Tips for taking the perfect food shots
Food photography done right can result in some incredibly artistic results. However, good food photography means more than just photographing what’s on a dinner plate. There are certain rules that you need to follow to make the most of the beautiful colors, textures, and styling. Here are some tips from the Luminous Productions team.
Pick the freshest ingredients
If the skin of the vegetable looks wrinkled, scarred or damaged take it out and get a new one – or angle it in such way so as not to see the bad side. This seems obvious but sometimes it’s easy to miss. We often photographing these things from really close up so even if the tiniest flaws will show up we resolve it at that moment and check them over closely.
Keep it simple
Take out stuff you don’t need. Not all shots need a background or context. Take out things on the table that are distracting and pair down to just one or two plates of food. If the food once cooked is unattractive only show a portion of it. Sometimes you can create a look of the picture by adding props or cropping it but natural pictures like this one are best. Try out different shots with and without props to display the food in its best light.
Show a before and after shot
Showing steps in the cooking process including chopping, in the pot or in the process helps people understand the final image. Show one shot before, and one after it’s cooked or step by step images. This works well for things that just don’t look all that great cooked.
Shoot in natural light (as much as possible)
If you illuminate your food with artificial light such as a lamp, it’s likely to create an ugly cast in your photo. Color is extremely important in food photography, as you want the colours of the food, plates and background elements to appear accurate. If you must use artificial light, test the photographs in different light settings to make sure that the artificial light works for the kind of food you’re photographing.
Sometimes shadows can enhance a photo’s depth and visual interest, but other times they can ruin it by dominating too much of the picture.
Bring out the colour
Food photography gives you a chance to play around with colour. Select items from the menu that are rich in colour to represent the full menu. Choosing high impact colour compositions can affect the overall feel of the image. If the food colours are naturally neutral, experiment with the background to add a colourful effect. Contrasting colours will help you create a vibrant and exciting image while matching colours will allow you to maintain a subtle look.
Remember to experiment. Sometimes what looks good on an idea-board might look different on camera. Experiment with different combinations at the beginning of the shoot to achieve the right effect before you proceed to photograph the whole menu.
Looking for a professional food photographer for your next project? Reach out to the Luminous Productions team using the contact details on our Contact Page.