• Let’s step back and examine “technology”
  • Our technology, and how we use it
  • How our methodology sets us apart

I’ve have for years said that the best camera to use is the one that’s with you in that moment. And I still firmly believe that, and it’s a premise I’ve tried to reinforce in people I’ve mentored in recent years who seem to get so caught up in the technological evolution and how it’s impacted the visual content creation industry.

Technology has brought us some great things… faster processing, larger chips in our cameras, streamlined workflow, the ability to create anywhere… but it’s also important to know that “technology” in and of itself does not make a top flight agency or studio.

At Food Photo Studio, as part of the Obscura Companies family, we never invest in new technology just for the sake of it, but rather, we examine how it will benefit us, and in turn our clients, in terms of improved quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. No matter what we visual content are creating on behalf of our clients, we make sure at the outset that the technology we employ as a part of that process is best suited to deliver the finest possible end result. 

I could offer up a big list of all of the types of equipment we utilize, from cameras to lighting to computers and cloud services, but that to me misses the point. It’s not just about “what” technology you’re using, but more importantly “how” you’re using it to maximize your creativity and improve the overall process of content creation, thereby delivering a stellar end product for your clients… one that helps them overcome their greatest challenges, and in the end, grows their business.

I’d love to hear how you’re using technology in your everyday life, be it from a personal or a professional standpoint. Post your comments and feedback below, and most of all, never stop creating!



Our studio and corporate office are located in Schaumburg in the Remington Tech Center. This provides an optimal spot for our group of companies, as we have FoodPhotoStudio.com, CurtisNewbornPhotographic.com, and ObscuraCompanies.com, all located under one roof. Our brands in total provide a complete, turnkey solution for visual imagery and marketing execution, and the services that we provide go well beyond photography. 

Would you like to learn even more about the advantages of working with us? Click the title to check out these recent posts on “propping”, “our location”, “visual content” & “motion”. 


World Photography Day!

World Photography Day!

Today is "World Photography Day", so we thought we'd pass on 10 very cool "photography related facts" to everyone... enjoy!

1. The first device made to project an image on a surface was the camera obscura, or “dark room” in Latin. The principle was first recorded by Mozi, a Chinese philosopher. (ca. 470 to ca. 391 BC). It was the basis for what we know as a pinhole camera. (as a side note, this is why we named our parent corporation, "Obscura, Inc.")

2. The first camera capable of recording an image used a process invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. The complex process was named for the inventor as “Daguerreotype”.


3. Daguerre's process was used in what's said to be the world's oldest camera, built by French firm Susse Freres. The camera, thought to have been made before 1839, was found in an attic in Germany. The camera sold to an online bidder for $792,33 at a Vienna auction, which also makes it the world's most expensive camera!

d camera.jpg

4. The oldest known surviving photograph is View from the Window at Le Gras, taken by Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827. It took about 8 hours to develop! 

first photo.jpg

5. The world's first color photo, pictured below, was made in 1861 from 3 separate photographs taken through red, green and blue filters, then projected onto a photosensitive plate with corresponding filters. This method was suggested in1861 by Thomas Sutton.

first color photo.jpg

6. The first photograph of a total solar eclipse was taken by made by Julius Berkowski on July 28, 1851. To learn how to capture it this week, click here for our Eclipse Shooter's Guide on our blog.

first eclipse photo.jpg

7. Digital imaging is good for the environment! Many darkroom chemicals are toxic and dangerous to handle. Disposing of them by pouring them down the drain or other conventional means is polluting. Pat yourself on the back next time you open your processing software!

8. There are 12 Hasselblad cameras on the surface of the moon. They were left there to leave room for the moon rocks brought back to Earth. The film magazines, of course, made the return flight.

moon landing.jpg

9. Steve Sasson of Eastman Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975. It weighed eight pounds, recorded the image on a cassette tape and took 23 seconds to “snap” a picture. Oh, and the resolution? 0.01 megapixels!

10. The concept of HDR images isn't new. Photographers have always needed to overcome the limited dynamic range of photographic media. Gustave Le Gray, a photographer in the 1800's was known to combine two separate images (water and sky) to better capture the wide luminosity range.


We hope you've enjoyed these 10 fun facts about photography... keep shooting and enjoy your creative endeavors!

Why foodphotostudio.com? Because We’ll Put Your Product in Motion

Why foodphotostudio.com? Because We’ll Put Your Product in Motion

Key highlights:

  • Motion is propelling a revolution in food product marketing
  • Research proves that “motion” drives greater interaction with consumers
  • See your SEO ranking vault up the charts by 50% or more

Videos… animations… GIFs… these are just some of the ways that “motion” in marketing is described as our world transforms to an Internet-based set of platforms for delivering cost-effective, content-rich messaging that drives consumers to act.

At FoodPhotoStudio.com, we’re more than just photographers, as our team is comprised of visual marketing professionals with decades of experience in understanding the marketing place, thereby growing, and changing to always offer the best ways for our clients to add value to their brand, and grow their bottom line.

As you'll see in the examples below, there are many ways to utilize “motion” when promoting you product. Our team works to understand your business, including your marketplace and the competitive landscape. From there, we suggest a plan of action and the types of deliverables that will drive increased revenue and greater engagement with consumers.

An example of a GIF created to show motion...

An example of a GIF created to show motion...

Our studio and corporate office are located in Schaumburg in the Remington Tech Center. This provides an optimal spot for our group of companies, as we have FoodPhotoStudio.com, CurtisNewbornPhotographic.com, and ObscuraCompanies.com, all located under one roof. Our brands in total provide a complete, turnkey solution for visual imagery and marketing execution. 

If you would you like to learn even more about the advantages of working with us, just check out these recent posts on “propping”, “our location” and “our full service offerings".

So as I close this post, all I can say is that if you’re thinking about food visuals, we need to talk… and check our blog each month for more about “why” FoodPhotoStudio.com is THE place in Chicagoland for highly creative, cost effective visual marketing!

This Month’s Solar Eclipse - How You Can Photograph This Cosmic Coincidence


This Month’s Solar Eclipse - How You Can Photograph This Cosmic Coincidence

From time to time, we'll write about other fascinating things happening in the world of photography... in this post, we talk about the upcoming solar eclipse.

Key highlights:

  • What Exactly is Happening?
  • Types of Equipment to Use
  • Camera Settings

A historic astronomical phenomenon is bearing down on the United States, and towns in its path are hustling to get ready. For a few hours on Aug. 21, 2017, the moon will move in front of the sun and cast its shadow over the United States. It’s the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. 

By mid-morning Pacific time, the town of Salem, Oregon, will slip into shadow. The moon will slowly and inexorably slide in front of the sun, and our star’s light will slowly grow dimmer. Filtered through foliage, sunlight will appear on the ground as a smattering of crescents.

As more of the sun’s disk disappears, ripples of light and darkness called “shadow bands” will wiggle across the ground, the way sunlight seems to shimmy on the bottom of a swimming pool. They are a harbinger of the coming total eclipse. Birds will hasten back to roosts.

Then, at 10:15 a.m., in one of the most unusual coincidences in all of celestial mechanics, the moon will completely block the sun’s disk. In the final seconds, a dazzling ray of light, known as the diamond ring, will remain: It is sunlight filtering through valleys on the moon. Insects will thrum and chirp as if it’s dusk. The temperature will drop.

After Oregon, the shadow of the moon will race southeast, carving a roughly 70-mile swath through parts of 11 other states — Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina — before lifting in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Millions of people live on the path of totality, and millions more live a short drive away. So as scientists scramble to make some of the most important measurements of their careers, you can step outside and watch, too.

So what about those of you interested in photographing this amazing phenomenon? It is possible, with the right preparation and the right equipment. Here are links to some very helpful videos from our friends at Nikon that show you how to do it:

It’s exciting to think about the power and majesty of nature as this event approaches… and if you happen to shoot the eclipse and would like to share your work with our audience, email your image (including attributes and contact info) to: 


We’ll be doing a special blog post in September and we will display all of the images that we receive and credit each photographer. And lastly, if you get hungry during the eclipse, click here to check out what Krispy Kreme has to offer!


Why foodphotostudio.com? Because We’re Not Just Photographers

Why foodphotostudio.com? Because We’re Not Just Photographers

Key highlights:

  • We go beyond just the “image”
  • Our philosophy is built around being "visual content providers”
  • We work to understand your business and the marketplace

So today, as we dive deeper into the “why” of FoodPhotoStudio.com, we thought it would be a great time to spell out the many differentiators relative to the “typical food photography vendor”. The reasons for our company philosophy being focused on a more holistic approach to you marketing are two-fold; it allows us to better understand the full landscape of your business, and it also provides you with a more cohesive approach to marketing that generates results.

As you can see from the graphic above, visual content is critical to the success of your marketing... so let’s dive in and discuss “why" is this type of marketing so important? A quick look at some very telling statistics shows the way: 

  • 93% of communication is visual
  • Visuals are processed 600,000 times faster than text
  • While people only retain 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read, they retain 80% of what they see
  • Content with visuals receives 94% more total views and is 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks
  • To put it simply, human beings are visual beings, and visual information is much more sticky than any other type of content.

So whether it is product photography for your website, complete design and production of your packaging, or the creation of viral components that drive social interaction, FoodPhotoStudio.com and out team of professionals will deliver results that will propel your products to new heights, and also drive your bottom line.

Our studio and corporate office are located in Schaumburg in the Remington Tech Center. This provides an optimal spot for our group of companies, as we have FoodPhotoStudio.com, CurtisNewbornPhotographic.com, and ObscuraCompanies.com, all located under one roof. Our brands in total provide a complete, turnkey solution for visual imagery and marketing execution. 

If you would you like to learn even more about the advantages of working with us, just check out these recent posts on “propping” and “our location”.

So as I close this post, all I can say is that if you’re thinking about food visuals, we need to talk… and check our blog each month for more about “why” FoodPhotoStudio.com is THE place in Chicagoland for highly creative, cost effective visual marketing!

AR is Here… Try These Apps on Your iPhone

AR is Here… Try These Apps on Your iPhone

Each month, we examine what's being talked about across the online universe to look for a "tech topic" that would be of interest to a wide array of folks who follow us and read our blog. Here's the latest offering, compiled by Curtis Newborn, our Chief Creative Officer. You can follow him @CurtisNewborn on Twitter.

AR is Coming of Age

Augmented Reality (AR), which has been around the edges of popular consciousness for many years, is all about what you see and under what circumstances you see it. Unlike virtual reality (VR) where you are transported into another world, AR is still the real world, with an extra added something within your view.

AR iOS apps use your camera and location data to capture or project virtual objects and information directly onto the phone or tablet for entertainment, information, or even business uses. While there are many apps out there, below are details on some of the most popular among tech bloggers and imaginative creators of content.

Google Translate

If you’re traveling abroad, you can use Google Translate (free) for its text translation of 103 languages. It reads typed input, as well as signs, menus, posters, and anything with text via the Google Neural Machine Translation system, designed to translate sentences in context as opposed to merely word for word. This artificial intelligence component helps the app deliver relevant, more conceptual translations, while at the same time offering a more human, grammatical delivery.

Today, 52 languages can undergo translation without an internet connection; 30 languages can be translated via text by pointing your camera; 37 languages can be translated via the actual smartphone camera image. You can also use audio to translate bilingual conversations in 32 languages, draw text characters in 93 languages, and save translated words in all supported languages for future reference.

Transparent Earth

The Earth is round, so what is underneath our feet, on the other side of the globe? Transparent Earth (free), a 3D AR app, attempts to answer that question with a camera overlay that calculates the position of major localities in direct reverse of your current position. So what you see, in various degrees of opacity, is a reversed landscape, including cities, continents, and oceans. The app lets you position yourself anywhere in the world, regardless of where you actually are. Transparent Earth is for entertainment purposes, and compass accuracy may be affected by nearby metallic objects or other electronic gear.


An altogether charming and absorbing AR coloring app for kids (and adults who never outgrew their crayon obsession), gives you that old fashioned experience of coloring on paper, and then tops it off with a brand new, utterly rewarding interactive experience. It takes a bit of prep, but the results are worth it. First, you print out a coloring page from the website, which contains a token that works with the app. Some sponsored coloring packs are free, while others are available as in-app purchases. Quiver offers its own free picture pack to get you started.

When a fully colored page is ready, you can watch it come to life through the app with an animation that you can view at every angle. You can even interact with and play games with the characters by touching the screen as well as zoom, play and pause, and capture photos and videos of your creations to share. Sound effects are built into each picture.


