Food Photography: Zeppole, St. Joseph’s Day Traditional Italian Pastries

The subject of this new photo shooting is a dessert that takes me back in time to my childhood, when the days leading up to Father’s Day, the house was filled with a sweet scent of hot beignets and custard. I’m talking of “Zeppole di San Giuseppe”, delicious baked buns (also fried), filled with custard and decorated with icing sugar and cherry.

A pastry for daddy

According to tradition, these creamy donuts, are served on St. Joseph’s day, when Italy is celebrating Father’s Day. The days before this celebration, in my native village, Mola di Bari, in almost all the houses are already beginning to prepare the donuts, and local bakeries are full.

I’m lucky to have an amazing chef, my mom, and for my photo shooting I used the Zeppole di San Giuseppe prepared right from her.

The photography set

I made this photo shooting directly at my parents’ house, so in a situation of natural light coming from a window door and using, as a support, the dining table.

No flash, no artificial light have been used to achieve these shots.

The background

The basic idea was to get a natural shooting and warm, rustic, simple, home-style atmosphere. So I have used as the background of a beautiful texture of aged wood panel, and a cutting board, also old and with many cuts and signs of wear.

The light

As said before, I do not like artificial light, especially for the food, because it would make it cold and not appealing.
As the main source I used the wonderful natural light through a glass door and,  to open the shadows, in the opposite position, an A3 panel covered with aluminum foil.

The equipment

The camera used is a Canon 5D Mk III and as lens, I used always and only the Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro, being the subject small and full of texture and details. I prefer to use the tele objective also to flatten the perspective and have a more ‘pleasant blur.

And here is the final result:


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