I've had a few folks email and ask me for tips on how to photograph food. This kind of request always makes me smile as I have to admit that, yes, I take a lot of pictures of food! I won't say that I'm the best food photographer out there, but over the years as I've grown as a food blogger I've learned a few simple tricks that really help me show off my cooking creations. Here's my top 5 tips for photographing food…
1. Get as much natural light in the picture as you can. Make sure to turn the automatic flash off when you are getting ready to take a picture, the flash will ruin a perfectly pretty photo! You may need to move your dish toward a window or even take it outside to get enough pretty light in your photograph. And, this also means you have to plan ahead a little-if your dinner won't be ready until 7pm but the sun goes down at 6:30pm, sadly you probably won't be able to get a well lit picture. So make sure you cook or bake with enough daylight hours left.
2. Think about the whole image, not just the food. Pay attention to what kind of background you are shooting by. You may want to move your dish over slightly if something weird or unsightly is showing in the background (like a sink full of dirty dishes!). And think about your plates, bowls, silverware and other 'props' as you photograph. If you've just made a delicious looking salad you may not necessarily want to photograph it on a green plate, as the colors may clash and not look as pretty as other colors would look when paired together.
3. Try different angles. Some of my very favorite food photos were taken while I was standing on a chair directly above the dish I was photographing. You may feel a bit silly standing on a chair in your kitchen while taking pictures of a loaf of bread, but try different angles as much as possible. You'll be glad you did!
4. Fill the entire frame. You may want to frame your dish slightly off center, but this should be an artistic choice you have made and not an accident! Pay attention to what you can see in the image as you photograph. You may need to back up or move in toward the food, depending on your lens. You don't want to get so close that you can't tell what the food is, but you don't want a ton of negative space either.
5. Garnish, drizzle and take a bite! Don't forget to add a few sprigs of cilantro to the top of your curry. Drizzle on a little glaze just before photographing those cinnamon rolls. And, after you've take a few pictures, take a bite or slice a piece off so the photo looks like the food is in the process of being eaten. All these little details can really make a picture pop and give it that little extra interest that it wouldn't otherwise have. Have fun and try different things!
Good luck in all your recipe and food photography adventures! xo. Didier (All photos from Spiegeling + Food Coma)