Whether in a restaurant or at home, no one would dare eat their food these days without publishing it on social media, right?
Whether you’re a professional photographer, a food blogger, or someone who just wants to make their family recipe book look better, a great food photo should look delicious to everyone who sees it, even to someone who just had a meal. Here are a few of our tips for creating delicious food photos. All photographs copyright Matt Armendariz
Natural light is always best when it comes to taking photos of food. Try and take photos close to a window. If natural light is not available, try bouncing a flash off an object instead of using the flash directly on the dish. A white chopping board or table cloth work well. Don’t use your flash directly as this will create glare and uneven lighting.
2 Less is more
As tempting as it is to fill the plate with as much food as possible, when it comes to food photography, less is always more. You don’t want too much going on in the image.
Consider the colour of your food in relation to the colour of your plate. If you’re photographing rice pudding, it will be better to use a bowl that has some colour in it to make the white pop more. If you’re photographing a salad with lots of different colours, it might be better to use a white plate to make the colours pop more. Practice taking photos of the same dish in different bowls to see what a different affects you can create.
4 Take photos while the food is still fresh
Hot food always looks more delicious. Get as many photos as you can as soon as your food is on the plate!
Adding a flourish of parsley to a bland bowl of pasta helps to add vibrancy to an image. When planning your dish, think about how you would like the final product to look before you start, that way you know what garnishes you will need at the end to help make the dish pop.
6 Don’t overuse or underuse props
Props help set the mood of the photo. If you were sitting in front of a plate of food, what would you like to see it being served with? Set the scene for your photo by adding a table cloth or placemat, cutlery and any condiments that might go with your dish. Don’t add too many though, otherwise these become the focus of the image, rather than the food!
7 Experiment with angles
Different angles produce very different results. Look at your dish from a few different angles before taking the shot. Find the angle which shows the food in the tastiest way and take the shot from there.
If you see an image that you like online, think about it from a photographers’ perspective. What do you like about the image and why? If you can answer this, try recreating the image at home, setting up the scene in the same way.
Photos can always be deleted. Take as many photos as you can from different angles using different settings with different light sources. The more photos you take, the more you will learn about what works in different situations. 10 Have fun!
Try not to focus too much on the technical aspects and rather play and have fun with it. This will ultimately show in your final images.