In this article, I explain five easy but effective techniques to seriously level up your food photography. I also provide plenty of before/after examples, so you can see how each tip will affect your pictures in practical situations.
These are the exact techniques I use to capture consistently stunning food shots in my professional work, and – I promise you – they are not hard to follow.
So if you’re ready to learn how to photograph food like a pro, then let’s dive right in, starting with my primary tip:
1 . Choose an angle that tells the story
Look at enough professional meals photography, and you’ll start to see a pattern:
The same angles get used over and over once again, such as the flat-lay shot previously mentioned and the low-over-the-table shot in the side.
I actually highly recommend you use these angles as your compositional starting points. However , don’t just select one at random; instead, you should carefully determine the correct position for your shoot.
Why? Because where you place the camera will impact the type of story you tell . And when you get to the crunch, food photography is all about informing stories.
So as you set up your composition , think of the meals. Notice its size, shape, height, and what makes it distinctive. Then angle the camera so as to best highlight these qualities.
Take a look at these salmon tacos:
Here, I wanted to show all the elements and beautiful shapes manufactured by the tortillas and filling. The low-angle shot appearance decent, but the overhead photo does a better job of sharing with the story.
2 . Pick a hero object and surround it
A simple food photography set up should start with a hero object – that is, the center point of your photoshoot, the item you wish to highlight. Generally, this is the major dish.
Therefore identify your hero item. Place it on the table.
And then surround it with props that relate to the food. Elements, sauces, oils, and cooking food utensils can all tell the story of the food’s preparation. Tins, jars, herbs, eyeglasses, fabrics, and linens may hint at the origin of the dish or the season in such it is served.
Don’t go overboard, of course , sadly do place a few things in the foreground and criminal background. These will elevate the tale of the shot, plus they’ll give your composition physical deep.
In the picture of baklava below, my stage sets add to the story. You have a hero object – typically bowl of food – but the truth is also have the ingredients (the pistachios), as well as a few background what to add depth and set typically scene. The viewer must be instantly hit by a feel at ease of place that relates to the Arabic origins of your delicious sweet.
3. Change natural light for the most flattering provisions photos
To food photography, light is very important. Poor use of light probably will ruin your shots and turn into off your audience. But if you does learn how to restrain the light, i can instantly bring your food pictures to the next level.
I love to use natural light in my fruit photos. I set up around a window, so I end up with plenty of light streaming throughout. But I don’t work with unmodified light; instead, I total various réformers so I can get the most beautiful results.
First on the list: Create a diffuser between the window in addition to the food, especially if you’re working with direct sunlight.
You see, direct sunlight produces difficult, dark shadows and brilliant highlights. These can be obvious – but by adding this diffuser, you can soften the sunshine, reduce the shadows, reduce the highlighted models, and get a lovely effect. In which you can buy a diffuser for a discount from any photography stock, but you also have the option to get a diffuser of your own (just put a thin white bedsheet while you’re watching window).
Soon, I recommend acquiring some white-colored and black cards. You can these yourself using space-age foam core boards (purchased due to pretty much any craft store).
Simply use the along with white cards to bounce flashlight into shadow areas and additionally reveal important deals. Use any black cards to strengthen shadows for more contrast. Don’t be afeared to experiment with different card examples and distances until you hold the result you want.
Finally, Excellent lighting secret for you, regularly called blocking . Sometimes that pesky lightweight will fall on your qualifications or props and make them be as bright as well as even brighter than your point.
This is a big finger-wagging no-no, as you want the viewers to always look first to your issue, but the solution is simple: use your black memory cards to block light from obtaining areas that will compete with your incredible subject. (This is also a n important technique for creating darker, low-key styled images. )
Check out the two imagery below. The shot opposite the larger section has a too-bright background, bootcamp added a black master card to ensure the cake remained i would say the brightest part of the photo:
The final image, with a diffuser softening the window light bulb, a white card filling out the shadow on the orange frosting, and a black r4 card blocking the light on the past:
4. Use lines & layers for the best compositions
I’ve explained the significance of surrounding your hero problem with props – though you need to ensure these props don’t distract through the main subject.
That’s where two simple and easy composition techniques come into take pleasure in: lines and layers.
You see, by fastidiously arranging your props in lines and layers, you can bring about the audience’s eye regarding the main subject. Then the viewer won’t get distracted manufactured by props; instead, the props will serve the image in total.
So artistically use your props to form rules. In this shot, I’ve obtained a spoon to important the viewer straight on the bowl of baked peaches and ice cream:
Below, We have shared another example of good use of lines. In the left-hand image, I’ve positioned some cutlery to lead to the purpose of Brie, and in some sort of right-hand image, I’ve missing slightly more abstract, letting the knife and pomegranate seeds help develop lines that frame area of interest.
I also recommend using layers to create three-dimensional compositions. You are getting to want to shoot from the side of chest (so your camera lies low over the table), and you should add various props staggered in front of and behind that subject. For shots like these, a is quite depth of field can prevent the props from becoming too distracting.
The Brie while in the photo below is set young adult various props and a couple of large out-of-focus areas. This excellent creates a three-dimensional layered additionally, there is and sends your affectionate eyes straight to the hero model:
5. Simplify your synthèse by limiting the color
When I was just starting out as a food photographer, My personal often made a major negligence:
I would include colorful props – sexual intercourse would upstage my food and grab all the attention.
Instead, when you seek out props, backgrounds, and tableware to put in your images, don’t read too color-hungry. Search for accessories with neutral tones: grays, browns, blacks, silvers, white cloths.
Then, as you’re placing items into your ingredients images, pick props your food can really pop against. For the shot below, I’ve obtained a black metal tray and baking paper with regard to amplify the bright red color strawberries and rhubarb on the inside these Crostatas. That way, the new food steals the show : and the props, while alternative, don’t distract from the top level.
Food photography tips: remaining words
In which you’ve finished this article, know how to photograph food maybe a pro – so someone is ready to start capturing a certain stunning food photos of your own.
Just remember to careful attention to the light along with composition. That way, your cooking photography can really shine!
Now over to we all:
Which may of these food photoshoot points do you plan to use? What types of cooking do you like to photograph? Amount your thoughts (and images) inside the comments below!