1. Stay Away from Busy Patterns
Your dishes, table cloths and napkins surrounding the food should be as subtly patterned as possible. Color is okay as long as it complements the food. A pile of brownies on a plate, for example, looks fantastic on a solid red plate but if you place them on a bright floral multi-colored dish the brownies will get lost in the frame– leaving the eye to be drawn to the pattern rather than to the food.
The point is, your food should be center stage and the main thing the eye is drawn to.
2. Always Use Natural Light
Whenever possible, steer clear of using your on-camera flash when photographing food. Using a flash can cause your highlights to be way to harsh and distract from the actual texture of the food. In the cases where you can’t use natural lighting, use an off-camera flash with an umbrella or some other type of diffuser to keep direct light off of the food. You can also use a bounce-flash method by aiming the flash at a white ceiling or a piece of white poster board to the side of the subject….we know it’s a lot, but it’s so worth it!
3. Use Low-Key Props
Surrounding your food with a few simple props will give it a little bit of a back story. For example, a fork on the plate and a coffee pot in the background can give a little depth to an image of a slice of freshly baked coffee cake (yum!). Just make sure your props don’t compete with the actual food with busy patterns or clashing colors. Also, use your props sparingly to make sure your image doesn’t look cluttered. Less is more!
There are literally hundreds of things you can do to take your food photography to the next level, but the important thing is to just start shooting. Just like with anything else the more you practice, the better you’ll get! The main things to remember are to prioritize your food, pay attention to the lighting and don’t clutter your background with too many props.
Ready. Aim. Shoot!
We can’t wait see all the photos of the yummy food you’re eating!
(We’re drooling already!)