Simple Food Photography Tips for Beginners

by Tristan Taylor July. 28, 2016 2650 views

Nowadays, cooking is increasingly being added to the list of hobbies for many homeowners. With amateurs whipping up delicacies with everyday kitchen supplies, food photography has turned out to be one of the most popular trends in every household. This particular field of photography has expanded from dishes served at restaurants to the ones being plated at home.

However, photographing food is not as easy as it seems. It involves a lot of techniques and it requires enough creativity to make the pictures stand out.

The good news is, these techniques are not difficult to master. Let's find out how you can excel as a food photographer.

Natural Light is Your Ally

Needless to say, light is one of the most important factors of a photograph. When it comes to photographing food, it is important to make the dish look appetizing. There can be nothing better than an adequate dose of natural light to do the trick.

  • Shooting in direct sunlight isn't a good idea since it can ruin the photo. Instead, find a spot near the window that is not exposed to direct sunlight but enjoys the benefit of the natural light.

  • An effective way to create indirect light is by hanging a white sheet in front of the window. This will diffuse the light.

  • You can consider shooting in different rooms to capture varying qualities of light.

  • It is wise to avoid flash since it can adversely affect the image quality.

  • Lighting the subject from its back may generate an interesting effect.

Find the Right Angle

While photographing food, it is essential to make the outcome look interesting. A large part of this lies on the angle you choose to photograph the subject. For example, while a dish with colorful ingredients may look appealing when photographed from the top, a stack of pancakes may require a lower angle to portray the height.

How can you determine the best angle?

Think of the various aspects of the food you are going to photograph – it's height, width, shape, ingredients etc. In short, determine what's unique about the food. That is exactly what you are going to highlight in your photograph. The next step is to place your camera in a way that enhances these characteristics.

The best way to accomplish this is by shooting the food from different angles and then choose the one that that brings out the best in the subject.

Choose the Right Props

A good photograph is the sum of its components. Even the props you choose for your food photography can enhance or ruin your shot significantly. For example, the choice of cutlery, tablecloth, plates etc. is crucial to the outcome of the shot.

  • It is always wise to use clean plates and cutlery. Stay away from patterned plates to remove distractions.

  • You can use raw ingredients as props. Get creative with the placement and usage of props.

  • You can consider varying the background to set the right mood for the food photograph. You can choose between a vibrant or a subdues one depending on the subject.

Keep in mind that the food is the hero of the picture. Your props should not take away the attention from it but highlight it instead.

Accurate Camera Settings Matter

First of all, you do not need an expensive camera to shoot stunning photos of food. Even cameras that smartphones are equipped with can do the trick. If you plan on using a DSLR, choosing the right settings is important.

While the automatic mode allows the camera to choose the optimum shutter speed, ISO settings, aperture, white balance etc., the manual mode can be the best choice since it allows you to make the call. However, for that, you should have a thorough knowledge of the camera settings. If you live in Dubai, enrolling in photography workshops in Dubai can acquaint you with the basic skills.

Each of these settings depends on the condition you are shooting in and the level of contrast and quality you wish to achieve. For example, a low-light situation calls for a high ISO and a wide aperture to let enough light in to illuminate the photo.

Using a sturdy tripod is recommended since this will bring in a certain level of sharpness to the photo.

These tips can help you take stunning photographs of food.

Food Photography

Food Photography

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Helen Hooker 4 years, 9 months ago

Very useful advice - thanks for sharing

4 years, 9 months ago Edited