Food photography is more popular than ever – rarely nowadays can you visit a restaurant, café, or even your own dinner table without a fellow diner bellowing ‘STOP!’ and bringing out their digital camera, smartphone or SLR to capture their cuisine and share with friends.
It’s now such a social phenomenon that Birds Eye even opened a pop-up restaurant in London where diners could pay by taking a picture of their meal and uploading it to Instagram – we like the sound of that!
With that in mind, here are our top PhotoBox tips to help you go from ready-meal to premium cuisine in no time.
Keep the background simple
You want the food to do the talking – if possible, try to make sure there is a contrast between the background and the food. When in doubt, try to use a white or light coloured background.
You don’t need to invest in expensive equipment – rather, learn how to use certain features on the camera or smartphone you already have. Almost all digital cameras now come with a macro feature, usually enabled through simply switching to ‘manual’ which allows up close photos with depth – perfect for food shots.
Many smartphones offer a macro focus feature automatically now, but if not, Softbox Pro will do the job nicely.
Try different angles of view when shooting your food – directly overhead, tilted, shooting into the edge of the plate or table or even adding a human element, such as a hand holding a fork or bowl.
Small details matter
While viewers looking at the photo may only subconsciously notice props, the right tablecloth, surface, plate or carefully placed spoon can make all of the difference. The devil is in the detail.
Don’t be afraid to slice, dice & get a bit messy
On its own or in its simplest form, food may look plain or boring. Try removing a slice away from a full cake, or chopping chorizo into slices to see the different compositions you can play around with. And don’t worry too much about crumbs – let them fall where they may for a more natural photo.
A great way to get started in food photography is to visit outdoor markets and food markets, where the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, the lighting ideal and the food in abundance.
These tips should give you a good basis to practice your food photography skills. As the saying goes ‘we eat with our eyes’, and the best part? Devouring the props afterwards -bon appétit!
Have we missed any key ingredients? If you’ve got any foodie tips, leave them in the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you…