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Photography Challenge: Using a $3 TV Dinner to Capture 5-Star Food Photos


Photographer Taylor Jackson has started a new series on his YouTube channel called Photography Challenge, where he will (you guessed it) take on a different challenge every episode. And this week, he’s been challenged to turn a $3 frozen TV dinner in professional food photography worthy of a 5-star restaurant.

After reading the challenge, Taylor’s first move was actually to phone a friend. Since he has no experience styling food, he called in a chef friend of his to help with the plating and presentation.

The actual shooting starts around the 14 minutes mark, if you want to skip straight to that to see how Jackson made this shoot work using only one camera (Nikon Z6) and one lens (NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8S). No macro lens. No artificial light. None of those crazy food photography tricks we’ve all heard about.

Here are the final images he ended up with. Do you think he succeeded?

If you have 25 minutes to spare and you need some photography inspiration this Wednesday, watch Taylor take on the challenge up top (be sure to watch to the very end for a surprise “bonus” challenge). And if you like what you see, follow Taylor on Instagram or subscribe to his YouTube channel, where he’s planning to release more episodes of this new Photography Challenge series in the near future.

Credits: Photos by Taylor Jackson and used with permission.