Have you ever seen people taking pictures of their food before they eat it? The purpose is merely to “show off” of how good their food in the pictures for their social media. Now, making a great photographs of your food (or known as foodtography) is quite simple actually. You just need to know few basic rules about plating the dish, how to make it superb on the camera! Now here are some tips and ticks that could help you to be a great foodtographer.
Lighten up. Photographers always think of light first – the quality, direction and color of it. Use a large, natural soft light source, such as a window. Better yet, shoot outside. Cloudy days are great, but if you don’t get one you can use a white sheet to diffuse direct light. Shoot close to and with the window directly behind, to the left of or right of your food subject (anywhere but at your back).
Bounce back. Bounce light back onto your food from the side opposite the window with a piece of white poster board to keep shadows from getting too dark.
Focus on the food. Pick simple backgrounds, props and plates that don’t distract and aid in color harmony with the food. Backgrounds may seem unimportant, but they set the tone and mood of the shot.
Close-in on your subject. Use a slight telephoto lens (longer if you can). This helps soften background elements and helps keep food the focus. If you can, use a wide aperture to keep the background out of focus. Don’t be afraid to let some of the subject go soft if you have a sharp area that maintains visual interest.
Hold still. Keep your camera steady to ensure sharp images. Use a tripod if you have one.
Warm it up. Bad color is unappetizing. Automatic white balance settings on digital cameras are often cool. Adjust the settings to warm up the shot and to make sure the color is as close to real as possible.
Dig up your camera’s owner’s manual. It sounds crazy, but you may just have to get out the directions for your camera to see what you can do with it…if you can find them.
Play with your food. Our moms told us not to, but when it comes to food photography, don’t be afraid to move around, shoot from a variety of angles and just have fun. (Oh, but keep your elbows off the table.)
Take shots along the way. Food isn’t just beautiful when it’s “done.” Take shots while you are sautéing, chopping and mixing, too.
Apart from the techniques, styling the food is also important. There are some basic rules to make the dish stands-out in the picture. Here are some simple tricks in food styling:
Cut into it. Often the most interesting texture and color is inside your food.
Tend to the finishing touches. A drizzle of oil or a bit of freshly ground salt or pepper can quickly take a shot from simple to special.
Go green. Watch for herbs in your ingredient list to use as garnish. Sprigs of thyme, rosemary, basil or sage add texture and visual interest.
Keep it under wraps. Moist food is prettier than dry food, so keep it covered until you’re ready to shoot it. Spritz or mist it with water or brush it with water or oil if needed.
Prop it up. Add a beverage or small flower, but remember the food is the hero.
There you go, have some fun on foodtography!