Top Tips For Food Photography

December 30, 2011 · Posted in Photography 

Here are some simple yet effective tips for doing food photography.

Lighting the scene

The first important technique food photographers should learn is about lighting. When photographing food you should treat it as you would any other kind of subject and make sure it is lit correctly. Many pictures can be improved by using adequate lighting. Natural light is the best light source to use, so by a window is an ideal location. Natural light cuts out the shadows, and gives the food a more natural look which all food photographers want.

Props

Food photographers setting up to take a picture not only arrange the food neatly but they also include a plate or table cloth to add the surrounding. The idea is not to clutter the picture but allow room for a few extra items you can add to it like a glass, napkin, or a fork. These items can be placed in the background in a secondary location of your picture area, giving it extra spice.

If you do a lot of food photography then shopping at second hand markets can be a great way to build your box of props. You can pick up expensive items like large pots and dishes and vases for a few dollars and a smile. If you do not do much then you may have to go shopping for what you need and bill the client!

Quickness

If you are a slow-coach perfectionist then food photography may be hard for your to master. Like master chefs that throw masterpieces dishes together in minutes master food photographers capture the essence in minutes too. Be quick else it will be a mess is the thing to remember with food photography. As soon as food warms or cools it droops, melts, discolours and a whole range of other things. Be ready with all the lighting and use placeholder items such as places to get the lighting right. Once the food is there you should be shooting.

Way to improve your food photographs

One simple way is to simply use a light high quality vegetable oil and brush it on the food! This will create a high quality shiny finish that we love to see on food.

Get to know the chef

The last area to cover is working with you food professional. If you are unlucky you will have to do the presentation of the food yourself. If you are lucky and the client has a good budget you will have a chef to do the food display.

Take a few minutes before the shoot to talk with the chef and ask them how they like to work. Ask them if there is anything you need to know about the food that may not be obvious. If nothing else this will make them feel good so you will then be able to work closer and better together.

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