stay inspired and varied in my creative output.

One YouTuber who I really like for tips and tricks related to food photography is The Bite Shot. Joanie Simon approaches food photography as an artist and has wonderful ideas that produce great results. I watched her video “Using Color Theory in Food Photography.” In this video, she talks about Josef Albers, of the BAUHAUS movement, and refers so some ideas in his book “The Interaction of Color.”

I had some bags of Big Pete’s Treats Lemon Cookies to photograph with some cut up lemons, so I decided to do some shots using a purple paper to give the image some design elements. It’s a very basic idea that complementary colors are pleasing to the eye, but Albers via Simon helps us to understand why this technique works. When you overlay two colors the color of the ground is subtracted from the color on top, causing the color to move in that direction in the way it looks. If I had used a green paper or orange paper it would have affected the appearance of the yellow. Since there is no purple in yellow, the yellow retains its hue even on top of a colorful ground.

The thing about color is that it is an endless way to experiment with your photography. Being intentional with color helps to understand how it works.

Try to create a photograph with two colors only. How did you balance the colors? What was the mood you were going for? Try different color combinations and see how it changes the way we read color.

Also, check out my latest podcast “Massage the Messenger,” HERE:

Massage the Messenger

Andy Roy and the End of Addiction



Andy Roy is famous for being a wild and raw skateboarder and a psychedelically colorful personality always ready to start a ruckus. Where did the wild things go? They followed Andy Roy who was following Jay Adams, another legendary countercultural rebel. Roy has long epitomized the punk rock core of skateboarding, the DIY, middle finger to authority dirty grimy soul of American culture. He is a unicorn, a mythical creature–untamable, but one you want to believe in for the sake of us all. He is a performance artist, a shit starter, a robber, a swindler, a cuddle bandit and more. He is the kind of guy to make the most out of every fucked up situation that American life could throw at you. He threw it right back and it was covered in shit.


One more thing Andy Roy is and was, however, is an addict. He is also a boy who saw adult things too early, a father who didn’t know how to grow up. He is a boyfriend who truly loves his girlfriend. He is a man in recovery and full of all the potential of a human being.


I have never met Andy Roy, but I learned about him through learning about skateboarding which has become one of my favorite parts of our culture. I first became intrigued by his personality when I saw his Epicly Latered episode and felt so conflicted when I saw him stand up to Birdo at Derby when he was confronted for speaking his mind about Consolidated. I love the stand that Consolidated has taken against the corporatization of skateboarding, but here was Birdo seeming to protect his brand by confronting a skater who spoke his mind. I was confused. I know Birdo. I respect him. But in this encounter my gut went with Andy Roy. He seemed truer, purer in his approach. I still wonder about how that scene was edited. What don’t we know about how it went down? Maybe I was fooled by good video. It wouldn’t be the first time.


Next, I followed Andy on Instagram where I grew to love his voice. He would write these obscenely long rants but you could follow him perfectly and the picture he painted was vivid and clear. I quickly realized that the man was an artist, someone like Barney with the gift for spontaneous prose. I also saw that he loved his girlfriend and that made me like him that much more. It’s one thing to be tough, but another to be vulnerable. When you are in love with another human that vulnerability that opens up is so much more profound than anything else, and his ability to share that publicly put me on his team.


Now, the thing is, I might be falling for old Andy Roy tricks. He might be robbing me blind. He’s a pro at this game, but the thing is I believe him.


It was at the turn of the year that he got sober. The holidays are especially rough for people who live outside the box. If you are anti-establishment it is a painful time of year usually. As the story goes, his girlfriend discovered he had been using heroin and lying to her about it and she left him. He retreated from San Francisco, homeless and broke and went to stay with Bam who was still living wildly and had the means to make it happen.


I don’t need to repeat the story, though, because he tells it so well himself. Listen to his podcast Rip Ride and check out his episode with Brandon Novac, which goes into the details of his path to sobriety. Then listen to all the other episodes, and listen to his interview on the Nine Club. What stood out the most to me in hearing him and Novac talk about their journeys was Novac’s vision for the end of addiction. He said it goes one person at a time. One person gets help and gets clean and sober and then they help another and one becomes two and then they help another until it spreads across the country like the light of a new day. We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic. People are dying every day from overdoses. We need someone like Andy Roy to lead the way, and his podcast Rip Ride is doing just that.