Food photography has been booming in the recent years with many photographers ditching portrait and wedding gigs to concentrate their whole business solely on this niche. Since food will always be a necessity, it’s something pretty secure. Of course, you do need to network just like any other specialty niche, but the possibilities are endless: there’s restaurants, bars, coffee shops, small deli’s, farms, magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. People will always be searching for that next delicious meal, or drink, so companies seek out photographers to capture the food’s good side.
Here are some basic food photography tips if food photography has been peaking your interest and you’ve been wanting to give it a try.
1. Light is Everything
Put that camera flash away and snap photos next to a window. Natural light will make the food look more appetizing. Your angle of light is very important as well – back-lighting will bring out all the textures, and any steam or smoke coming from the food.
2. Bring In The Props
Props definitely enhance food photos, making them look even more desirable. Whether they show how the food is made by the raw ingredients placed around it to the color of the napkins and bowls, try to think about what props will tell the story of the dish you’re preparing.
3. Photography Equipment
You don’t need a fancy set-up when taking shots of food, but a few basic things like a tripod and some reflectors are always good to have. A tripod will help with your stability when getting those close-up macro shots. Reflectors can add a new element, whether it’s to bounce the light back onto the plate and reduce shadows, or if you want to cast a gold or silver tone to set the mood.
4. Change Angles
Make sure you vary your angles when shooting food. Even food has a good side – you’re not going to shoot cupcakes the same way you’d shoot a bowl of hot soup. Tilt your camera a bit, shoot from above, from the edge of the table, sitting at eye-level. Also, if you’re shooting for a client, they will want quite a bit of variety so have that in mind.
If you don’t want to cook all of the dishes yourself, that’s understandable. You can’t wear all the hats, so reach out to others and collaborate. Chefs, specialty baristas, bartenders, bakers, culinary school folks, all these people already know how to present the food in all its excellence. Not only will you get a good end product, but you can also take some shots of these people preparing the goods, which is an added bonus.
P.S.- Just make sure you don’t eat everything you shoot.
What food photography tips have you found that work for you? Leave it in the comments section below.
If you would like to learn even more about food photography and other tips and tricks on the best ways to to get professional food photography photos, check out our Photography 101 Workshop in the SLR Lounge Store for a comprehensive guide to food photography and much more!