Food photography can be quite challenging as you construct the image from scratch with nothing but your imagination to go on. You either end up with a lip-smacking image that makes the viewer drool all over their phone or a poor photo of chicken nuggets that quickly gets scrolled over.
Photographing food is a skill that takes experience and expert knowledge to pull off right. Lucky for you, we have put together a few things to think about so that your food photography can achieve the kind of results you see on the cover of glossy magazines.
Top tips to photograph food
1. Use the right props
Props are a given when it comes to food photography unless you want to capture a close-up. Use the empty spaces surrounding the dish to tell a story. Most food photographers use the ingredients or other food-related props to add personality to the dish. Even the choice of tablecloth, cutlery and plate can go a long way in contributing to the mood of the setting.
2. Don’t make your food wait
Many ingredients that make a good dish can wither if you let it sit for too long. The longer your food waits for you to capture it, the more tired and unappetising it starts to look. You can always use some food staging tricks to make your product look fresh, such as spritzing fruits and veggies or brushing meat with oil to give it a shine. But try not to overdo it to a point where it looks unrealistic. It is always best to shoot fresh.
3. Style your food naturally
When staging your food, try and make it look as natural as possible. It doesn’t hurt if there are a couple of crumbs lying around to give your cake a naturally pleasing aesthetic. It might sound ridiculous to artificially stage something to look natural but that’s the biggest trick to making your food look good. A bit of a mess can add a lot of charm to your photography.
4. Think beyond food
It isn’t always about what’s on the plate but also about what goes on outside the plate. Always consider the surrounding of the dish as this can either compliment or contrast your food. Some colours just don’t work with the food and should be avoided altogether. Always use empty space to weave a story about the dish so that it doesn’t come across as bland.
5. Modify your lighting
Light is the secret ingredient in food photography and in most cases, natural light seems to be every photographer’s favourite choice. The lighting by a window on a cloud cast day can give the perfect soft light to work with. If you have to work with direct sunlight, a diffuser can help soften the light. But if you’re not able to work with natural light, you can always set up the perfect lighting with your artificial sources.
Splento is conducting an ongoing intensive research survey within the food industry, which is revealing some eye-opening responses.
To understand more about the food service and food delivery industries in 2021, take a look now at ‘Should we all become food photographers?‘
In it we examine, in-depth, the results of our investigation, the most common complaints that restaurants have regarding food photography and – importantly – the solutions to these problems.
Take a look now and see the results for yourself:
Food photography can be a lot more fun and a lot less challenging if you just keep practising. Some shoots can seem more complicated than others but if you follow our tips on food photography, any dish can be easy to photograph. Make your food photography look as good as it tastes.
The food industry is massive and as they understand the importance of great photography in selling, the demand for food photographers are on the rise.
Whether it’s homemade chocolate chip cookies or a delicious Appletini, keep your camera out, your mouth sealed and try your best not to have a taste before shooting the picture.