If it’s not an art, it’s not far short either. Photographing food is becoming increasingly important for those who work in the food industry: producers, traders, caterers and food bloggers. What could have more impact than an image when promoting one’s products?
Some turn to professional photographers, others do it themselves, but it’s the finer details that always make the difference. Here is some practical advice for beginners.
A camera lens emphasizes every single imperfection so you need to make sure the dish you want to photograph is absolutely perfect.
2-Framing the shot
Your distance from the dish and your position will affect the angle of the shot. A 30° angle is the most natural because it’s the point of view we usually have when we’re seated at the dinner table, while a right-angle shot highlights the thickness of the dish, its container and the setting. It’s best to avoid standing too far: the shot needs to be filled with the image, even focusing on a tiny detail and not the whole dish.
The best light for photographing food is natural light, either from the back or the side. The flash on a digital camera is public enemy number one: you’re better off deactivating it and raising your camera’s ISO (light sensitivity) to its maximum level.
Making sure your setting is perfect – cutlery, napkins and contrasting elements – helps create an appealing effect and increases the effectiveness of the shot.
You can use plates and decorations that match the dish you’re photographing, playing with similar hues, or experiment with clashing colours. The right setting will make the dish you photograph look even more appealing.
6-The human touch
Include a human detail, such as hands, to give your picture a sense of reality.
If you’d like to know more, here are some recommended sources: