I've been asked to provide a thumb nail sketch of HOW I shot the following food shot, I hope this answers the questions..
The client for this was a regional bakery, who produces several types of pre-made pastries for sale in the bakery sections of their stores, so accuracy was very important to the client. They choose the product, background (in this case a red table cloth) and wanted print ready output.
The equipment used was;
Canon 7D w/ 24-105 L
Pocket Wizard radios,
White Lightning Ultra strobes
Custom 5' softbox
Several reflectors, etc
We were supplied with 12 pastries to choose the very best to shoot. We had several that had cracks in the crust, some had fallen fruit but most looked pretty good to the stylist.
We started with several shots at various f-stop's to get the right target exposure, once we had that dialed in we used a storyboard to "pose" the final product, take a few shots and send them to the client for quick approval.
They requested that the image be cleaned up in PS but not greatly altered so that it looked "phony" to the buyer. We added highlights to some of the fruit, took out all the cracks in the crust, smoothed the custard, and removed some of the small furry bits on the strawberries.
The first image is a jpeg directly from the RAW file. This un-retouched and fairly rough compared to the final which is the next image. In the end the client was very pleased, the image was used in a mass mailing piece.