This article was originally posted on Photofocus.

When I photograph food, I’m very particular about everything that goes in the frame. The tabletop, textiles, colors, and dishes all play a role to bring a the scene together. I typically set everything up ahead of time, even before the food is cooked, so that things are ready to go well ahead of time.

Once the food is on the plate, I don’t stop paying attention to those details.  In a recent shoot, I had a small cup of coffee in the background of my scene. I filled it up with coffee and a little bit of cream, and placed it in the background of the frame. After previewing my first few frames, I noticed that the coffee in the cup was not visible! It was there, but at the angle I was positioned I couldn’t see it.

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I immediately added a small amount of coffee to the cup to balance it out. That tiny little bit of coffee completed the photo! Without it I would have had too much white area in the corner of my frame.

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