If you’re a beginner to food photography the idea of making food look appetizing may seem a simple one, however, there is a little bit to the process when photographing your subject.
By using your camera creatively, you can capture the essence of delicious food so that it jumps out of the image and entices your viewer.
If you’re about to try your hand at food photography for the first time, here are some beginner’s tips to help you on your way.
1. Use a shallow depth of field for your food
When you’re taking photos of your food or meals it’s important to consider the background – will it be in focus or out of focus and what’s the best aperture for the shot. Shallow depth of field is ideal as you can then get closer to the food and make this the feature of the image.
2. Don’t overdo the shot
We’ve all been told less is more, and this is certainly the mantra in food photography. Remember the focus should be on the food, so don’t overcomplicate the shot and ensure that the visual clutter is kept to a minimum.
3. Embrace the mess
Sometimes in food photography it can get messy and photographing the story of the shoot and embracing the mess that goes with it is a great way to tell the story of the dish and the preparation of the food.
Stage the mess and experiment with crumbs, lots of flour if you’re baking, sprinkling of fresh herbs, shavings of extra cheese… you name it, make the shot a little messy and see what the results are in your photography.
4. Compose your shot
In this day and age of Instagram and Pinterest composing the shot has become super popular and more widely known in photography circles. Setting up your shot elegantly and adding in elements such as a knife, herbs, silverware, chopping boards, or any other items that work to frame your food simply can work to add an extra dimension to your photography. As a bit of an overview, have a look online at plenty of food photographers that use the rule of one-thirds for their composition.
5. Use the highest ISO
Using a high ISO allows for faster light to get into the camera and when you are photographing food indoors you want the highest you can get. Have a play around at ISO 1600 to 3000 and see what you think, at the end of the day your ISO will reflect your photography style, so it’s important for you to explore these options.
6. Shoot with proper lighting
Proper lighting can make or break a picture so be sure that if you’re shooting food you are using plenty of natural light and you adjust the manual settings to suit the light within the room. Compose your shots and be aware of the natural lighting in your space and move your set up to a space that takes advantage of the light for best effect.
While you might seek inspiration from plenty of famous food photographers from around the world, it’s important to create your style that is yours alone. Whether you experiment with your composition, lighting, exposure or layouts, make your shots with your personality just as you would with any subject. Food photography is deliciously appealing and is a fun style to experiment with.