Ahhh food. Besides being essential for sustaining the life of every living thing, it is also delicious, appealing, and sometimes eye-catching. These latter two characteristics of food also make it one of the best subjects to photograph. Of course in order to take good quality photos of food you need to follow a few simple steps. Read on to learn more.
Choose a Well Lit Location
As with every image you capture, lighting can make or break a photo. You should always try to shoot in natural light and not under an artificial light source. Natural lighting brings out colors, while artificial lighting can cause your images to appear yellow. No matter the light source, make sure that it's not working against you. Taking your photos in bright sunshine can also cause the objects in your still life to cast shadows that overpower your image. When dealing with shadows make sure that they are minimal, and try take your photos in a shady area.
The background that you are photographing the food on also plays an important role in your composition. The right colored plate and tablecloth can really make the meal pop. As a rule of thumb, darker food looks better on a light background and vice versa. Try using a clean white plate with a neutral colored table cloth. Setting up your still life on a surface with a nice wood grain will give your photo a rustic feeling. Using a crisp white table cloth will work as well, just ensure you have proper lighting and have adjusted your camera's exposure settings so that the white areas in your image do get blown-out. To make your photo more visually interesting, don't be afraid to use a patterned place-mat or to arrange raw ingredients around the table to compliment the meal.
When setting up your food display, try not to overfill or over complicate the plate. Utilizing the white space and a minimalist approach will bring focus and purpose to your image. Each item in your photo should have a place in creating a crisp composition.
Pick a Theme
Food photos aren't just about enticing your appetite, they can also tell a story. When telling your food story, pick a theme such as choosing one type of snack or showcasing dishes used for a special occasion. Feature appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and cocktails. Your food photos don't have to live on your camera. Consider turning some of them into canvas prints that you can use to decorate your kitchen or breakfast nook.