Food Photography Tips and Tricks for Beginners

One thing that you will love about photography is it allows you to explore many genres. Among these is food photography, wherein your subject focuses on inanimate stuff like food, beverages, and other edible things. One of the main goals for this photography genre is to make the food look more appetizing, especially if you are also dealing with product photography. Business entrepreneurs hire photographers to produce high-quality images of their food products. 


As a photographer, you have to make the food look delicious in photographs since they will be used for advertising. If you are new to this industry and want to explore what you can do, it is highly recommended to learn some basics and even tricks that can help you excel in food photography. Who knows, you can be one of the best food photographers in town!


Food Photography Basics

Suppose you are a portrait photographer and want to make a transition to food photography; what should you consider first? Should you use the same techniques, or are there rules to follow? As someone who has started a career in food photography, many questions could come into your mind. But you don't have to worry because you can hone your food photography skills as long as you are eager to learn and practice regularly. 

Here are some food photography basics that every beginner should know:


#1 Consider the background.


When taking food photographs, the background is usually blurred. It is because most photographers want to focus more on the subject. However, that is just always the case. There are instances when including the background is a better idea. That's why you need an appealing background that will not overpower the subject. 

For example, if you are taking a photograph of a salad bowl, you may use a tablecloth that is nicely placed on the table. You can add some kitchenware but make sure that the main focus will be on the salad. All of these can be achieved with food styling. You can experiment with what will work best. When in doubt of your food styling skills, you can use any decent background and use a very shallow depth of field. Try choosing the widest aperture to enhance the effects.


#2 Determine which is better, coloured or black and white?


Usually, food is photographed with colours to make them look more appetizing. But there could be instances when the food looks better in balck and white pictures. Using monochrome is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the shape and form of the subject. Black and white photos are ideal for advertisement because they add drama to the image. Besides, food photography is not only about making food look appetizing. Through these food photographs, you can tell stories that can capture the emotions of the ones looking at them.


#3 Identify your goals.


You can experiment with food photography. But before that, you need to identify your goals. Not only that, but you also have to consider the type of food you will be taking pictures of. Suppose you will capture a single fruit. You can showcase its shape by using fewer items in the background. The simpler, the better. Why? It's because the main focus will be drawn to the subject. Besides, you can also consider proper lighting to create a better composition. 


On the other hand, you can get messy with the food to make it look that it is not staged. Suppose you are photographing some cupcakes. It would be better to arrange them beautifully and add some sprinkles on top of them. Doing so does not only add colours to the frame, but it also enhances the texture. Breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and sprinkles are some things you can add to the food to make the food messy in an appealing way.


#4 Make the food look more authentic.


An apple with a bite is usually more appealing than a flawless photograph. It is because it makes the fruit more real in images. Besides, taking a bite shows authenticity that works well in advertising. You can do it in other food products. If you think a bite is quite messy, you may use a knife to slice a sandwich or even steak to show what's inside the food.


#5 Shoot using natural light.


There are different sources of light, but the best one is the natural light of the sun. That's why make sure to take advantage of it by doing the photoshoot when the natural light is still abundant. If shooting indoors, you may want to build a set up near a window where you can get natural light. Morning is usually the best time for food photography shoots.


#6 Use a high ISO.


The ISO is a camera setting that you can use to brighten or darken a photo. Using a higher ISO allows you to get the light into the camera faster. In other words, increasing the ISO will make your photos look brighter. A high ISO is recommended to demonstrate the colours of the food you are capturing. However, that is not always the case, especially if you are using a tripod. It would be better to use a low ISO to produce the crispest and sharpest images possible.


Food photography is an exciting genre. It allows you to do many things such as showcasing the chef's masterpieces, persuading customers to buy the products, and exploring a new kind of photography genre. Even if you are a beginner, there are some helpful tips like the one mentioned earlier, which can help you excel in this field. Keep your motivation, and you will indeed become a successful food photographer in no time.