What should a food photographer be looking after?
First of all: Light… let there be light! No light, no photo…
- Natural daylight is by far that best for food photography. Make sure the light comes from the front or side, to make you food look appealing. Look around in your house where you can find the best light, might be the bedroom in the morning and the kitchen in the afternoon. Try to avoid taking photos with regular lamps on, this gives a yellow glow, which does not work out well
- Try multiple angles and see what works best with your dish. Commonly used are the 0, 45 and 90 degrees angles
- Use a tripod with a horizontal bar. This will allow you to determine the correct angle and distance and freeze it. So you can spend your time on optimising the other settings without losing time on finding back the same angle and distance. A time saver! It will also allow you to work with really slow shutter speeds without getting a blurry unsharp image. Win-win!
- Styling is almost as important as light. Your photo will not be nice if your subject does not look nice! Do not over style, but seek for balance. Not too much nor too little. Make sure that the attention of the viewer is directed to the main subject of the photo. Fresh herbs and spices are magical, as well as freshly ground pepper.
- Photograph your setting and main styling before you work with the actual food. This way you can make the perfect setting, determine your focus point, choose the correct aperture (diafragma) and shutter speed, without your food deteriorating and going all fluffy in front of you. Once you add the food and food styling elements, you are all set to make that one great shot!
- Props can make or break it. For sure an ‘onmisbaar’ part of the photo! From background, to napkin, to plate, to decoration, you cannot do without! Make sure that props you use add value, if not it might be better to leave out
- Editing software is another essential element. First of all it is about mindset: you should go for a good photo instead of taking a photo that you will fix later! But some small fixes or tweaks can really make your photo a special one. Take your photo in RAW format so that you can adjust what is needed. Make sure that the colours are true to life. Work mainly with contrast and brightness.