While to some, food photography might just be snaps of somebody’s lunch, to many others it is serious business. From food bloggers to health & fitness influencers or for anyone in the food and beverage industry, your food photography is part of what sets you apart from your competition.
In fact, images of food continue to be among the most popular posts on Instagram, and you can even do college degrees solely in food photography, but there’s no need to go to college just to get some killer photography tips…
Whether you’re using a high-end DSLR or just your smartphone, (either one is fine) here are 7 photography tips you can use right now to give your food shots that professional wow-factor.
1) Make Fake Steam
Getting the perfect shot in food photography takes time, and steam doesn’t like to hang around too long. Just soak a cotton ball in some water, put it in the microwave for 10-30 seconds and voila – you’ve got thick clouds of piping-hot steam at your fingertips. You can strategically hide them behind food and/or props.
2) Use Shaving Foam Instead of Whipped Cream
Like steam, cream is also stubborn and doesn’t like to behave in food photography. Next time you need some whipped cream to stay perfectly formed in your frame, try using shaving foam instead of the real thing.
3) Put Dish Soap In Coffee
This is another one that will sadly make your food inedible, but remember that it’s serving a higher purpose, Les Arte… When your cup of coffee loses the crema (foam on top), add a few drops of washing-up liquid and stir it in to revive that freshly-poured look. The same goes for putting a spoon of salt in beer to bring the perfect head back to life!
4) Experiment With Light
Natural light is always best if you can use it, but avoid any kind of front-lighting. Try experimenting with different types of bulbs, angles and exposure levels. Very often the difference between a professional-looking food photograph and an amateur one is the use of diffusers and reflectors. These can be bought at all budget ranges and are also very easy to DIY, so definitely don’t skip out on this photography tip.
5) Add Water To Darker Drinks
Ever wondered why red wine and Coke look so much better on billboards and screens? That’s because food photographers use simple tricks like reflector cards and back-lighting… but before any of that, they will always add water to the drink to allow more light into the liquid. Add up to 50% water, it may appear too light to the naked eye, but it will be ideal for the camera.
6) Use a Tripod
Look, even the steadiest hand in the business couldn’t keep a camera still for as long as you actually need to in food photography. Spare yourself the hand cramps and invest in a tripod, this will not only make for clearer shots but it’ll also leave both of your hands free to play around with the subjects, props and lighting without losing the framing you took 20 minutes to line up.
7) Match Props To Your Subject Matter & Theme
This is one of those photography tips that might seem less obvious than others. If you’re shooting foods that are not so uniform, maybe salads, sandwiches and stews, use natural props like wooden tableware, stone, flowers, leaves and other spectacles of nature.
For more out-of-this-world styled foods like colourful desserts, treats, milkshakes and so on, make sure to use props that have cleaner lines, are simple in form and are generally ‘neater’, aesthetically speaking.
There you have it, now you’re equipped with 7 awesome food photography tips to get your inspiration going!
Don't forget to check out our full range of beautiful wood and glass kitchen/table accessories if you're looking for some stunning props for your next food snaps!