Food is great! We all love it because there is such a wide variety and choice it means there is something for everyone.
What is not always so great is photographing it to make it look as amazing as it tastes.
It can be hard to do justice to food in the 2-dimensional confines of a photo – after all, it is really a pleasure that should be appreciated using all 5 of your senses.
If you have food products that need photographing, then often you want to picture them outside – as well as inside – their packaging and containers.
So here are 5 quick tricks than you should know about food product photography.
1. Give ice cream the cold shoulder
Ice cream can be a challenge to shoot but fear not – with a few simple techniques you can be a frozen dessert master.
If you are photographing ice cream, then don’t just snap it in its container. It’s never served that way and is not how customers imagine it when thinking ‘ice cream’. In other words – it won’t appeal.
So grab a few scoops and get shooting! Here’s the trick: scoop your product out of the box in advance and keep it on dry ice.
When you are ready to shoot, position the ice cream and clear the ‘smoke’ (vapour) with gentle blowing through a straw just before you start taking pictures.
If you blow a little longer, you can make the ice cream start to melt and drip, as above.
2. Chill out with fruit and salads
If you are photographing simple ingredients, as above, then use some presentation flair. Which looks better? A whole lemon and lime, or this photo?
Think about the display aspect of some of your more ‘mundane’ items.
And if you have greenery to photograph – remember this: your greens will look much greener if you soak them in ice-cold water just before the photo is taken.
Have your bowl of iced water standing by, drop them in for just a few minutes, carefully shake them dry and you are good to go.
3. Sauce bottle success
We have a separate article on advice for photographing glass, so we won’t delve into that topic here, but do check it out for further tips on photographing bottles.
One quick tip which Splento photographers were using just this week* is this: when you are photographing any kind of sauce bottle – give it a quick shake before you start shooting!
As demonstrated by this image, it coats the inside of the bottle and is far more photogenic than a not-quite full bottle with an air gap at the top.
Bonus tip: If you are shooting in a restaurant and the tables have half-used sauce bottles on them, remember the same trick there too! Unless, for some reason, ‘half-empty’ is the look you want.
(*yes, we can – and are – doing product photography during the current lockdown restrictions; it’s all done completely safely and means you don’t have to hold up your business or product launch. See below for further details).
4. Drizzle gives you more sizzle
Not all food products look as appealing in their packaging.
If that’s the case in hand, then get it out and demonstrate it being used – like this image. A photo of the packaging just doesn’t look interesting on its own and certainly doesn’t sell the ‘sizzle’.
Pour it over some pancakes, however, and instantly you have something the viewer can be tempted to enjoy and is much more likely to buy!
Food product photography often needs context – so give it some.
5. Spritz it!
Many fresh foods need photographing out of their packaging – serving suggestions on the packaging are one example. If you are photographing fresh food, then keep a couple of bottles handy.
For photography hot food – give it a quick, light ‘mist’ spray with vegetable oil to increase the glisten.
If the food is a cold dish, spritz with a cold-water spray instead to give it the fresh edge.
Keep these two spray bottles handy throughout your shoot but remember – less is more! Don’t overdo it. A fine spray and a light touch are all you need.
6. A perfect photo mixer
Here’s a couple of tips on tipples.
Don’t just photograph the bottle – show them in the glass.
Use garnishes for drinks – even just a slice of lemon – to give them extra interest.
Seek out some creative glassware – if the drink is the subject of the photo – make it look interesting! Avoid generic glasses if appropriate and instead, use interesting shapes that will also make the drink look more stylish or attractive.
If you pop the glass into a freezer for 5 minutes before you photograph it, then you will get some great condensation droplets forming – a perfect way to say ‘refreshing’ in the photo.
And for beer photography – sprinkle salt across the top for extra bubbles just before taking your photo!
Food for thought
As we mentioned above – Splento are working through lockdown to enable you to keep working, all the while carefully observing the necessary safety protocols. The Hop’t Sauce photo session is just one example of this. If you want to know how we do it, watch the video below, although there are several solutions to social-distancing photography. Call us if you would like to know which would suit you best.
Whatever food products you are photographing – appeal to the eye is even more important than with many other products – as they say, we eat with the eyes first.
A good photographer will be able to do this. A great food product photographer will know exactly what is needed and know best how to highlight it in your photographs.
Splento has experienced food product photography professionals worldwide, which means that we already have one near you. So to get the very best photo results for your food products, book a professional with Splento.
You can hire a Splento professional for a fixed hourly rate – just £99 – which also includes all retouching and editing. We also deliver the final images within 24 hours – and that’s guaranteed.
Food product photography is essential for marketing success – so maximise your impact with great photography.