Food Photography Basics

If your business is food, then there’s no doubt that one of the most essential things to take your brand out there is by having the best photo of your food product.

Taking photos of your food may seem to be simple but that is not the case. It is indeed challenging especially if you want to take your photography skills to the next level.

Food photography requires a lot of preparation and conceptualization. You must know how to tell a story using the food that you have.

For example, if you are sitting in a café and you take a picture of the coffee and cake. What do you think is the message of your photo? Some may think that you are having a relaxing day or waiting for someone. Or probably it is to tell the viewers that you are sitting in a cozy café where the coffee, food, and ambiance are great.

Now that means you want to introduce this café or its food to the public. Get it?

A picture is worth a thousand words as a saying goes. And that simple photo you took, tells different stories. And it will provide a clearer message when the photo looks good.

When you have a food business, you must ensure that the food you are showing will entice your viewers’ palate and that they want to grab it and eat it right away! You want to make sure that you’ve captured their senses and got them hooked!


Tips to take a good food photo

Starting out to capture a good food photo may be a bit frustrating because of the preparation process. Food photography is like a blank canvass and you are responsible for putting all the elements – from the style, food, color, etc.

But don’t worry! With constant practice, you will get a hang of it. Because having “bad” photos, in the beginning, is normal. And if you are constantly practicing and looking for ways how to improve them means that you are dedicated.

Here are some of the tips I will be sharing with you to take some delicious photos of your food.


Choosing the angle of your food

Where you place your food will affect the overall impact of the message you want to tell your audience. Think of the food that you are presenting first then place the camera where you think will show the best angle of the food.

Some dishes may look great from their right or left side while others look good from an angle above. For example, a hamburger. If you want to highlight the ingredients inside the hamburger, is it better to shoot it from above? Maybe not.

Taking a shot of the burger from its right or left will show what are the ingredients of the hamburger which can make it more enticing to your audience. Again, the purpose is to make them hungry and salivate that they want to eat it right away.

However, you may try taking a picture from different angles to see which is the best one. After all, practice is the way to create great photos, right?


Use the right background and props

When taking a picture of a certain type of food, it is best to highlight the main ingredient or the things that are associated with the dish. Just like a cup of coffee. You may want to include coffee beans or a coffee grinder to give emphasis on the message that you are taking a photo of a coffee.

Avoid putting too much clutter or other things that are not associated with the food because it will take away the focus on the food subject.


Choose your lighting

Indeed, light is essential when taking photos. Whether your subject is a person, place, thing, or food, having the right lighting will bring life to your photo. Poor usage of light will ruin your overall photo and may turn away your viewers.

Be sure that the light will not overpower your food and provide a highlight of what matters in your food photo. It is also advisable to use natural light instead of built-in flash or overhead lights.


Make it simple…and some

Yes, you might want to use a lot of props, colors, and other interesting backdrops for your food – but remember that the subject is food, hence this should be the highlight of your photo. Putting tons of cutlery, using colorful backgrounds, may take away the attention of the viewer to the food.

However, this may also depend on the food you are shooting. Using solid, neutral background is good for foods that are colorful. But at times giving a contrasting background can also work well. For example, if your food has a pale color, then choosing a background with loud colors or prints will provide color to that pale food.

Food is another great subject when it comes to photography. I, for one, am a great fan of taking pictures of them. Don’t get all frustrated if you find that your photos aren’t that great. Keep shooting and improving. Point that camera and let it roll!


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