It’s time to redecorate and you’re not taking any chances. The Amikasa (free) 3D floor planner employs AR to help you place commercially branded furniture in all the rooms of your home—living room, dining room, bedroom, office, bathroom are included. The app lets you choose your new couch or dining set and play around with different upholstery and pillow patterns and then view how your home looks with the new pieces in place. Sellers can add products to Amikasa with direct links to their website. Not only can you design and view your new home, you can share your floor plan with friends and buy your favorite pieces from within the app.


If you’ve ever contemplated placing permanent ink on your body, you know it’s not for the faint of heart. Tattoos, unlike love or democracy, are forever. InkHunter (free) uses virtual tattoo designs to let you sample what a tattoo would look like on your skin. Just use a pen to draw a square smiley face on any part of your body to mark the spot and the app reads that marker to place your chosen tattoo pattern. You do have to use a pen to draw on your skin, but come on, you’re considering a tattoo, right?

InkHunter offers a gallery of positively stunning professional designs in both monochrome and color, but you can also use the app to try on your own design or search the web for different ones.

Star Walk

Even if you don’t know much about stars and constellations, Star Walk (free) will lure you into its drop dead gorgeous stargazing guide to the night sky. Whether you’re strolling around your campsite, street, or patio, Star Walk delivers a heavenly view in real time with more than 200,000 celestial bodies and information about them.

After launching the app, you can see stars, planets, satellites, and constellations correctly positioned from your location, and you can watch everything refresh and update as you move around. Tapping the AR icon superimposes the sky view on whatever your camera is focused on. Various view modes include Gamma Ray, X-Ray, Night, Visible, Infrared, and Microwave. You can even go backwards and forwards in time. This app also works with Apple Watch.


Think of Wikitude (free) as an AR-infused city guide that shows you a multitude of services, restaurants, parks, and areas of interest wherever you are. Just launch the app, and it will calculate your location and present a choice of featured entries: Wikipedia for the sights and TripAdvisor for the local hot spots.

Once you choose a search category, such as a restaurant—markers representing those vendors appear on screen. Companies can offer search codes that will guide users to an AR experience. A routing feature can map your route to any place found in the app. You can also use Wikitude as a tool to experience special AR content, ad campaigns, promotions, and games.

Dinosaurs Everywhere

This AR app puts some gigantic pre-historic beasts right next to you in real time and in life size, floating them around the room, walking on top of the TV, making fearsome dino noises, and even fighting each other on occasion.

Just hold your iOS device as if you were taking a photo, observe what’s happening in the room, and keep your ears open. There’s no need for any special equipment. The app starts off with five dino species; a paid upgrade gets you five more. Tap the screen to learn fun facts about your dino friends.

We hope you'll check out some of these apps and see how the world of "Augmented Reality" can bring you some useful information, and even some fun!

Why We're Located In The Suburbs

Why We're Located In The Suburbs


Key highlights:
•Easy access from all directions
•Amazing restaurants and entertainment
•So easy to shop for props, food and supplies last-minute

Many times we’ve been asked by prospective clients why we’re not located in a downtown Chicago studio space. It’s always been an interesting question to have asked, because there’s not a simple answer. While downtown Chicago offers many things for photographers and studios, because we’ve work in both environs, we feel like we’re well-prepared to answer this for our prospects.

As many Chicagoans know, the entire area is one, big mass of humanity… of diverse peoples, cultures, types of businesses, and as things change in this “Millennial Era”, it is not a cut & dried solution for a company to simply be “downtown… where the action is”… because frankly, the action is everywhere! 

Our studio and corporate office are located in Schaumburg in the Remington Tech Center. This provides an optimal spot for our group of companies, as we have FoodPhotoStudio.com, CurtisNewbornPhotographic.com, and ObscuraCompanies.com, all located under one roof. Our brands in total provide a complete, turnkey solution for visual imagery and marketing execution, and the services that we provide go well beyond photography. 

Would you like to learn even more about the advantages of working with us? Check out this recent post about “propping”.

So as I close this post, all I can say is that if you’re thinking about food photography, give us a look… and check our blog each month for more about “why” FooodPhotoStudio.com is THE place in Chicagoland for highly creative, cost effective imagery!

Unifest on the River - Chicago Summer Event!

Unifest on the River - Chicago Summer Event!

We love being a Chicagoland company, and being involved in this amazing place we call home. As part of our commitment to promoting the area, we'll from time to time share news and links to cool events and happenings around town.

Unifest on the River

A look at just one part of this amazing walkway...

A look at just one part of this amazing walkway...

Unifest on the River kicks off Thursday, July 13 from 4:30 to 8:30pm on the Riverwalk between Wells and Franklin Streets, with weekly festivals planned every Thursday through August 17. Each event will feature a DJ spinning music from a different country; international beer, wine and spirits; and foreign cuisine. You'll be able to sit by the water and munch on Italian mortadella sandwiches, Swedish meatballs, Chinese chilled noodles, Greek baklava and more.

Click here to see the full lineup of Unifest events, and make your plans to join the fun! 

10 Interesting Facts About The 4th of July

10 Interesting Facts About The 4th of July

The 4th of July holiday commemorates our country’s birthday. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, adopting the final draft of the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming our sovereignty from Great Britain.

There are so many ways Americans commonly choose to celebrate this holiday – from family-friendly festivals, fireworks and parades to feasting on traditional foods like hot dogs and barbecue... but we thought we'd share some fun tidbits that you can share with friends and family during your celebration of this important holiday!

Here are 10 interesting things you may or may not already know about the 4th of July:

1. Initially adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776, the revised version of the Declaration of Independence was not adopted until two days later.

2. The Declaration of Independence was penned by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies. The average age of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence was 45. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest at age 70, and Edward Rutledge was the youngest at age 26.

3. Three U.S. Presidents, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, died on July 4th; Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 while Monroe died in 1831.

4. In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. According to the U.S. and World Population Clock, the nation’s estimated population in July 2017 will be 325.3 million.

5. The country’s 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, was born on Independence Day in 1872.

6. Americans consume about 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day alone; it is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year.

7. Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade and a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks.

8. To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846. To mark the quintessential day, every fourth of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.

9. Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.

10. The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July.

The entire FoodPhotoStudio.com team wishes you the best for a safe & relaxing holiday!

