The greatly outstanding arena of photography is food photography. This is a relatively fascinating composition in generating tremendous images of food in the most excellent curve. Usually, the photographs are going to be published in recipe books or cookbooks, cooking magazines, newspapers, as well as menus.
Therefore, standing skilled in this certain type of commercial photography will help you a lot to earn a huge amount of money. In this article, you can find some useful tips to produce great quality pictures in food photography.
So you’re about to jump into the world of food photography. Here are my 5 top starters to get you on your way to shooting fantastic food shots!
Table of Contents
1. Good Lighting
Food photography, well any photography is all about good lighting. Good lighting doesn’t mean that you go out and buy 2 studio lights, a beauty dish, a few softboxes, etc. Most of the time great lighting comes naturally, so find a nice window, one that isn’t bringing in harsh light (overcast days work best for me), and then set up as usual. Unfortunately for those who have to shoot at night, lights are your only option but if you can choose, keep them during the day.
Diffuse, bounce, do what you must to get the best lighting result. You’ll be surprised how a few adjustments can make highlights come to life. I usually carry 2-3 whiteboards with me to bounce light and a portable mirror. It’s surprising how handy they can come in.
2. Props and Arrangement
The thing I love most about food photography, as opposed to say wedding photography, is that food never complains about having a bad side. It doesn’t move, it just sits there, but you still have to work it. Take a slice, gather the food bits together, pour it, change it up and add the right props to change it up each time.
Select props that complement in color and style. You want the food to be the hero, and the props are there as “backup singers”. The rule I also keep in mind is less is more, so don’t overcomplicate it if you don’t have to.
3. Great Attention To Detail
So food doesn’t move, that doesn’t mean that you don’t act fast. Usually, you only have only a few minutes before the food starts to “weep” as I call it. It sags and loses its life. Get up close, zoom in, take a few shots, adjust, take a few more, just make sure you work quickly. Remember to make the food the focus and use everything that’s around to compliment it. You have to be a devil with the details. I hear some people say “but I can Photoshop it later”, but where’s the skill in that. If you’re going to do food photography, do it well and do it with excellence. Now that’s a true skill.
4. Make It Pop, And Cheat If You Must
One thing you have to remember with food photography is that you don’t have to eat it, it just has to look good. This gives you the excuse to prepare food different from the way it would be cooked – and food stylists do exactly that. Enhance grill marks with a blow torch, add cotton balls for a bit of steam, give it a bit of shine with vegetable oil, you can even use glue for milk (though I must admit I’ve never done that one)
5. Bag Of Goodies
You’re only as good as the tools you carry, so a nice set of lenses is imperative. Usually, a good 50mm or 35mm lens (f1.8) will work great on an entry-level DSLR. Taking a step up, a 50mm (f1.4) lens or even a 100mm Macro lens is perfect for food. They shouldn’t break the bank and usually, 1 or 2 jobs should easily cover the costs (especially if you’re going with the 50mm f1.8 (cheapest Canon lens ever though a little plastic)
6. Shooting from a Lower Angle
The most common angle used in this genre is from pointing down 45-degree angles. It may result in an attractive and interesting shot, but you will have an ordinary photo since a lot of people also do the same way. Therefore, try to take some pictures from different lower angles. It will make your shots unique and different. Besides, the density, as well as the height of the food, will be clearer if you take the picture from lower angles. The vastly important thing is never to take a picture from above. It will ruin the quality and the glamour of one shot.
7. Cropping the Image Tightly
In this certain genre, cropping a photo more and more makes it look better. The food will look more tactile with a tight crop photo. Besides, cropping also helps you to simplify the shot. Even very small details of the foodstuff could be visible by cropping the shoot. You can easily show the size of the chunks, the coldness of the food items, the quality of the sauce, and more. The closer shot and the bigger size of the item, the more appealing your photograph will be.
8. Get Right Background and Things in Your Shot
Do not forget about the background. Even the most beautiful object will look so ordinary if you are careless about the background. Commonly, a clean white surface is chosen to be the background of any food item since this color is suitable for various colors on the captured food. Meanwhile, color papers, as well as upside-down color glasses, will be a great option for any roasted food or appetizers. You have to fully realize which one you need and you do not need to focus.
Those are some of the most useful tips on food photography that might help you a lot to produce great quality food pictures. Now, you are ready to take pictures of the sweet cupcakes or the delicious burger perfectly.