Food photography is a still life photography genre used to create attractive still life photographs of food. It is a specialization of commercial photography, the products of which are used in advertisements, magazines, packaging, menus or cookbooks.
1. Practice makes perfect: You knew this was coming, I’m sure, but practice really is the best thing you can do to improve your food photography. 2. Choose your angle: Think of the food beforehand. Its size, shape, height and what is unique about it. Then place the camera where you think best highlights these qualities. Some dishes look great when you shoot from right in front of the food, and others are best suited when the you are looking down from directly above the table. 3. Surround your food: When shooting from the front of the food try to keep a great foreground and background to play with. Use these empty spaces to tell more of a story. Surround your main dish with ingredients and props that relate to the food. Ingredients, sauces, oils, and cooking utensils could indicate how the dish was made. Placing a few of these in the foreground and background will definitely elevate your story and give it depth. 4. Hold the colour: This is my personal favorite. I love hunting for props, backgrounds and tableware to put in my images. It’s great to have props that are colorful, but if you’re not careful that colorful prop can easily upstage your food, and grab all the attention. When placing items into your food images, try selecting neutral tones, something that makes the food really pop against it. 5. Natural is best modified: Light is king, and acquiring a few tools to help you control it will bring your food photography up to the next level. Poor use of light will ruin your story and immediately turn off your audience. When working with direct sunlight, a diffusor (or even a thin white bed sheet) will greatly improve the quality of light. Softening those hard, dark shadows and bright highlights caused by direct sun light. 6. Absorb beautiful imagery: Continually look at good food photography. 10-15 minutes a day spent absorbing beautiful images from blogs and searching on Pinterest really refreshes my creativity and inspires me to create through my own lens. 7. Tell a story: Props will help you tell a story, but your lighting, framing, and overall temperature of the shot will as well. From your cutting board to your silverware and bun choices, each photograph will tell a story. 8. Capture your overall vision on a paper: Plan out your ideas for your photo shoots by using sketches. Don’t worry about details, just create quick sketches to capture your overall vision on paper. When sketching, focus on the story you want to tell, think about the props to use, choose the colour palette and make notes about the lighting direction and all aspects related to the composition. 9. Always have a Battery backup: Have a backup battery full charged for each shoot.One of the worst things that can happen during a shoot is having to delay it for hours because of your battery dying. This is definitely a necessity and time saver. 10. Use the golden hour to shoot: In food photography, I consider that one of the most important element to take in consideration is the Light. The light can change and affect how your picture looks like, you should have enough light, to see the details in your pictures, but it shouldn’t be too hot, or the colours of your pictures won’t look nice. I personally like to take my shots with natural light, especially in the morning. 11. Colour is most important: Talking about food photography I would say that colour is the most important to me. The food is all about colour and even when the dish itself does not have a powerful one, I like to add it with props and surfaces. 12. Edit your images so they can pop: The last piece of the photography puzzle is to edit your images. Editing helps us to put our final touches on an image and stamp it with our style. You can really make your images pop when you know how to edit food photography in Lightroom.
Don’t use too many props. It can be tempting to use all the pretty things when you’re just getting started, but resist! Less is more with food photography. You can always add more if the shot feels empty, but chances are, it’s fine with minimal prop usage. Don’t forget the light! I can’t stress this enough. The absolute best way to make your food photos amazing is to make sure your lighting is on point. Dark photos can be adjusted during the editing process, but nothing beats a well-lit photo right off the bat. Don’t over-edit. I’ve seen some food photos that don’t look appetizing at all because they’re way over-edited. Don’t make that mistake!