Ever wondered how some famous restaurants decorate their menus with such appetizing photographs of their dishes or how cookbooks have carefully curated photos of food in them? Here are some tips and tricks for you to take equally scrumptious photographs of your next dish!
Like most photography, lighting is key. Good lighting would clearly show your object and highlights the important aspects of it as well. For food photography, the lighting doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need a single strong light source. You can use natural lighting by placing your food by a window on a nice sunny day. The daylight would give your food a natural glow! Additionally, you use a flash bounced off a white wall to balance the lighting and get rid of any shadows in the picture. However, daylight can be a little tricky to catch so if you’re really serious about your food photography, get some proper lighting equipment installed.
When it comes to plating your food, less is more! Don’t put too much on the plate, it would seem too messy and lose focus on the star of the dish. A good plate would feature the main component but also capture the distinct features of other ingredients as well. A white plate always works best for food photography. Leaving spaces on your plate would create a good contrast between your food and the background. But be sure to clean it and not leave any stains on the side!
An important aspect often overlooked is the surrounding of your food. Don’t just focus on the plating and arrangement, your table setting matters as well. Take into consideration where your plate or food is being placed. Would it fit better on a wooden table? Or a patterned table cloth. You can include other props such as a fork, napkin or a simple decorative table piece. Some of these elements can be positioned in the background or foreground of your photograph.
Varying your angle would highlight different aspects of your food. Taking a shot head on might not be flattering so you might want to position your camera at different angles or distances to create different effects. (Useful/Interesting for target audience) Your choice of camera angle would create a sense of depth, perspective, and scale. A trick is to first know what you’re using your food photograph for. A photo that will be used for a recipe cookbook might need to be taken from a further distance as opposed to one that will be used as a cover for the cookbook itself.
One trick most professional food photographer’s use is to always have vegetable oil on hand! You can use it to brush over your food to give it a little shine.
Most food photography projects are DIY. For smaller projects, you can use these tips to curate the best photos for your café menus or use them on your website or marketing collaterals. However, for best results, it is usually advisable to hire professional photographers in order to ensure the best results. While photographers are easily reachable, one that is skilled in food photography maybe hard to find. You can one that suits your business here.
But you’re already a pro, try your skills out on some food photography projects. You can easily lend your services to businesses who need your expertise. Check out some photography projects that match your skill set!
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