Food photography is a continuous learning journey. Despite being a food writer for more than 8 years, I am still learning how to create better food images everyday for my readers and social media followers. Here are some useful tips if you are looking to start your food photography journey!
1) It Is All About Lighting
It may sound obvious, but this is probably rule number one for me. Lighting affects your image, and having a good dose of bright natural light beats shooting a dish in warm, dim lighting. One of the accessory I always have with me if I know I am going to shoot in the evening or in a dim restaurant is an external light.
2) Background Matters
Your focus may be on a dish, but every aspect from the utensils to the colour of the table matters as it affects the contrast of the final image. For food photography at home, one of the most useful must have for me is the photo studio background where you can literally choose from various backgrounds to work on your image. My base pick is to at least own a neutral backdrop colour like the light grey background used in the below image, which accentuates the vibrancy and contrast of the mix of dishes here.
3) Choose The Right Props
It is easy for a food image to be dull if the texture of the dish is flat in nature. Take pizza as an example, which is arguably not the most exciting dish to capture on a table for me. However, the addition of props like flowers or a plant in the backdrop just adds much more character to the otherwise mundane image.
Another prop I personally like is wooden utensils, plates or bowls.
Finding the best prop often also means making full use of what you have in your house, and who says you can’t have your dessert shot on your bedsheet?
4) Add A Human Touch To Your Image
Dishes are dead, I mean literally so. It can be boring after awhile if your dishes lack a human touch element. Take the two steak images below as an illustration – do you prefer the image with the hands or without?
5) Create Your Personalised Story Through Your Food Image
Another way to make your image stand out is to attempt to tell a story unique to your own experience. I took the below shot during a visit to the Christchurch Farmers’ Market while I was in New Zealand, and this simple image of a sausage kiosk portrays the atmosphere of a buzzing scene which others can relate to.
Do you have other food photography tips to share? Leave us a comment!
Ranted by The Ranter