As we get into the swing of the holiday season, you may be inclined to capture images of the delicious food you’ll prepare for family & friends. Check out our food photography tips below to make your dishes cookbook ready!
Choose fresh ingredients
If the skin on your fruits & vegetables looks wrinkled or damaged, take it out and get a new one (or angle it in a such way so as not to see the unappealing side). You’re often photographing these things close up, so even the tiniest flaws will show up. Check your ingredients closely upon purchase.
Backlighting is key to texture and making your dish look appetizing; it will also allow steam to show up in the image. Try taking photos under natural light and do not use overhead lights or your built-in flash. It may also help to move around your kitchen or dining room to find the best light source. When working with direct sunlight, a diffusor (or even a thin white bed sheet) will greatly improve the quality of light, softening those hard, dark shadows and bright highlights caused by direct sun light.
Use culinary props
Simple plates, cutlery and raw ingredients make great props. Tins, jars, herbs, glasses, fabrics and linens could speak about the origin of the dish or the season in which it is served. Placing a few of these in the foreground and background will definitely elevate your story and give it depth.
Before & after
Show steps in the cooking process to help viewers understand the final image. Show one shot before and one after it’s cooked; or you may show step-by-step images. This works well for dishes that don’t look particularly appetizing.
Don’t cook it completely
When meats and vegetables are fully cooked they keep cooking after you remove them from the heat. To keep them looking plump and juicy, remove them from the stove or oven a bit early, take your photos, then put it back in to finish cooking before you eat it.
If a spoon, napkin or busy background doesn’t add to the photo, take it out. Also, think of the food’s size, shape, height and what is unique about it, then place the camera to best highlight these qualities.
Change the camera angles
Some dishes look great when you shoot from right in front of the food, while others are best suited when the viewer is looking down from directly above the table. Try different angles of view when shooting your food items. Some plates of food look better from above (pizza) while others look appetizing from the side (burgers). Get creative and try to show it in a different way than most people would see it.
Add some oil
To make vegetables glisten brush them with a bit of olive oil, or mist a salad with water. It will make them look fresher.