Why we have a full prop room (and why it is so important to clients)

Why we have a full prop room (and why it is so important to clients)

"Why FoodPhotoStudio.com?" First In A Series: PROPS

Key Highlights:

  • Prop rental is expensive
  • Prop stylists charge to select items and return them
  • Sometimes product arrives & it’s not the size or color expected, so you need a plan B, C and D!

How often have you seen a photo of some kind of food, and immediately wanted to take a bite? The importance of portraying “food” in its most delectable form is critical to the success of that product, whether it be for packaging, an advertisement, or even on a menu. But it’s so much more than just properly cooking or preparing the food. The real key to how great a “food photo” looks is the propping. 

In this first in a series of “Why FoodPhotoStudio.com”, we’re taking a look at “propping” and “why” there is such a difference in not only “how” it’s done, but also the most efficient, cost-effective way to go about it.

At FoodPhotoStudio.com, we’re different from most studios in that we have literally thousands of props dedicated to “food photography”, all available to our clients at no additional charge. Why do we do it? Because prop rental can be very expensive, and we’ve found that by providing this vast collection of propping to our clients for free, they reap the benefit of having everything they need, even if there is a last-minute “change of plans” for a shot, plus their photography projects become much more cost effective and time efficient… no running to stores to look for props, or searching online and waiting for props to arrive in the mail for a shoot.

For 40 years we have purchased props and kept half of them to add to the arsenal…giving you more options to select on set.

Plus, we find that clients (art directors, designers, etc.) will come and “shop” our prop room when they are in the planning stages for their shoot. They’ll browse our over 1,500 square foot showroom and get ideas for the propping, and then we can catalog and tag the items we’ll need come “shooting day”, which cuts down on the downtime in studio for our clients. 

And if by chance there is a truly unique prop that you need, and we don’t have it, our team will do the research and shopping for the prop. And by charging a nominal fee for this service, it saves the client time, and then that prop gets added to our collection so that it’s available for them (as well as other clients) for any shoots down the road.

So, if you’re thinking about food photography, give us a look… and check back here each month on our blog for more creative ideas about “why” FooodPhotoStudio.com is THE place in Chicagoland for highly creative, cost effective imagery! Contact us for your no-obligation tour.

Tripods - How To Pick The Right One!

Tripods - How To Pick The Right One!

Our Chief Creative Officer, Curtis Newborn, compiled great details that you can use when shopping for a tripod... read on:

Yes, you need a tripod. Whether you shoot digital, film or video, you need a tripod. That slight blurriness that you sometimes get from your zoom lens (or even from your long-range-zoom compact camera) is not the fault of your camera, it’s the fault of "camera shake". Why do you think shake reduction has become a standard feature on almost every camera or lens these days? Shake reduction is awesome, but only up to a point. Add to your mix a tripod and you have the original—and still most reliable—way to eliminate shaky shots.

Tripods are also great for shooting available-light scenes without a flash, as well as seamless panoramas, fireworks, family portraits (with you in the picture, for a change!), shots of the stars or moon, and dozens of other situations that require long exposures. You’ll also get better, sharper close-up images if you use a tripod, because you can use a smaller aperture and a slower shutter speed without the fear of camera movement.

There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of tripods out there on the market for still and video photography. So how do you narrow down the choice to just what you want? Let’s dive in and take a look at the components that make up a tripod.

Understanding Tripods

There are seven components that make up all tripods:

  • Collapsed size
  • Size
  • Load capacity
  • Head type
  • Feet
  • Leg locks
  • Common material

The more you know about each, the easier it will be to buy the perfect tripod for your picture-taking needs, so read on to better understand the makeup of a tripod:

Collapsed Size – Collapsed Size is how long the tripod measures with everything folded up. This is important especially if you are traveling and need to pack the tripod in a bag. This number will let you know if it’ll fit.

Size – Maximum Height Extension is how tall the tripod will stand when every leg, along with the center post is raised as far as it will go.

Load Capacity – Don’t confuse weight with Maximum Load Capacity. The weight is how much the tripod weighs. The Maximum Load Capacity is the heaviest camera and lens combination the tripod will handle. If you put a camera that’s heavier than the Maximum Load Capacity on a tripod, you run the risk of a piece collapsing, causing damage to both the tripod and the camera. So, it’s very important to know how much your camera weighs with its heaviest lens and flash attached, and then you buy a tripod that is rated to handle that amount of weight.

Head Type – Most tripods come with a head, but it may not be the ideal one for your purposes. The head sits atop the center column, a tube in the center of the tripod’s construction that can be raised and lowered either with a hand crank or via a locking collar.

Feet – Feet come in rubber non-slip (used for most indoor and some outdoor shooting); spike (best for outdoor shooting, the spikes hold the tripod firmly in the ground); and custom (which could be anything, including ball-bearings).

Leg Locks – Leg locks are available in Twist (twist the leg to pull it out, twist it in reverse to lock it in position), Lever (open a lever to pull a leg out, close it to lock it) and custom options.

Common Material – (Which is what most of the tripod is made of) is either plastic (the least expensive, but not very durable), aluminum (inexpensive and most commonly used, but in heavy-duty tripods can add a lot of weight), carbon fiber (a relatively new material for tripods, it’s durable, lightweight, and flexible–ideal for most uses–but it’s expensive), and wood (typically used by nature photographers who don’t mind toting large-format cameras).

So what is the best tripod for you?

While there are many different kinds of tripods, we can divide them into five basic groups: Pocket, Tabletop, Portable, Medium Duty, and Studio Grade. The category names suggest their primary applications. 

Types of Tripods

Pocket Tripods: These can be a real life saver when you’re trying to shoot that impromptu family group picture and want to include yourself in it. Typically measuring less than five inches collapsed, pocket ‘pods slip easily into a bag or waist-pack and are very handy at parties, restaurants, and other places where you may not want lug something bigger. They’ll support the weight of a compact digital camera (be careful not to overload them!). Look for one that has some sort of adjustable head, even if it’s primitive. There are even small tripods that will hold your cell phone camera steady!

Best used for:

  • Self-portraits

  • Group shots

  • Party pictures–with you in them

  • Small, light cameras

Tabletop Tripods: These are excellent for group pictures and other situations where the camera can be positioned on a flat surface other than the ground. They’re light, small, and easy to pack so they’re perfect for travel. Put it on a table, set the self-timer, and you can include yourself in the shot. Or, turn your tabletop tripod sideways and place it against a wall to give you more stability when shooting. And since they hold the camera no more than 12 inches off the ground, they’re great for down-to-earth subjects, including close-up flower photography.

