A couple hours of reading and video watching and I was again struck by just how specialized everything can get. One video of a professional studio shoot showed a poor dish completely surrounded by a multitude of lights, mirrors, modifiers, and seemingly anything else that could be mounted on a boom arm and thrust in that direction. Couple that with the food stylists and assistants, and things began bordering on ridiculousness. I certainly respect the attention to detail required for superior quality, but I came to the conclusion that (1) I don't have all that stuff, (2) I'll be on location during business hours, and (3) I'm not getting paid enough to spend two hours setting up for one picture.
It aint gonna make the cover of Bon Appetit, but I got by on natural light and was in and out pretty darn quick. Hopefully the magazine's regular photographers keep being unavailable so I get thrown more opportunities for new things (and free post-shoot cocktails).