Food photography is enormously popular. In this article we will teach you how to best capture your culinary works of art. Whether you want to remember the most beautiful creations or show them off on Instagram, these tips will take your food photography skills to the next level.
Create a mood board for yourself. You will find out what shapes and materials you like and what you want your pictures to exude. You also gain inspiration this way. Use it as a guide, so you know what your options are. Match colours with each other and make sure you have a clear view of what you like before you start gathering your materials.
Will you choose a smartphone or camera? Will you publish the end result on Instagram, or only share it with your friends? This affects the composition. For Instagram, it is important that the photo can be made square. Your smartphone allows you to set the settings to square. With the camera, you can turn on a grid, so you have an idea of what, if anything, is missing.
For both full frame cameras and crop factor cameras, there are lenses that are perfect for food photography. Do you like taking pictures with a nice depth of field? Then lenses with an aperture of F/2.0 or lower are ideal.
With a camera and a good lens, you can make the most of creative pictures. It doesn't matter what kind of camera you use, but if you're going for quality, a mirrorless camera or a DSLR is a good option. Shoot on manual mode, so you can set your own shutter speed, aperture and ISO.
Want to make your photos shine even more? Then it is definitely worthwhile to shoot and post-process your photos in RAW.
Always use a tripod, this way you have a good overview of what the right composition is. A tripid also helps with keeping the camera still while you adjust your materials. Food photography is all about the details. Work clean and neat, because you'll see everything in the photo. Do you use a camera? Then see if you can link it to your computer. So you can see the end result on a big screen right away.
Make sure the entire setup is ready before you prepare the food. This is to prevent the food from becoming limp or looking dirty when you still have to create the setup. To still get a good idea of what it will look like, use an object that is similar in shape and size to the dish you are about to photograph. If you have an object with similar size and colours it’s even better.
Food photography requires beautiful soft light without harsh shadows. Therefore, try to photograph with natural daylight. Food photos look more appealing when the photo is slightly lighter. One can ensure that the light falls better on your subject. Do this with a reflection screen and ask someone to hold it. A reflection screen has sides with multiple colours. Play with this and see what it does to the light and the end result.
A good setting can make or break your photo. Play with accessories or place the product in a different environment. Choose the right colour palette for each photo. Think contrasting colours or light combined with dark. For example, green is often used with red meat because it makes the meat look a lot more appealing. The addition will make the main product stand out.
Do you photograph food from the front or from above? When doing this, keep in mind the product you are photographing. Very little can be seen of the delicious ingredients on the pizza when you capture it from the front. With a hamburger, on the other hand, you can't see any of the contents from above. Sometimes the photo gets a lot better if you move the camera or rotate the product. Remember to take multiple photos from multiple angles. You may find that you like a close-up better than the one you initially had in mind.
In conclusion, practice makes perfect. Even the professional food photographers sometimes take hours before they get the perfect picture.