Do you have a decent photo gear, some photography knowledge and you are still whishing to make better food photography? Well, we have some experience in that field and here are our tips to make ace food photography. In our first food photography article, we covered essentials and some technicals, now it is time for more juicy details.
The Biggest Difficulties When Shooting Food
Is taking food photography harder, than other types of photography? I would say it is much easier than many other types of photography and this can be the biggest challenge. Why? Mostly because you take everything for granted and creativity stays off the guard. You know your plate will be there for a while and therefore you relax too much.
Finding a Creative Scene
Alright, if you are shooting in your “home-studio” this isn’t a problem. Having a nice plate, a lot of props and great lighting are the main keys to great food photography. The problem comes, when you are the guest in the restaurant for the duration of your meal.
You can’t just jump everywhere and take 1000 shots from 5 different angles. Sometimes luck will be on your side and the table has everything you need, but mostly you will rely on your creativity.
Light is a crucial factor when taking any kind of photography and food is no exception. Without the right lighting, your food photos will look flat and colors far from what they were in reality. Here again, home studios and shooting food on demand doesn’t have this problem.
However, when shooting for blogs or food reviews this can be a big problem. A lot of restaurants like intimate ambiance, which works great for having a meal and not so great for taking a photo.
…let’s take this nice plate and put it right here. Great, but I think I need a little bit more of a scene here. Let’s go back, focus and… oh no, too much of that empty space, lame composition, is that my wife on a photo? You all know what I am talking about. Some plates are truly hard to fit into great compositions, and that makes food photography wicked.
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Overcome This and Take Licking Fingers Food Photos
If you wanna make great food photography you should consider all these difficulties in advance. If you know what your problems are, the solution has already presented itself halfway.
Prepare in Advance
Check your shooting place and if you have a chance to change your table for the one which has more light and space. We always ask for a table with more light, when we are making a reservation. Sometimes we get lucky but sometimes we are there with one “candle” and tears in our eyes. Does it stop us? Never, we just try to be more creative.
Some people are lucky and puking creativity all over the place. Other people might struggle, but it shouldn’t end there. Check Pinterest, Instagram, Food Blogs, anything with nice food photography. More ideas you will have in your memory, more you will act creatively. Take a chance with that special shoot if you think it might work.
Respect The Rules
Rule of thirds, guiding lines, golden ratios and other wisdom are here because our brains work similarly. You should take these rules as your gold standard and your food photography will get better.
Break The Rules
I mean it. Sure, rules are there for guidance, but sometimes trusting your guts might be a better solution. Ignore guides and just take that shot. After all, we are living in the digital photography era. Consider this and shoot like texas cowboy. However, in the end, there is one superior rule – give up!
If you find yourself stuck in one composition, you have tried every angle and lens you have, it’s time to give up. Turn your composition on the head and start over. Maybe we should call this one “unplug for 10 seconds and reboot again”.
Food Photography Photo Editing
Every photo needs some editing and food photography is no different. Usually, it’s just color correction and cropping, although be prepared also to hide some faults. However, with color editing, we give a different meaning and tell a different story. I am giving you one example.
No matters what, enjoy your food photo session and have fun. In this crazy world, we are forgetting about the fun and look where it got us. Relax, enjoy, learn and rise through a play. You don’t need to have a client for food photography. You can simply make some great dishes and take outstanding photos, at home. On the other hand, you can make a reservation in the restaurant and take a few shots. Take it easy, the portfolio shouldn’t be made in a day!
Don’t Be Hungry
This is probably one of the most important tips :). Capturing food is very hard when your stomach is empty and your mouth full of saliva. When hungry, your nerves are cranked up and this can be a bad combo.
Alright, the end of another food photography tips article. As you can see, we are covering psychological aspects before technicals. Why? Because I think a lot of food photographers don’t lack technical knowledge, but rather some visualization. To master that one, you should know about psychological background.