Best used for:

  • Self-portraits

  • Group shots

  • Macro/close-up/nature

  • Small cameras

Travel Tripods: These help raise your camera well off the ground, but collapse to an easy-to-carry size. They’re are great for hiking, biking, and that casual stroll through the nature center. These will support a DSLR with a kit lens, or even a modest zoom lens. Compact video cameras can also be used on these tripods. But be cautious if you use a long zoom, especially if it’s front heavy, as this could cause the camera to tip. Most of these elevate to just below eye-level, but the trade-off is their wonderful portability.

Best used for:

  • Nature

  • Travel

  • Sports

  • Amateur video

  • Small DSLRs

  • Compact cameras

Medium Duty Tripods: This type of tripod fills the gap between lightweight portable jobs and heavyweight studio tripods. They can be used for nature photography (if you have a strong back), portable portrait set-ups, and yes, studio work. The advantage over portable pods is that most models raise to eye level or higher, they are heavier and therefore sturdier. While many come with heads, you can buy some models without a head and then create a custom configuration by buying the head separately.

Best used for:

  • Nature

  • Birding/Wildlife photos

  • Sports

  • Weddings and events

  • Location portraits

  • Macro/close-up photography

  • Medium-format cameras

Studio Grade Tripods: These tripods are exactly that... "pro line" quality and strength. This is the domain of professional photographers who generally buy a specific type of tripod to fit a specific need. They are big, sometimes immovable and nearly always used with a specialized head. They are designed to handle medium- and large-format cameras. But in today's digital era, these tripods are becoming less common.


Best used for:

  • Studio photography

  • Advertising

  • Still life

  • Medium-format cameras

  • Large-format cameras

In Conclusion...

The characteristics listed above are meant to guide you to the right category, thus speeding up your research and shortening the buying process. Additionally, of course, there’s the matter of price… but please don’t let that be your only guide, as a really good tripod will last you a lifetime and deliver you great results.  Good luck, and happy shooting!

The Portillo's Lemon Cake Odyssey


The Portillo's Lemon Cake Odyssey

As a photography partner to Portillo's, the team at FoodPhotoStudio was thrilled to play a small role in the recent "reveal" of their famous "Lemon Cake".  For those of you who may not have heard, a big Portillo's fan launched an Internet campaign recently where he was willing to pay a "bounty" for the recipe to this fables dessert.

We had the awesome chance to be the team that photographed the unveiled dessert treat, and loved seeing this creation splashed all over Chicago area media this week as the announcement by Portillo's was made official.

Portillo's delicious lemon cake!

Portillo's delicious lemon cake!

If you'd like to see Portillo's video and read about the cake, check out their Twitter page. Thanks to the entire crew at Portillo's for continuing to partner with FoodPhotoStudio.com!


Food Photography... Not All Delectable Images Are Created Equal!

Food Photography... Not All Delectable Images Are Created Equal!

Visit any bookstore and check out the cookbook section and you’ll be overwhelmed by the array of books filled with delectable recipes that are accompanied by wonderful photography of the meals that you can prepare.

Colorful stacks of vegetables drizzled with rich sauces on a clean white plate with glistening table settings – you know the shots I'm talking about. Sometimes the photography is almost the true focus of the book, while the recipes take a back seat. But how do someone take photos of food and get such great results? Here's some of the things our team looks at when preparing for any food shoot:


We treat the food we're photographing as we would any other still life subject and ensure that it is well lit. Many of the poor examples of food photography that I’ve come across over the years could have been drastically improved with adequate lighting. One place to photograph food is by a window where there is plenty of natural light – perhaps supported with flash bounced off a ceiling or wall to give more balanced lighting that cuts out the shadows. This daylight helps to keep the food looking much more natural.


Pay attention not only to the arrangement of the food itself but to the context that you put it in including the plate or bowl and any table settings around it. Don’t clutter the photo with a full table setting but consider one or two extra elements such as a glass, fork, flower or napkin. These elements can often be placed in secondary positions in the foreground or background of your shot to add just the right amount of flair.

You Must Be Quick

Food doesn’t keep it’s appetizing looks for long so as a photographer we need to be well prepared and able to shoot quickly after it’s been cooked before it melts, collapses, wilts and/or changes color. This means being prepared and knowing what we want to achieve before the food arrives. One strategy that we use is to have the shot completely set up with props before the food is ready and then substitute a stand-in plate to get your exposure right. Then when the food is ready you just switch the stand-in plate with the real thing and you’re ready to start shooting.

Style it

The way food is set out on the plate is as important as the way we photograph it. We pay attention to the balance of food in a shot (color, shapes etc) and leave a way into the shot (using leading lines and the rule of thirds to help guide our viewer’s eye into the dish). 

Enhance it

One tip that we use is to have some vegetable oil on hand and we brush it over food to make it glisten in our shots.

Get Down Low

A mistake that many beginner food photographers make is taking shots that look down on a plate from directly above. While this can work in some circumstances, such as recipe videos or sheets – in most cases you’ll get a more better shot by shooting from down close to plate level, or slightly above it.

Use Macro

Really focusing in upon just one part of the dish can be an effective way of highlighting the different elements of it.

Make it Steam

Having steam rising off your food can give it a ‘just cooked’ feel which some food photographers like. Of course this can be difficult to achieve naturally. I spoke with one food stylist a few years back who told me that they added steam with a number of artificial strategies including microwaving water soaked cotton balls and placing them behind food. This is probably a little advance for most of us – however it was an interesting trick so I thought I’d include it.

Yes... You Can Print HQ Photos from your Smartphone.

Yes... You Can Print HQ Photos from your Smartphone.

There’s something special about a printed photo. Sure, you can share thousands of photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but none of them will ever be as special as the one photo you hang on the wall in your living room or bedroom.

Today's smartphones have great cameras, and they get better with every generation upgrade. With no tweaking, you’re normally able to print a high-res image that is over a foot wide. With a bit of Photoshop work, you can easily double that, and if you’re prepared to sacrifice some quality, there is really no limit as to how big you can make them. That’s why Apple’s recent “Shot on iPhone” billboard campaign looks so great. Almost every major smartphone comes with a high quality camera, but if you want to print one of those photos, how big can you blow it up? Here are some tips to get the right print for your needs.


