Whether you take photos of food professionally, or just want to snap a quick shot of your delicious meal, there are many thoughts that go into creating a nice looking shot. If you want to take your food photography skills to the next level, take a look at my suggestions below. If you have any tips you’d like to add, feel free to drop a comment below!
Choosing the Right Angle
Some food photographs better from different angles. Flat foods like pizza or pasta tend to look better when shot from above, while steaks and burgers tend to look better when shot from the sides.
In addition, play around with symmetry versus asymmetry. Try taking the shot centered and then try the same shot with your food off to one side. Is there anything in the background that will lend some contrast?
You want your food to stand out. When somebody looks at your picture, you want their eyes to go straight to the food. You don’t want your audience getting distracted by something placed in the background of your image. Keep it as simple as possible.
Getting the Best Lighting
Lighting plays a big role in every photo, but it plays a huge role in how appetizing (or gross) food can look. This one particular tip might be tricky based on your location. Some restaurants and bars don’t have the best lighting. But if you can get yourself outside or close to a window, natural light is the best source of light for food. This means light created by the sun. Artificial light (lightbulbs) tend to have a specific color temperature and your food will usually be cast in the color temperature of that light. If the lights at the restaurant are warm or orange, your food will look more warm or orange. Natural light is more balanced, so when using sunlight, the colors of your food pop a lot more.
You want your audience to focus on the food, not the crumpled napkin in the background. Before taking the photo, scan your eyes around the image and see if there’s anything out of place or distracting. It’s okay if table settings are cut off or something looks a little off-centered.
Tweaking Photos with Editing
After taking the photo, a little cropping could zoom in and give the audience a closer look at the food. The more zoom on the photo, the larger the food can look. Cropping can also be useful to get rid of unwanted objects in the background. If you didn’t have any natural light, playing with color temperature can reduce the amount of blue or orange cast. Increasing exposure or brightness can help naturally bring out colors in the food.