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.
We’ve recently published an article talking about still life photography, including what it is and its highlights. If you are an aspiring photographer or someone who is inclined to a different photography genre, it's not too late to become an expert in still life photography. Besides, every expert photographer started with the basics. So if you want to try still life photography, it's time to learn some tips to do it. You will also learn some photography ideas that can help you achieve stunning photos. Whatever camera type you are using, be it an action cam or DSLR, you will indeed produce spectacular shots.
Still Life Photography In A Nutshell
For those who are clueless about what still life photography is, know that it is another genre of photography. It uses inanimate objects as subjects, making it a unique and exciting genre. In this type of photography, you have to use creative arrangements, proper lighting, and other elements to make the objects more appealing.
Still, life photography can help you learn new skills, including styling, since you need to make the unmoving objects look interesting. It can enhance your creativity since the subjects in this genre are usually those things that people pay less attention to. Once you have produced several excellent shots, you can use them to create a photography portfolio.
Tips to Improve Your Skills As A Still Life Photographer
Still life photography gives you the freedom to arrange the subjects the way you want them to be. Since they are inanimate objects, you can experiment with their arrangements and place the lighting to make them more appealing. But before you give this genre a try, it is essential to follow some tips that can help you improve your skills as a still life photographer. Among them are as follow:
#1 Focus on one type of still life photography. As someone new to this genre, it is crucial to know where you will start. Know that there are many interesting objects you can find. Although you can choose any subject available, it would be better to focus on one area. Still life photography comes in different types. You may select from the following:
- food photography
- found object photography
- product photography
- tabletop photography
You may check the previous article to understand their differences.
#2 Use the right equipment. One thing that makes still life photography ideas for aspiring photographers is it doesn't require expensive camera equipment. Whether you are using an action camera or high-end DSLR, you can produce quality shots. The key to creating excellent still life images is lighting.
Either you are using natural or artificial light, its position can significantly affect the overall shot. For instance, if you are using a high-end DSLR and lens, you may need to add other significant gear to produce unique pictures. It includes light reflectors, softboxes, and speed lights or strobes.
#3 Pick the right photography lenses. If you are planning to use different lenses and experiment on them, it is crucial to know how they can help you achieve your desired effects. For example, close-up and macro lenses can help you produce interesting compositions.
It is because they provide low-minimum focus distances, allowing you to shoot closer to the subject. Besides, it also helps you become more creative since you can focus on the details of the subjects. Another ideal photography lens for still life is the telephoto lenses. They offer a narrow-angle view that enables you to fill the frame using your subject.
Best Still Life Photography Ideas
Now that you have learned some helpful tips, it's time to follow them and give still life photography a try. Practice your skills using the following still life photography ideas:
#1 Choose a unique and fascinating object. When you search for still life photography samples on the internet, you will surely find flower vases, fruits in a basket, and the like. Although you can give it a try, using unique and interesting objects can help you stand out among other photographers. Try to look for a subject that has never been featured or something that people give less attention to. Make them look more appealing by being creative with the arrangements and compositions.
#2 Use painted canvas for the backdrop. There is no wrong in using plain backgrounds. Sometimes, having a simple backdrop can make an object more appealing. But it is not also a bad idea to use a painted canvas. Doing so gives flair to the overall image. Just make sure that the background will not overpower the object. Use subtle or neutral colours to ensure that the focus will not be taken away from the subject.
#3 Try flat lays. Shooting from above is also a perfect idea when doing still life photography. It works well with clothing, but you can also try it with other objects. Flat lay photography makes still life photography a simpler process since all items are on a single plane. You can add creative decorations but make sure that they will not overpower the main subject.
If you want to try another genre of photography, still life would be a great choice. It can help you boost your creativity since you have freedom regarding arrangements, compositions, and lightings. Besides, you can profit from it since companies use excellent product images to promote their brand. Mastering your skills in still life photography is a significant step in building your career. Try the photography ideas mentioned earlier and build a portfolio that you can use to find clients anywhere in the world!
The perfect photo doesn't come out of a camera instantly. It makes no difference even if you have the best camera in the market. There will be circumstances that will not be under your control. For instance, since action cameras have wide-angle lenses, distortion is inevitable. Exposure problems are also common in photos taken using these cameras. These are examples of the elements that are sometimes out of control and need to be fixed. Thus, a little help from a photo editor can make you achieve the look that you are aiming for. There are many photo editors that are available nowadays. However, some of these software are only available for subscription. Here are some of the editors you can use for free.