A pun on seasons - I wanted to capture both autumn and spices for this soup photo. (See recipe here)
Soups, in particular, often need a little help to shine. So I wanted to use spices and fall props to give this soup the personality it deserves.
I love how all of these turned out and it was very hard to choose the one to feature on the recipe page. However, I am a bit disappointed I didn't capture both types of seasons in one photo as well as I would have liked.
First: a simple start to feature the spices
There are so many versions of butternut squash soup, I wanted the photo to hint at the type of flavors in this soup. And this photo accomplishes that. The spices are ordered by color (obviously), but also in the ratios that they are used. Then I added Sage to the soup to make it pretty and to make the eye follow over to the top of the spice column and then work down it.
If I used this photo, I'd have to clean up some of the pixelation that happened on the gray background, perhaps the lighting was a bit too low and caused that. Right now, this photo has no edits (other than cropping it).
Background: gray 18" floor tile from Home Depot ($2).
Next: Add some Fall seasonality to the photo
I added a touch of rustic-fall with a tree slab and a brownish-gray napkin. I think it worked out great, although I might need to find a slab of wood that has a more obvious tree-ring pattern.
Last: Remove Spices & Add More Fall
I debated adding mini pumpkins to the photo - while they signify fall, I worried it would suggest that this is a pumpkin soup. So instead, I went with pine cones and used the placemat as a nice warm background.
The photo has only one edit - see the lower left side of the bowl, where the soup ends and the rim of the bowl starts? Look up at the previous picture and compare that. You'll see that the soup sloshed a bit and looks messy. Since this was my final photo, I cleaned that up in post-processing.
I think I did a good enough job cleaning that up that if it wasn't pointed out, you wouldn't notice. However, let this be a lesson to clean up the bowls before taking pictures. A couple of cotton swabs work very well for that.
The other lesson I learned: the croutons left oil marks on the wood slab. So I'll either try to oil the whole slab (like you would for a cutting board), or sand it down.
Which one did I choose?
I went with the last one because I liked the warm feeling it gave me. It was a very hard choice and I may change my mind and swap out pictures in the future. I really wish I captured both the fall seasonality and the spices better in one single picture.
What one did you like the best? And how would you have tried to make the spice picture more fall-ish?