As anyone who’s tried to print an image they’ve downloaded from Facebook has discovered, not every photo will print nicely. What looks good on your screen might look blurry or pixelated when blown up to wall size. The problem here is resolution. Every image has a resolution. It’s simply the number of pixels it is wide multiplied by the number of pixels it is tall. The image below is 650 pixels wide and 433 pixels tall; that’s 281,450 pixels in total or 0.28 megapixels (a megapixel is a million pixels). While it looks good on screen, if you tried to print a high-res copy, it would be a whopping two inches wide. This is because high-res printing is done at 300 pixels per inch (PPI).


To find the maximum high-res print size of the images from your smartphone, divide the horizontal and vertical pixel counts by 300. So for example, my iPhone has a 12 megapixel camera. That means any photo taken with it, like the one above, will be 4032 px by 3024 px (provided you’re using the original photo and not one that’s been shrunk or “optimized” for a cloud service). Divide those numbers by 300 and you get 13.44 inches wide by 10.08 inches tall. That’s a pretty decent size canvas!


Now, that rule only applies to smaller photos. Once you get bigger, PPI stops mattering as much. As I explained in my guide to buying your first high quality camera, megapixels don’t really matter when it comes to cameras, because once you get above about 10 megapixels, you can comfortably print a billboard. At 300 pixels per inch, you can put your nose against a print and it will still look good. For small images, this is really important. People want to get close to see everything. For larger images, however, if you get too close, you can’t see everything. Instead, you need to step back. No one (who is sane, that is) tries to put their nose against a billboard to see what it says. You can get away with having a much lower PPI. So if you want to print a bigger image, you have two options: lower the PPI on the print, or artificially increase the image size.


    • Lowering the PPI is the option most printers will take if you ask them to print a large canvas. At 200 PPI, you can print a 12 MP image on a 20.16 inch by 15.12 inch canvas. If you send them a 12 MP photo and ask them to print it on a 20 inch wide canvas, all they will do is print each pixel a little larger. Everything will look good from a few feet away; you just won’t be able to stand as close.



    • While you can just let the printer do their thing, it’s normally better to take matters into your own hands. Why let some stranger make decisions about your images? With Photoshop (or another good image editor), you can increase the size of any image; we’ve looked at how to do it in detail before. Photoshop uses the pixels that are already there to calculate what new pixels should go where. It’s not perfect, but it does a really good job.


I’ve found you can safely double the horizontal and vertical resolution (so quadruple the size of the image) of a good quality file without too much loss of quality. With my iPhone, that gives me prints that are over two feet wide that look good when viewed up close.

The Fun World of Food Photography Terminology

The Fun World of Food Photography Terminology

A Little Context About This Post:

Every industry has its own set of language that makes no sense to those who are unfamiliar. Food photography is no different. There’s all kinds of interesting & unique food photography terms. Some make sense when you think about it. Others, not so much.

Some of Our Most Often Used Food Photography Terminology:

"Stand In Food":  Stand in food is food that you just throw on a plate to rough in your camera angle, your set, your props, and your lighting.  When you have food that will wilt quickly, this is a must.  You can’t rush your set up.  Get everything sorted out with your stand in food.  This term is also used for actors when the huge, famous celebrity isn’t really necessary for the shot.

"Hero Food":  Hero food is the final dish, the perfectly styled dish that will be used as our final shot and given to the client.  When shooting with clients, after the “stand in” is used to set up the shot, we get the “hero” shot done first, and only then do variations if requested, and only if there is time so that we can keep to the schedule.  If you have 6 shots in one day, then you have to break those 6 shots down in your 10-hour day.  Our hero food is also called the “beauty dish” or “beauty shot”.

"Mark The Plate":  There might be other terms for this, but I’ve always told my crew to “mark the plate” before moving anything so that when they take our plate off set, then we will know EXACTLY where it needs to go when it’s brought back in.  You mark your plates with wood blocks or something that will show you where you plate needs to go when you bring it back into the same set. This saves so much time. 

"Spritz It":  When working with food, it’s so important to make sure that no matter what it is, that it doesn’t dry out while it’s on set. Depending on what the food is, it might need a light spray of water from a tiny bottle, or have some oil painted on with a brush.  Either way, the whole idea is to make sure that the food looks fresh, or juicy, or whatever to say it’s fresh.  If it’s a steak, I might say, “Hose it down!”.  Animal proteins really soak up moisture so you really have to make sure you have tons of oil/water on it to keep it looking juicy.

"The Crown & The Heel":  Clients will have their own words for food products.  A common set of food terms for many burger clients is to call the top burger bun the “Crown” and the bottom burger bun  the “Heel”, as it’s much faster to say those words instead of, “get me a new burger bun top”.  The stylist preps the crowns and heels differently depending on how they will be seen in the shot.

"Food Rigging":  Many times with food photography, our food is not doing what we want it to do.  This may require some sort of rigging behind the food or even inside the food to make it stay in the position we want it to be in.  A tiny move one way or another, and unfortunately you can see my rigging, so placement is critical.

"The Martini Shot":  Usually the favorite shot of the day. The martini shot is the last shot of the day or shoot.  Many agencies really expect a dog and pony show.  I always say it’s like a 12-hour party. We make sure that everyone has everything they need throughout the day. This includes food and drinks and there’s always great music playing. We celebrate our martini shot with a drink.  Beer, wine, booze, I make sure we have it there.  It’s a great end to a our shooting day.

To Wrap It Up:

So there you have it!  Terminology that we use in the food photo studio when shooting a variety of projects for clients.  There are many more than what I’ve listed here.  Please leave your comments below with some that you use!

Social Media Is Changing How & Why We Take Photos


Social Media Is Changing How & Why We Take Photos

It's common sense to not post pictures on social media that may convey an irresponsible lifestyle to current or future employers. But there's a subtler dynamic at play we should consider before we upload that beautiful sunset or skyline image. What if the pictures we post that show us in a positive light are damaging in their own right?

A group of German researchers has published a study called "Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users' Life Satisfaction?" It found that one out of three people experienced feelings of jealousy and depression after viewing other people's Facebook pictures. The greatest culprit that bummed out the most people? Vacation shots. For single people in their 30s, happy family pictures made them sad. For women, attractive pics of their female peers made them feel inadequate and invidious.

