How to Rock at Food Photography! 7 Tips to help you rule social media.
Today let’s do something a little different. Something kinda fun! Let’s talk about food photography! “But, I’m not a blogger, you say. Why do I care about food photography?”. Well, maybe you don’t. But, then again, maybe you love to share meals you’ve made in Facebook recipe groups. Or on your Instagram account. Or maybe you share with via text message with a friend. Or in a weight-loss support group. You get the idea! There’s so many reasons you might want to take an awesome food photo to share!
So, why is it that I want to give you a few tips about those photos? Easy! We eat with our eyes first! I mean, if you pull up a cookbook or a recipe on Pinterest perhaps and it looks bad, you’re not going to want to make it, right? But if it looks tasty (and not too complicated) your mouth just might start watering. Don’t you want other people’s mouths to water when they see your food?
I therefore ask of you, check out these tips, practice a little, and start creating delicious looking food photography that will be the envy of all of your friends. Post at your own discretion, though. Fair warning that when friends start seeing your delicious food, they may just start showing up for dinner!
- Find the light! – Unless you really know what you’re doing (and even if you totally know what you are doing) natural light is just generally the best option for showcasing your delicious food. Get near a window or even head outside to get the good shot. Just remember, you don’t want to be in direct sunlight, so you may need to diffuse the light with something like a curtain or you can also head to a shady spot.
- Use a blank canvas (plate, bowl, etc.) – the food is the star here so don’t let your dishes distract or clash with whatever you are showcasing. When getting started, a white plate (or bowl) is usually the best option or at least the simplest option until you get more comfortable with how different colors work together. If you don’t want to use white, at least keep it neutral, and make sure whatever color you use that it contracts with the food enough so that the food will “pop off the plate” so to speak. Besides white, when in doubt, I like to go with gray or black dishes.
- Get a good angle – Don’t go crazy here, it’s important that the food looks to the camera like it will look to the eye. Either go for the straight overhead shot (especially if using your phone) or straight on from the side for things like sandwiches and burgers, just make sure to keep an eye on what will be in your background. 45 degree angles work to, they just take a bit more practice.
- Layer up the textures – Some food like pasta with a nice thick sauce have pretty good texture on their own, but many other foods, like maybe a piece of chicken or a bowl of soup can look a little flat. Add a napkin under the dish, put a spoon in the bowl, add some croutons or cheese, you get the idea. Keep it natural, things that would actually go with the food, but don’t be afraid to add things until your setup looks just right.
- Add pops of color – if your food doesn’t have enough colors on its own, I always like to add some pops of color. My favorite way it to add some chopped parsley or cilantro as green almost always looks good in food photos. Some bright fresh fruit can work well with many dishes, and if all else fails, add a colorful napkin!
- Keep the scale small – use a salad plate or a small bowl. It will be much easier to get everything in the shot and keep a normal portion on the plate without the food looking tiny and lost on a dinner sized plate. Let the main food you are showcasing be the star and don’t try to get to complicated with your table settings.
- Use a photo editor – but keep it simple. You may use an app or photo editor to brighten up the image, adjust the warmth, or sharpen the photos, but don’t add filters or anything else that would make the food look unnatural. We want the food to look real, mouthwatering, and ready to eat!!
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