If you look online on your social networks such as Facebook and Twitter you will often see your friends and colleagues posting pictures of their food concoctions in a proud display. With a few easy tweaks your food photography can stand out from the crowd with ease. Food photography can be simply beautiful in its simplicity. Just look at any of the popular celebrity cookbooks on the market and you can start to appreciate the beauty of food photography. So let us go through the top food photography tips to improve your photos.
Use good props
Many people get carried away with the actual piece of food itself. You need to think about the background as well. Having a beautiful cupcake on a dirty baking tray is not going to cut it.
Make sure the work surface the food is on is clean, or the plate or bowl. You do not want the photo to look cluttered either, you need to go for the minimalist approach. You don’t want ingredients everywhere or lots of cutlery. Perhaps some nice compliments such as a napkin, flower or a glass placed strategically In the background.
Lighting is of utmost performance in all types of photography and it is no different here with food photography. Lighting can make or break a photo, many of the ones taken by your friends on social networks are guilty of bad lighting. Try where possible to use natural light rather than relying on your camera flash. Try and do it by a window for best results. Daylight also makes the food look much more natural compared to the blur of a flash.
Many people who photograph food do so from above, in other words an aerial view of the food. While this can be useful for some shot it is not ideal for most and leaves the photo looking amateurish. Get down low to take the shot and get in close to the food with the camera. Just make sure that the shot is executed well, for best results you could even use a tripod to get rid of any potential wobbliness.
Set the mood
If the food you are taking a shot if is meant to show that it has come out of the oven then take the shot with some steam rising from the dish or plate. This gives it a really great authentic feel to the photo. Look at those celebrity cookbooks again and you will see a lot of this. If you are going to take a photo of a piece of food that has been out of the oven for a while but still wish to achieve the same effect of steam rising, there are a few ways to accomplish this. You can microwave water-soaked balls of cotton wool which although is strictly speaking cheating it is very effective in trying to achieve that perfect shot of your roasted leg of lamb.
Guest post by Jamie Knop for Digital Exposure.
I would add that when lighting food with a window or otherwise, try to light from the rear and bring up the shadows in the front a little with white foam board or card stock. If you can rake the light across the food from a low angle, you add texture.
I wonder if a macro lens is recommended for this type of photo?