Food Photography. This is one of those styles of photography that makes your mouth water, your eyes big, and your stomach growling. But it’s also one of those styles of photography that takes much planning, research, and ‘tricks of the trade’ to make your photos look their best. But what if you could find one short article that could give you some simple tips to take your food photography from 2 stars, up to 5 stars? This, we hope, is one of those articles.
So, let’s break it down into a few tips on how to get better food photos. And of course, it all begins with choosing the food itself.
Before beginning your photo shoot, you must keep in mind the food is your subject. Making the food look its best, just like any model, is the most important thing. But in this case, you are able to make wise decisions on your ‘model’ and make it look its best. This brings us to the ingredients. Choose these wisely. You want to pick the most healthy, colorful and delicious looking items that will make your photo more mouthwatering. Keep in mind while you are looking for items, that a plate containing colored vegetables and/or meat are much more appealing in a light-colored sauce.
Dress Your Food
Now, we don’t mean to literally dress your food, but creating a focal point, and building the food to look its best is the goal here. Adding a little ‘bling’ to your food such as a few leaves of herbs or a spoon of sour cream to a soup will add some life to your dish making all the difference. Also, don’t forget that a knife or spoon can make the food appear more exciting. It allows the viewer to imaging themselves reaching in, grabbing that spoon, putting it in the soup, and taking a taste!
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
Food photography needs the best lighting possible just like a headshot. Sometimes just utilizing a nice light coming through a window and bouncing more light back with a reflector may be all that you need. If you are working indoors with no windows, picking the correct temperature of light will also impact your work. If you are photographing ice cream, shooting with halogens instead of fluorescents may not be a good choice.
The food obviously needs to looks its best, but what happens when it comes down to plating the food. Picking the correct plate can change how the food is perceived. A simple dish may not be noticed if you pick a ‘busy design’ plate. Instead, go with a simple white plate. That way, your food will appear to be more rich in color. According to Dreamstime, some food looks better on a blue or yellow background. But always remember – your food is your subject. If it is a modern meal, make sure the plate/dish complements the food.
Make it Juicy
Food photography needs that extra punch sometimes – that extra juicy look or that extra freshness. Little secret is to dab some oil on the surface of the food. It will allow the light to reflect the surface differently and make your food look even better!
The Edible Angle
Obviously, you want your food photography to appear appetizing. You want your viewers to have that moment when looking at the food and imagine themselves diving in for a bite. So of course, there is nothing more important than the angle you capture the food at. Just like any subject, there is a good side and a bad side – the same goes with food. Pick an angle that shows the texture or details that make your mouth water.
The Macro Angle
There is nothing better than that special lens that will allow you to get up-close-and-personal with your food. Investing in a Macro lens will allow you to get those shallow depth of field shots and really zoom in on the detail shots of your food. Let’s say you are photographing strawberries. Get up close to the strawberry and focus on the seeds of the berry. That texture and detail can enhance the appearance of the strawberry and make it look even more delicious than it may taste.
We hope you found the tips above useful and can apply them to your photography. Always remember, your food photography is just as important is shooting a client – make it look its best, light it properly, and capture it in a way that when you are reviewing the photos, your mouth will water!
“5 Tips to Take Food Photos Good Enough to Eat” by Samantha Murphy on August 11, 2012 for Mashable.
“5 Tips for Delicious Food Photos” by Aimee Baldridge on August 28, 2012 for Mashable.