Ever grabbed the fork away from a friend mid-air to snap that perfect photo first? We’ve all been guilty of letting our food get cold in the pursuit of an Insta worthy pic, but with just 5 tips and tricks, you’ll be able to snap the best #FoodPorn photos out there.
Use Natural Light
Lighting is everything and when it comes to food photography, it’s best to go au’naturel. Why? Well, illuminating your food with artificial light creates a displeasing orangey-yellow tinge and distorts the colours. Natural daylight, on the other hand, will keep the colours accurate and attractive. Try photographing your food outside but avoid direct sunlight because it can create harsh shadows on your subject. An overcast day is ideal because the clouds will diffuse the sunlight and create a soft dewy glow. When it’s a little too cold or perhaps windy, shoot indoors and place a white sheet over the window to diffuse the natural light.
Work The Angles
Unfortunately, you can’t taste a picture, so details and texture are important to ramp up the food appeal. A birds-eye view is the most common angle for food photography and has several benefits. It captures the entirety of the dish, it emphasizes the shapes of the cutlery and other objects, and it makes it Mix it up, though! If the food has height, like an ice cream cone, for example, shoot it straight on. Shooting at plate level is also a great option when you want to show details and layers.
Background is Important
If you’re a beginner, start by using a fairly neutral background. You want the eye to be drawn to the food and not get distracted by any clutter. For photos at plate level try using a plain wall, and for over-head shots use a dark background for dark food, a light background for light food or wooden tables and chopping boards which complement just about anything. Don’t have a neutral background? No problem! Portrait mode is becoming better and better on the average smartphone and will really help keep your food the main focus.
Tell A Story
What’s that saying? Oh ya, “a picture tells a thousand words”. If you’ve mastered the neutral background start adding more elements to your food photos that really create an atmosphere.
A snack with an open book and a cup of tea creates a relaxed sensation while that same snack coupled with a laptop and a phone will portray a more energetic vibe.
For those more advanced, include a person’s hand using cutlery within the scene to create a sense of movement, and if you have company, why not include their hand too? This can tell a story of friendship and sharing.
Just make sure you keep an eye on the composition and ensure that the food is always priority number uno.
Find a Role Model
Here’s another cheesy quote for ya, “imitation is the greatest form of flattery”. Not only is this true but it’s also a great way to make sure your food photos look like #Profesh. So hop on the gram and take a look at how Food Network’s biggest stars are doing it. You’ll see what works and what doesn’t and can learn a lot just through observation.
With all this in mind, don’t forget to play! Food is meant to be enjoyed and if you’re not having a great time it’s likely your photo will be boring. Get creative and have a little fun!