I love creating garden food set-ups from scratch. For some reason, seeing a green bokeh behind my food subjects with a hint of sunlight was the reason I shifted from artificial to ambient lighting in the first place.
When Red Mango got me to shoot their new chocolate waffles and hot chocolate drink last July, I was so giddy to create a garden inspired concept for it. We did the shoot in their Mall of Asia branch so there was already sufficient light to work with. But being the perfectionist that I was, I decided to work outside, along the balcony, to get the best flow of natural light. The guard was pestering me to hasten my pace. He gave me only 15 minutes to shoot since the shooting permit only specified that we shoot in-store.
As always, my garden set-up is comprised of fake leaves and flowers. I wish I lived in Provence, where the prettiest flowers bloom right along the side-walk. I honestly hate using fake leaves because they tend to have this ugly sheen once exposed to light. But here in the Philippines, where I'd have to go all the way to Dangua to get the cheapest and freshest flowers, I am happy that fake plants exist to make my life a hell of a lot easier. They're not only cheap, but reusable too!
Yellow and Green! These two colors never fail me. Whenever people ask me about how I pair up my props when shooting food, I have one rule of thumb. Pick one color from the food item, and use that as either a base or accent color for your props. Match that color with another color that compliments it, and you have your set! In this shot, I picked the yellow from the mango as a base color, and the green worked as a great accent.