Food Photography Tips and Tricks for Beginners
According to the Blog Tyrant, there are more than 1.7 billion websites on the Net today. Over 600 million of these website owners have blogs. Food bloggers are now creating an amazing opportunity in the online world. They not only make income from this type of blogging, but they also enhance their passion for promoting foods and recipes. For beginners in food blogging to become successful in their careers, they should utilize professional food photography tips and techniques.
What is Food Photography?
Food photography refers to a type of still life photography that aims to produce amazing food photographs. It also specializes in commercial photography, where high-quality food images are needed for advertisements. The photos usually appear in menus, cookbooks, magazines, packaging, and other ads. Typically, professional food photography is a combined effort, skill, and creativity of a photographer, art director, food stylists, and their assistants.
Food photographers must produce excellent output by showcasing what's best about the foods and telling a story through photographs and images. Their goal is to turn photos of the foods into an effective tool to entice, engage, and sell.
The Basics of Food Photography
Every photography genre has its own basics and fundamentals. The same goes for food photography. Basically, most photography experts would advise to use natural light, avoid using flash, and utilize the camera's macro settings. However, there are more things to be considered to achieve top-notch and convincing food photos.
The Academy of Culinary Nutrition published a comprehensive guide to food photography. It listed some important factors to consider when starting a career in food photography. These factors include camera, lighting, composition, angles, styling, plating, and props.
How to Excel in Food Photography: Tips and Techniques for Beginners
The main goal of every food photographer is to make the foods look appetizing and enticing. However, achieving that goal can be challenging for an amateur photographer. Yes, it can be challenging, but it's definitely possible!
Check out the following tips and techniques that can help you improve your food photography skills
#1 Choose to use a shallow depth of field
One common challenge for beginners in photography is how to choose the best background they will use. It will be better to use your lens's widest aperture. Use the shallow depth of field. There are times you need to get closer to the food to create an enhanced effect, depending on the type of camera you will use.
#2 Consider minimalism
The saying, "less is more" can be applied to food photography. This can give a full focus on your subject. Make sure to check the four corners of your frame. Anything that seems not to work to emphasize the subject should be cut or eliminated. Be minimalistic if you want to achieve a clean frame and avoid the visual clutter. Imagine an apple with a clear, solemn background or a cupcake with a white, divine-coloured wall behind it. They can look beautiful with the focus merely on the main subject.
#3 Or, you can get messy, too!
There is beauty in imperfections. You can be creative with your food photos and make them more real with some mess and clutter. For instance, add some crumbs or grains beside the plate or on the table to add a more visual effect. Be creative yet subtle with this kind of approach in taking photos.
#4 Shoot photos with proper lighting.
This is common advice from professional photographers. That is why beginners should learn about the proper lighting to use when taking pictures. Put in mind that the kind of lighting you will use can either produce a great image or break the whole picture. If possible, shoot pictures using natural light. This can give the food photo a sense of a bright aura. For some food bloggers, this can be difficult because they need to do the shooting during the daytime. One technique you should do when shooting food or a recipe is to open the windows around the area. Natural lighting is better to use compared to using flash or artificial light.
#5 Shoot to tell a story
As the familiar adage says, "A picture paints a thousand words." That is absolutely real when it comes to food photography. Sometimes, even a single photo of food can tell a life-long story. You can do it by adding props and organizing them creatively.
You should also consider adding garnish as an important element for your masterpiece. Try to infuse the emotions you would want to convey through the foods you shoot. It can evoke a feeling of satisfaction, cravings, happiness, and sadness. As a photographer, you should tickle the audience's imagination and bring to their senses the emotions evoked by the foods.
#6 Be inspired by other photographers' works.
As an amateur or skilled photographer, you may already have some ideas in mind on how your desired food photos would look like. However, there could be times you would notice that your insights are limited. You will need some inspiration to rekindle that creativity inside you. You can do it by browsing other people's works. Of course, it should not be copied, but you will be able to grasp some techniques on how they shoot their fantastic food photos. Read food magazines, food blogs, and even videos about foods. Of course, make sure to keep updated with food trends and photography updates. It's always best to consider photography techniques that are classic, modern, and contemporary.
#7 Shoot in black and white
Black and white photography never gets old. It's always a dramatic way of posing a subject. And yes, you can also apply it in food photography. It helps display the form and shape of the subject beautifully, making it more stunning, among others.
Food photography is expected to improve and become more sophisticated without disregarding the classic touches in photos. This can be challenging for newly-started photographers. However, they can excel in this photography genre by following the tips mentioned above. Of course, make sure to use a high-quality camera to capture foods and produce outstanding results.