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My Students Shoot Food: The Winning Shot

The Winning Shot: Chocolate fondant, shot by Andrew Boge, Sean Backer, and Jeff Burke.

The Winning Shot: Chocolate fondant, shot by Andrew Boge, Sean Backer, and Jeff Burke. Blank spaces are left in the image to allow for the magazine title, as well as the mailing box and inside teasers.

At Hastings College, we have a special term during January called, well, JTerm (big surprise on the name, right?). It’s a three-week period where students take one course for three hours a day, travel, or do exploratory work; it’s also my favorite time at the college, since I can teach workshop-style photography courses that the regular fall and spring semesters just can’t do.

This year, I was excited to teach a new course, “Photographing Gourmet Food,” and it must be interesting for students, too, since the course was overloaded in terms of enrollment. Clearly, the class was interesting to the local media, too, since over the three-week period, three separate media teams came into the class and did multimedia stories (you can see one of the stories here). My goal, though, was to help students understand the complicated and controversial topic of food photography, all while learning to shoot food like a pro.

The final project was a competitive fictional scenario: Shoot the cover for the February edition of Food & Wine magazine, and hope your group’s shot is good enough to win. I hadn’t anticipated the level of excitement that would generate, but the students were bubbling—and competitive to the extreme—about the chance of winning the shot. I hadn’t anticipated the level of quality I’d get, either—for a group of 18–22-year olds, most of whom had no photo experience, the shots turned out impressive.

And so I give you the winners: Andrew Boge, Sean Backer, and Jeff Burke’s shot of chocolate fondant was meticulously planned, well-styled, and well-shot. It will be printed inside the dummy cover and stay on display in the Gray Center Gallery for 3 months.

The Runners-Up: Marbled chocolate brownies, shot by Carolina Hall, Sarah Johnson, and Elisabeth Mundy.

The Runners-Up: Marbled chocolate brownies, shot by Carolina Hall, Sarah Johnson, and Elisabeth Mundy.

The runners-up were the team of Carolina Hall, Sarah Johnson, and Elisabeth Mundy, who shot marbled chocolate brownies.

I’m proud of my students, so I’d appreciate it if everyone would show them some support: Give ’em a like.

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