Think there’s nothing that goes into taking good pictures of food? Think again – food photography, or more generally, food styling, is an essential component of the whole food industry, and everyone in the business thrives on how appetizing food looks.
So if you’ve already been taking pictures of your meals in restaurants, diners, and cafes, here’s how you can up your game and get more positive feedback when you post them:
Mind the Lighting
Just like good old-fashioned photography, the food you’re photographing is just another still life – and you should treat it that way.
And just like good still life photography, you also want to choose the right lighting and what aspect of the food you want to emphasize on. One way to do this is by using natural light to help make your subject look more natural.
Once you do this, you’ll be surprised at how a lot of food pictures you see on social media actually don’t follow this and pale in comparison.
One mistake most food photographers make is using only the overhead shot when taking pictures of food. While taking pictures from this angle works in some cases, it’s not always the best way to make food appear good in pictures.
In most cases, you’re actually better off shooting close to level, or slightly above the plate. You can even focus in on just one part of the dish in order to highlight its different elements.
Time is Essence
One challenge that food photography presents is the time limit you have. Food doesn’t stay appetizing for long, so as a photographer, you need to be able to shoot quickly as soon as it’s cooked.
This way, you get the best shots of your subject before it melts, changes color, or wilts (if it’s a salad). You can do this by setting up the shot with props in advance and use a stand-in plate until the food is ready.
Being quick-thinking and quick on the trigger finger is especially crucial when you’re aiming to capture the “just cooked” feel of your subject by taking pictures of it while it’s still steaming hot.
Edit and Touch-Up
After taking your pictures, you might also want to use an editing software to touch them up just a bit. While you don’t want to over-edit your pictures, a few careful alterations here and there can do a lot to make them more polished and professional.
Food photography, at the end of the day, is an art – there’s no one formula for getting the best photo for every food. There are, however, all kinds of interesting ways and techniques to play around with your food.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and start taking photos now.