A lot goes into photographing food. The syrup falling on the pancake, a layered sandwich, a mezze platter surrounded by things that represents its heritage, a flat lay pizza with the toppings on display, the pictures that adorn food bloggers’ Pinterest and Instagram accounts don’t just come about in the first go. Food photography requires a lot of practice and technique that goes into it.
There are a few techniques that one can follow when they decide to click food pictures for their blog – this food photography training will make your food blog look like a dream.
Credit: piyush pawar
Hero the main dish
One should know what it is you are trying to capture through your photo – is it the steak or the sides, is it the pizza or the café setting around it, is it the milkshake or the wall behind it. Don’t take away from what you are actually trying to capture – either through clutter, props, bad lighting etc. Through your images make sure you hero the main dish.
Take pictures under natural light
The ground rule about food photography is –lighting above all else. One should be aware of the power of light and how it impacts the image of the food and adjust it accordingly. Ideally one should go for natural light – so take your plate of food out in the garden or to the terrace. The lighting changes as per the time of the day – your bedroom may be ideal for morning shoots and your living room for afternoon shoots – if you have good natural light, it can do wonders. But whatever you do, don’t use external sources of light such as flash, lamps, overhead lights etc.
Choose the best angle
There are three main angles in food photography – straight one, 45 degree or overhead. Not everything works for each type of food. You need to figure out what it is you want to showcase – the layers, the toppings, the drizzle etc. The angle heroes the dish and showcases the aspect you decide. If you cannot figure out which angle is working the best, take the picture from all three angles and compare them alongside. Some dishes like pizza look better from the top and something like a stack of pancakes would be captured best from the side.
Do not create mess around the main dish
Clutter tends to distract the viewer from the actual image. If the background is too busy with too many things, or the wall has too many pictures on it – it is not ideal for the photo. Choose an area and backdrop that is neutral and that does not take away from the main photo. Also go for neutral props and block colours – stay away from odd shapes, bold patterns or bright colours. Imagine a burger on a dark floral plate, or a milkshake against a printed backdrop – the viewer won’t know what to see
Try and tell a story through the props
This is the fun aspect of food photography – ‘storytelling’. The photograph you take should tell a story. For instance, if you are photographing mulled wine, the backdrop can indicate winter or Christmas, the table setting can have star anise, cinnamon & spices that go into it, the wine you used etc. can be used to create the perfect set with a story to tell. This helps the user to understand the story behind the food photograph. It evokes longing and makes the viewer emotional.
Choose a suitable camera and lens
If you enrol for any food digital photography workshops or take offline food photography training – you will learn that the camera and lens you use plays a huge role in the pictures that are produced. A recommended camera for food photography is the Canon EOS 5D &it is one of the most widespread cameras for food photographers globally. The suggested camera lens for both beginners and professionals is Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM as it produces sharp pictures and is ideal for all light conditions.
The right camera and lens can take your food photography to the next level.