What’s your favorite “F” word? Mine is food. If you love food as much as me I can image you’d also enjoy capturing some sweet shots of it also. Food photography can be a very fun but it’s not only about capturing what’s on the plate. Your viewers should look on your image and then get hungry just as how you look on a menu and based on how the meal looks tend to assist in making a decision. Therefore ultimately the goal in Food Photography is to make what you’re shooting look appealing and delicious, even if it actually isn’t. There are a number of ways you can do this demanding the attention of your viewer and making them drool. In this article I will be giving you just a few short tips as to how you can do this and who knows, you might end up drooling over your own shot and eat the meal before you finish getting all your shots.
The first thing I’d suggest is to try and achieve a shallow depth of field when shooting your subject. With food photography you should always aim to capture the most important thing on the plate, once that is made the focus of the picture then you shouldn’t really worry about the background as it will transition into a very soft blur. Mind you, I’m not saying that your background should be completely out of whack. Still try to keep some elements associated with food in the background such as forks, a napkin etc. To achieve this I would actually recommend the use of a 50mm lens. You’ll end up easily achieving that smooth transition into the background not to mention how close you can get to the subject with a low aperture.
You don’t always need to have a bunch of stuff in your shots. So if it’s not necessary then take it out. When composing your shot always try to keep in mind that less is always more when it comes to Food Photography, that way there’s nothing else to distract the viewer from the subject. The goal is to create a clean frame as opposed to creating a visual clutter or mess.
Using Natural light can be a huge advantage when doing your food photography. I would suggest or if possible you can even shoot outside. Rather than being quick to add flash, why not use mother nature to your advantage. Not to mention shooting indoors can sometimes throw off the white balance of your shot and a few other things that can get pretty annoying. So if you have the opportunity to use natural light then I strongly recommend using it. You often end up getting the best light in the early morning or heading into the evening. The reason for this is that those are the two instances where the lighting is soft and less contrast will be created in your shots.
When setting up your shot, to achieve maximum sharpness I’d suggest using a tripod and an off camera shutter release trigger. Your shots will definitely stay sharp and consistent. However, this does not mean to not change your angles, after a while taking a plain overhead or horizontal shot can get boring so at some point, you’ll find yourself with the urge to get a bit closer to your subject.
Remember when we were always told not to play with our food? Well, this time there’s nobody to tell you that you can’t so do it! Take a bit or get a fork and pretend like you’re about to take a piece and make the shot just a bit more interesting. Like I said earlier, try to appeal to your viewer’s appetite and make them want to taste it even when they don’t know what it is much less have an Idea of what its called. When in a restaurant we also tend to look on other people while they eat and say “That looks good”, let’s create that same result with our Images.
I’ve made this mistake a few times and I urge you not to do the same. In post production and even when taking your shots, you should try not to crop out anything important. Keep in mind you don’t always have to show the entire plate so don’t be timid to take some of the plates out and crop closer into the main part of the dish but be extremely careful when doing this. Focus on the textures, colors and the ingredients when considering to crop your image.
I hope all these tips and tricks have helped you to capture some Yummy shots! Remember to take a bit to get that extra motivation, Just kidding. Until next time, Thank you for reading!