If only photographing food was as easy as eating it – we’d all be foodie photo experts. This photography niche isn’t as easy as it sounds. Yes, you’re going to be tempted to eat your product but we’re talking about challenges far more technical than that.
Photographing food can lead to many career paths such as food blogging or creating recipe books. But one of the biggest opportunities in the food photography industry is offering your services to restaurants.
If you’re looking to adopt food photography as a professional career, your work has to be advanced enough to get restaurants to hire you. This can take a lot of practice, but most importantly, your fundamentals have to be concrete.
Basic food photography tips for beginners
1. Use relevant props
Use neutral props that don’t call for attention so that the major focus is still on the food. Simple and complementing colours of cutlery, napkins, or ingredients are some useful props that pair well with the food without stealing the spotlight. You can also hire a hand model to add a human touch to the photograph.
2. Do not use camera flash
The camera flash that’s in-built in most modern cameras has the ability to ruin how, even the most scrumptious of foods, look on screen. Your best bet is to use natural lighting such as staging the food by a window. There are professional lights that can mimic the effect of natural lighting but as a beginner, it’s best to work with authentic, natural light. This sun-kissed food can look irresistibly good on camera and will leave mouths watering at just one glance.
3. Change angles
Just as with people, food has a good side as well- you just know how to shoot it from the right angle. Different food items look better from certain angles. For example, a well-decorated cake may look amazing from the top but a burrito bowl may need a more tilted angle. If you’re not sure of what would work for your food, capture multiple angles and just pick out the best.
4. Style your food
Food photography is all about looks, not taste. To make your food look its absolute best, some amount of styling on the plate will be required. Adding fresh herbs to cooked food can make it look fresher. Small additions can add more colour and pop to the dish and makes it look interesting If you’re adding any sauce for aesthetics, save it till you find the right angle so that the food doesn’t absorb it before the final shot.
5. Buy the right equipment
In terms of camera options, a regular point-and-shoot camera should do the trick until you can buy yourself a DSLR. You don’t need the most expensive equipment to take photos of food but certain basics such as a tripod or reflectors can drastically improve your quality of food photography. A tripod provides stability when shooting and reflectors can reduce shadows in your photographs.
Starting out in any field of photography can be overwhelming but if your basics are strong, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. Food photography has to grow on you, so don’t be frustrated if you don’t love your photos right away. Just practice until you perfect this style, and enjoy the process while you’re there. If you’re looking to achieve the ‘yum’ factor in food photography, these tips should be very helpful.
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