Whatever you are selling or promoting, your photographic images need to be appealing – and when it comes to food they need to be appetising too – literally. Because a congealed lasagne or a soggy sandwich isn’t going to have people queuing up for your culinary offerings – in fact, quite the opposite so read on for some food photography tips.
It may surprise you to hear that food photography isn’t just about photographing plates of food. Although the hero of your image is definitely the dish, using subtle props such as ingredients and equipment in culinary photo shoots can really help to tell the story of your cuisine and demonstrate so much about what customers can expect from a visit to your venue. Cakes on beautiful stands, fresh linen cloths, scrubbed pine wooden tables, gleaming cutlery…. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives and consider the rule of thirds to create a visually appealing composition.
Less is definitely more in food photography and some space in your composition is also a top tip. Not overcrowding or complicating the objects gives the viewer’s senses room to breathe and stops overload.
It may sound obvious but ‘fresh is best’ when it comes to food photography and so a little pre-planning is essential to make sure that you can get the food from the kitchen and in front of a lens as quickly as possible before it starts to look too jaded. Think about the time of day (or even the time of year) when you will be taking your pictures. If the temperature during the day is likely to rise then plan to start earlier when it’s cooler or prioritise the leafy greens and salads so they don’t wilt.
If you are photographing for a variety of seasons think about the best time of day to photograph certain dishes – autumnal and winter foods might be best left to the longer shadows or reducing light of a late afternoon, especially if you are working at a different time of year.
It isn’t just the fresh items that need to be photographed promptly, that latte foam won’t last forever, and that chocolate dusting will soon get damp. When time really is of the essence consider taking ‘action shots’, photographs that capture the actual preparation and serving of dishes and drinks when they really are at their very best.
Obviously, natural light Simply must feature, and when it comes to food photography almost everyone agrees that using natural light is key. If you have a good source of natural light, make sure that you include this in your plans and think about the way the light will fall at different times of the day.
With the light will come shadows but don’t be afraid of them, embrace them! Shadows can add image and depth to your photographs when you know how.
Put Colour Theory into practice
Food photography is a great opportunity to put colour theory in to practice, creating stunning compositions of complementary colours that are proven to evoke different moods and emotions. Balancing colours is key and a colour wheel is a great accessory for working out which hues will enhance your composition.
A well-taken photograph of food can make it look appetising and mouth-watering, encouraging people to try it out. It’s essential to invest in high-quality photography to showcase your food in the best possible way and I would Simply love to help so please call me if you would like some more tips on food photography or see how my services could help you.