Food is in front of you every day – on your plates, on TV, on computer screens, and in magazines. If you’re not eating, chances are, you and your friends are talking about what you just ate or what you are going to eat later.
And with the emergence of high-quality cameras and smartphones today, you shouldn’t have any reason not to take photos of the food in front of you to share with other people while traveling
Unfortunately, there will be many instances wherein you snap away and end up with images that may not give justice to the wonderful dish you just ate. Because of this, you might seriously doubt your capabilities as a photographer (even an amateur one), and you will always be dissatisfied with the captured memories of the best meals you’ve ever had.
Food Photography for Newbies
To achieve better results, follow some of these tips and techniques that the best food photographers in Dubai swear by:
1. Choose a Place with Adequate Lighting
Treat your food photo shoot like you are taking a picture of any other still life subject. This means taking photos of the dish with a well-lit background or surrounding area.
Some of the poor examples of food photos you had previously taken could have been improved with adequate lighting. An excellent place to photograph food is by the window where there’s plenty of natural light. The daylight can help keep the food look natural and vibrant.
2. Be Quick
Since food does not keep its appetizing appearance for long, you have to shoot quickly, immediately after it has been cooked or served. This ensures that you are able to take photos of the ingredients collapse, melt, change color or wilt.
3. Use the Right Props
Pay attention to both the arrangement of the food itself and the things you will include in the shot, like the bowl and plate, along with the table settings around it. Avoid cluttering the photo with unnecessary elements.
You’ll notice that in some of the most stunning restaurant food photography, the shot involves only two extra elements like a flower, fork, napkin or a spoon. Try this technique by position these elements in the background or foreground of your shot.
4. Style It
How the food is set out on the plate is as crucial as how you photograph it, so pay attention to the balance of color and shapes of the food in the shot. You can apply the Rule of Thirds to achieve this balance.
You can also look at cookbooks to check how professionals do it so that you can get stylish, impressive shots.
Tips for Styling Food for Photos
A. Put patterned papers as a background. Determine what works and what doesn’t when it comes to similarity and contrast. Make sure as well that you have enough paper to cover the field of view entirely.
B. Experiment with kitchen items. Try combining different serving pieces, napkins, placements, whole place settings and tablecloths. Also, consider setting the table with drinks, silverware, and candles to express the right mood.
C. Use the best examples. If you are photographing several food subjects, such as a dozen cupcakes, focus on the best or perfect products. A simple blemish can ruin the photo shoot.
D. Use water to create condensation. When photographing glassware, vegetables, and fruits you can use water to create condensation and make the subject look fresh and appetizing. Remember that shiny food looks more appealing than dull ones.
5. Choose the Best Angle
When shooting food, choosing the best angle comes from intuition and good observation. When framing your image, move around your subject and observe with your eyes. But make this quick – you do not want to keep that freshly prepared food waiting.
Keep in mind that food photography is just like photographing people because each subject has its best side. Food photography experts recommend trying different angles (from above, straight-on, from the side, etc.) and determining later which one looks best. In time, you will surely get a sense of what looks best for certain shots.
Remember that the more frequently you take shots, the easier this will become.
6. Use a Tripod
Using a tripod is crucial because this helps reduce the chances of camera shakes. Also, it allows you to take longer exposures, especially when you are taking pictures in low light situations like in bars or restaurants with dimmed lights.
To get the best food photos, aim for good exposure, color rendering, and soft shadows. Try to experiment with your apertures and focal point. To avoid blurry photos, use a tripod. Most importantly, do not hesitate to add some artistic flair to your images via creative post-processing.
Barry Morgan is the creative force behind Barry Morgan Photography. His passions are photography, food and family, although not always in that order. He believes you should love what you do, to do exceptional work. Cooking was always a family affair in his home so naturally, once his passion for photography took root, he was drawn to food photography. Barry Morgan Photography now works with hundreds of clients, turning their tasty dishes into mouthwatering visuals.