Nobody doubts that food photography is challenging. What can be harder than shooting a mess of veg, meat and something else hard to distinguish to make it look nice🍲? Just kidding 😃. However, many foods look good in real life but not so good on the picture. Professionals know what to do and today we share some tips on it.
Use one light source (window)
Usually, there are windows in the dining areas and restaurants. So grab your plate and rush to the window. Carefully, don’t splash out the food 🙃. The diffused natural light will soften harsh shadows and create dimensions. Your food on the plate will expose all its textures and colors. If the sun shines too directly and powerfully, you can use a bounce card.
If you happen to shoot food at a studio, make sure you're using a softbox or any other diffusor to mimic the soft natural light.
Choose the right angle
Do you want to shoot a flat lay or bring your camera close to the surface and shoot from the low angle? Bear in mind the story you want to tell 🤓. The food should look good, but different dishes demand a different approach. Some foods like a restaurant dish will look awesome when you shoot from a distance and show the tableware, and others like grains come out the best when shot from a very close perspective. Experiment with different angles, and you might be surprised.
Set up the right depth of field
It’s natural to shoot as wide as possible when using natural light. At f1.8 to 2.8 you will have a nice bokeh and sharp-looking ‘main character.’ But what if you need more of the background details in focus? In this case, narrowing the depth of filed will help. Depending on the concept of the picture, decide which would work better for you. If you shoot multiple objects, make sure your focus doesn’t fall off the front ones unless you want to show some other details. You can use bracketing to have several choices and avoid reshooting the dish.
Make it vibrant
It’s always good to have a food stylist but if you don’t, try to make the right composition yourself. First, use tweezers when putting food on a plate to put it precisely in the right place, take away all unnecessary crumbs and drops (actually, that’s why they use the tweezers — to avoid all unnecessary crumbs and drops). Also, use foods of different but matching colors—red and green peppers, cherry tomatoes, yellow corn, etc. It will help in case the dish is pale itself 🍽.
Use nice props
Everybody wants to see a story behind the shot. If you add some appropriate objects referring either to the cuisine the dish comes from or things it’s associated with, it will work well. Props create the atmosphere, add some aura and mood. Just don’t exaggerate because the primary focus should be on food.
Human models (though animals sometimes work well too) can make your photo look much more interesting. Sometimes just hands or some other body parts can add dynamics to your shot. Just remember you don’t want to shift the focus from the food to the person.
Use the right filters
Excellent composition and the nice-looking food is the most important in food photography, but you shouldn’t underestimate the post-production. Lightroom or Photoshop presets would ease this process for you and make your food photography look stylish and cool.
Photos: libbyvision.com, pexels.com, 1zoom.me, engagelive.co, ibakeheshoots.com