Posting pictures online is a form of status display. Each says, "Look at how fit and fortunate I am." We never downgrade our status and post pictures of our miserable selves with captions like "Here's me eating a can of tuna fish because I'm broke," or "Here's me alone on my birthday." The worlds of Facebook and other social networks are humble and not-so-humble brag fests of beautifully composed and filtered moments of perfection, a curated hyper reality that true reality has trouble keeping up with.

Our photographic status updates are almost always a way to raise our standing in the eyes of our friends and co-workers, which always means raising our status relative to theirs or even above theirs. It's a form of sharing that excludes. After all, you can only admire the beautiful meal at the three star-restaurant. You can never have a taste. And on some level, the poster is communicating exactly that message to you and inviting your "I hate you so much!" comments.

I believe that all of this is part of a larger and more troubling crisis in our culture—a crisis of happiness. The problem with our hypercompetitive culture is that human happiness risks being reduced to just one aspect of well-being: achievement. When we eat that delicious meal, we need to win at eating that delicious meal and post our achievement online. When we go to Machu Picchu, instead of embracing that trip as a life-enhancing experience, we spend much our time seeing ancient ruins through a camera on our smartphones. Our relationships and parties and concerts are badges to be displayed to our less fortunate peers. Even our charity work and involvement in causes are now ways to publicly display our moral achievements.

When pictures become nothing but badge value and the public exhibition of our personal brand it's not a coincidence that envy and negativity from others will follow. In the end, perhaps the greatest lesson for us, as viewers of other people's photos, is to allow ourselves to truly share in the happiness of the people who count us among their friends, at least nominally. Why not delight in the vacations, family birthdays, personal beauty and culinary adventures of our peers? Why not let our employees share their lives with us, not as possible HR infractions or envy engines, but as evidence that our people are open about their lives, generous in sharing their lives through the creativity of photography and, just maybe, simply happy to be alive?


Combining 3 Great Brands Brings Growth & Expanded Capabilities


Combining 3 Great Brands Brings Growth & Expanded Capabilities

Curtis Newborn, Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Obscura Companies, with brands that include Curtis Newborn Photographic & Obscura Studios, announces the recent merger of FoodPhotoStudio.com into the family of Obscura brands.

“I believe that the combined resources and talent possessed by the team at FoodPhotoStudio.com strengthens and enhances the creative and marketing services that our company can offer to businesses throughout Chicagoland”, said Newborn.

Al MacDonald, the founder of FoodPhotoStudio.com, is bullish on the future of this growing group of companies. "We believe that pooling the expertise of our companies will greatly contribute toward expanding our product offerings and creative services”, stated MacDonald.

FoodPhotoStudio.com is a full service photo studio specializing in food + product photography. With studio space in Schaumburg, Illinois, they are conveniently located adjacent to Woodfield Mall and just off I-90. The 5,400 square foot space includes an office area, client lounge, conference area, massive prop room, studio space, plus a full kitchen and a set wall storage area. The studio space is one large bay capable of easily handling 4 sets. Access for props, sets and supplies is made easy via an overhead drive-in door at the rear of the studio.

The combined staff consists of Curtis Newborn, photographer; Al MacDonald, photographer; Renee Zomaya, Art Director, prop stylist and set designer, and Doug Benson, Sales & Marketing. Additionally, the Obscura Companies bring with it a fantastic partner network of talented food & prop stylists, assistants and set builders, as well as marketers and creative people.

FoodPhotoStudio.com specializes in digital food photography. Our photography team exemplifies the best of innovative visual problem solving, and values strong relationships with top stylists and writers. Our experience with diverse food + product clients gives us the ability to offer you full service capabilities, for both established businesses and new product concepts. FoodPhotoStudio.com is your one-stop source for a broad range of custom visual communications… everything from recipe development and video production, to design and sourcing of retail food packaging.

For more information or to schedule a studio tour, please contact us at info@foodphotostudio.com or call our studio line at 630-283-0038.





With the recent completion of our merger with Obscura, Inc., our Chief Creative Officer, @CurtisNewborn thought it would be a good time to post some thoughts about the best ways to source food photography. His post is below:

If you own or manage a food-related business like a restaurant, candy company, or even a bakery, sooner or later, you’re going to need some food photography for your marketing. And if you don’t mind your photos looking like every other item out there, you might be able to buy stock photography online. But if you want truly unique photos to promote your business, you’ll want to hire a high quality, professional food photographer.

Hiring a food photographer can be an expensive endeavor and if you haven’t done it before, the process can be a bit daunting. Being a photographer, I’ve seen this process a hundred times, only from the “other side”. That’s why I’m taking the time here to share my experience. I’m hoping that I can help educate you and maybe relieve the anxiety associated with buying food photography for the very first time.

There are several things to consider when hiring a food photographer. The main thing is, you want to understand the type of food photography you need and you want to find a photographer that actually does “food” and has a portfolio to show you. Additionally, there’s that pesky thing called a budget to consider.


Before you get too far into your search, you’ll need to give some thought as to what kind of food photography you actually need. Do you need photos for a magazine spread, for a billboard, or maybe some photos for your menu or packaging? You will want to give this some thought because it will determine what kind of photographer you look for.


If you haven’t hired a food photographer before, you may not realize that there are different types of shooters. Most food photographers are usually either editorial shooters or advertising specialists. While some food shooters will be able to create photos of different styles, you might want to look for someone that naturally shoots in the style you’re looking for. You will be able to tell a lot by looking at the photographer’s portfolio. For example, if you’re looking to do some packaging photography and all you see on the photographer’s site, are “directly overhead" photos, maybe they are not the best person to shoot your packages. That particular photographer might shoot mostly magazine spreads, but wouldn’t have the first clue about shooting for advertising purposes.


If you need to shoot at your restaurant or at some location, any food photographer that has the style you need, might do, but if you need to shoot in a studio, you’ll need a photographer that has a studio. Sounds pretty obvious, but that’s something to consider.


