I was recently (actually it was a while ago and this post is long overdue) given a Foodie Bag by Paper Bag Co to have a go with it and see if I like it. Short answer is, yes, it's a good thing and useful.
The idea is that you have a reusable, high quality tote bag, set of four background images created by Black Velvet Styling, a set of instructive cards from Phone Photographer Matt Inwood, with guides to composition and framing your images and finally a handy and a compact, folding 38cm (15") photographic light reflector and diffuser to improve the lighting of your images.
It was designed to be used by Instagrammers who love photographing their food on the move, but doubles up pretty seamlessly with people photographing floral and plant images, both indoors and outdoors. Makers of small terraria, model makers, hand tool/knife makers, florists, ebay sellers and many more users would also find this of use.
I've been playing with the backgrounds and experimenting with light, looking for a style I like and I found the kit really handy to do so.
A quick breakdown then;
The bag is of good quality build, decent size, fully zippable, with internal pockets and perfect for food shopping (or perhaps carrying bits and bobs to a day at the beach?!). I'm using it to carry shopping, it is a glamorous thing that I'm using unglamorously!
The four backgrounds, are A2 in size, made of thick satin sheen paper and I like them as a neutral, but still interesting foil to foliage and flowers in particular. They lift the subject of your images off the page well and add a professionalism to each image.
The ten instruction cards are postcards, each with a handsome image of some tasty looking food on the front (photographed using the backgrounds) and a simple lesson on the back focused on composition, image editing, framing, light and more. Even if you are an experienced or trained photographer, these could well help to guide your process and I'm sure they are invaluable to anyone setting out.
The 38cm (15") light reflector and diffuser is a flexible disc, that comes in a more compact storage bag to make it even more transportable. I have used these when I've been filmed before, but hadn't used them myself for photography until now. Well worth it to add volume to the light in your images and to round off those dark spots. A really useful bit of kit.
Overall, a really useful bit of kit. Probably most readily used by those photographing food, but actually helpful for detailed plant/flower photography for sure. I will experiment more with it and see what can be achieved.
You can buy the Foodie Bag with all the bits mentioned by clicking here to visit the Paper Bag Co website. The bag and contents are priced at £39.95 in UK P&P, which would be a lot for a tote bag, but I believe is a fair price for the contents and bag to get an Instagram photography career started. I'd recommend that if you plan to do a reasonable amount of this kind of photography, that you also buy a photographic light and stand and a stand to hold your reflector (unless you have a sidekick who will) as below.
You can also buy loads of other paper bags, packaging and eco bags (my preference) from the Paper Bag Co too and if you're feeling so inclined have them branded with your own images, logos and text. Perhaps something for special events like weddings...
Have fun experimenting.
Alternatively a pop up lightbox is a good idea and you can use the backgrounds and reflector from the Foodie Bag to enrichen you images.
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