Just because you “Google”, “food photographer Chicago”, doesn’t mean you’re going see a list of the best photographers that shoot food in the Chicago area. What you will find is a ranking of the photographers with the best SEO in the city. It will give you a way to find related web pages, and will give you a good place to start, but I have an even better suggestion for you to make your search time more efficient. Go ahead and Google that same phrase, but instead of looking through all those websites, click on the “images” option at the top of Google’s returns. Since food photography is a “visual” thing, you will be able to see hundreds of food photographer’s images. Simply click on the photos you think best match your needs, and that will take you to the photographer’s webpage, where you will be able to see more pics. It’s a really good shortcut.


Once you find the food photographer that best suites your needs, you’ll want to contact them and discuss your project. A little warning here. You’re going to want a price of some kind, but the photographer is going to need the answers to a lot of questions. Most food shooters end up charging for their time, in one way or another, so the photographer will want to determine how long the shoot will take to complete. Besides time, there may be other expenses involved that may sway the price quite a bit. Here are some of the questions you may need to answer:

* How many and what type of food photos do you need?

* What type of backgrounds and props will you need?

* Will there need to be a food stylist involved in the shoot?

* How will the photos be used?

* Where will the photography take place?

* Do you have a budget number you need to work within?

* How soon would you like to shoot this?

* Who will supply the food?

* Will there be an Art Director?

* Are there any existing layouts?

These are just a few of the questions that a quality food photographer will have for you. Because of these variables, most food photographers do not have a set “per shot” price, so each individual estimate will be different and based on your specific needs.


Finding the right photographer for your food photo needs is not going to be an easy task, but with a little patience and a little hard work, you should be able to find someone that’s a great fit for your project. If by chance you’d like to chat, drop me a quick note.



1 Comment


Choosing which food blogs to follow can be overwhelming. Scrolling through all those recipes and mouthwatering photos would take eons. And deciphering nutrition fact from fiction and personal anecdotes from expert-backed advice is no easy task. That's why in today's blog post I'm highlighted some of the most helpful, beautiful, and professional-level sources on the Web.

As a food photographer, I often find myself researching trends and new dishes as a means of guiding clients when planning a shoot. But these blogs can also be helpful in making us healthier, which in turn can lead to personal and professional happiness. The blogs that I've linked to below contain out-of-this-world recipes, insightful posts on nutritional trends, and realistic, easy-to-use tips to help you eat smarter—whether you're vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or just happen to love food.

So here’s a look at some of the top blogs out there that foodies will find delightful:


A self-taught cook, Sarah Britton started blogging in 2007 to share her knowledge of holistic nutrition. (She attended the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto.) She's passionate about whole and vegan food—and creates mouthwatering recipes that prove it. You'll find everything from chunky chocolate buckwheat granola to sweet potato noodle soup. I love that you can also pick recipes by season.


Few things are more disappointing than finding what seems like the perfect recipe only to click and learn that it has more than 20 ingredients, several of which you've never heard of. True to its name, Minimalist Baker keeps things simple by sticking to 10 ingredients or less and limiting cooking time to 30 minutes at the most. And a BIG bonus is that the recipes are anything but boring! From General Tso's tofu stir fry to spicy buffalo chickpea wraps to toasted coconut pancakes, this culinary duo really knows how to pack tons of flavor into simple and oh-so-delicious dishes.


In 2015, Gena Hamshaw changed the name of her blog from Choosing Raw to The Full Helping. Now she posts recipes that are less extreme, although she is still inspired by her raw food background. Check out her gluten-free plum and blackberry crisp or her totally addictive creamy cashew carrot dressing and quinoa bowl. She's a certified nutritionist, and brings lots of nutritional wisdom to the kitchen. She is also candid about being in recovery from anorexia and orthorexia and uses her site to encourage others to heal their broken relationship with food (often through plant-based diets).


Raw almond chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin spice latte granola, vegan tofu and cashew fried rice—workout fuel has never looked so good. Written by an avid triathlete and certified trainer, Running on Real Food covers nutritionally dense foods and fitness in a relatable way. Best of all, the author's healthy-eating philosophy is an open door: "There's no right or wrong way to eat healthy... We're all different with different nutritional requirements; however we all need to eat whole, nutritious foods. Start there," states the author. I couldn't have said it better myself.


Julia Gartland combined her passion for photography with a quest to heal her health on her blog Sassy Kitchen. Due to digestive issues, she experimented with raw and vegan diets before landing on one that was gluten-free. Now she's on the lookout for gluten-free versions of everything, like this raspberry cornmeal muffin recipe. We love that you can search her recipes by diet needs (there are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options), as well as meal type and season.

Let me know if you have any favorite food blogs out there... post a comment here or tweet me @CurtisNewborn

1 Comment



Take a look at yourself in the mirror and notice how your eye fixates on the mirrored image of yourself? Now stop looking at yourself and look at the glass because this is the future! Photography has come a long way and through its many developments one thing has always stayed true – the camera... but what would happen if the camera was taken away? Would you still call it photography?

I believe in the future there will be a decline for the need for a photographic print. As technology increases and the tech savvy teens of the future rely on digital technology for everything, we may very well see the humble printed image appearing in another form. More on that later though,  let me take you to the future now…


Imagine a house in 100 years, compared to our existing hardened clay structures it would be far more advanced. Picture a house made of glass, not just any glass though. Imagine a glass house where the roof or walls would become see-through... and with a touch, gesture or voice command you could make an image appear from floor to ceiling, essentially creating a non-see-through wall. The one large panel (and entire house for that matter) would be touch sensitive, you could let your children write on the wall without causing any dramas. Everything would be linked to your universe (bigger and more connected than the current cloud) so whatever you share, write, touch or even record would be stored in your universe. You would even be able to change the texture, color and imagery which appeared on the wall without having to paint. There’s no doubt my house would include a feature wall of a slow-moving waterfall scene. What would yours feature?


Okay so I got side tracked, what does this have to do with photography, you ask? Well, with all this surface space in our “future abode” our photos wouldn’t need to be carried around with us any longer. A human would only need to walk to a piece of glass (aka “a wall"), touch it or talk to it to sign in and presto, their digital life is literally in front of them. With current developments of Willow glass being produced by Corning, it seems it’s a stepping stone in this direction. Willow glass is so flexible it can be manufactured roll to roll, opening up quite a few new possibilities. Recently, a fascinating profile about the possibilities of this innovative material was published, and you can read it here.


I love contemplating the future, and all that it holds in terms of challenges, innovations, and yes, fun… let me know your “future thoughts” on any subject, whether it be photography, marketing, design or simply how we’ll make our own fun in the 22nd century!