Food photography is one of the greatest trends in photography. Social media, like Facebook, Instagram, have taken food photography to soar heights of popularity. Especially, food photography for Instagram has become a big part of life when you started blogging. There are many challenges while working with real food. That’s why so photographers use many unusual food photography Hacks.
What is Food Photography?
Food photography means taking a photo whenever you eat. It is a part of commercial photography. Professional food photography is kind of hard because you need a team like a photographer, director, etc. There are many people are choosing a career as a food photographer or blogger. Because people are interested to travel around the world and taste the food of different cultures. There are many food companies that promote their food through advertisements, magazines, packaging, menus or cookbooks.
Taking a nice photo of food is a hard-earned skill—after all, that’s why some people are lucky enough to get paid for it. But it’s also a lot easier to hone these days, no matter who you are; even a smartphone or compact camera can take gorgeous, high-quality images. This time I’m going to cover my essential tips for food photography props and lighting because, at the end of the day, props and lighting are really what makes or breaks your food photo.
A Guide for Food Photography Hacks
If you want to be a professional food photographer, or simply present your images on Instagram to grow your following, there are certain tips and techniques you should use to improve your skills. We have put together a perfect guide on food photography to take your pictures to the next level. In this article, I`d like to tell you my food photography techniques about taking great pictures that look awesome. In case, you are already an experienced food photographer, get some extra professional food photography tips working with color, lighting, and style.
Sweetest Food Photography Tricks:
Choose a Good Camera Body
The first thing you definitely must-have for food photography is obviously a camera! If you are a beginner, you might use your phone or a simple point-and-shoot camera which is not that expensive and won`t require many skills. But, for becoming a real food photography pro, it`s worth having a basic mirrorless or DSLR.
Camera settings and exposure
If you want to shoot food, it’s best to set your camera to take RAW images. JPEG images are processed, which is handy, but they have a very limited color range as opposed to a RAW file. They also degrade in quality each time you retouch them, whereas you can edit RAW images as much as required without losing important information.
Do what you can to obtain the best exposure in-camera. Getting things right in-camera saves you a lot of time. It’s much harder and more time-consuming to try to fix things in post-production, and you still can’t always get as good of a result as you would if you just took the time to get things right in-camera.
When shooting in natural light, put your white balance on Auto and correct it in post-production if you need to. If you’re shooting with flash, be sure to set it to Daylight white balance.
If you’re using artificial light, set your ISO to 100. Your shutter speed should not exceed the sync speed of your camera. If you don’t know that, you’ll have to look it up. It’s generally around 200.
When shooting in natural light, use a tripod and lower your shutter speed to account for lower light conditions rather than cranking up your ISO, which will give your images unwanted noise.
Turn Off Your Flash
In most countries they’ll arrest you for flashing–so why flash your food? Nothing looks worse than a flashed plate of food. It flattens the image and usually makes the food look unappealing. The entire purpose of photographing food is to make people want to eat it.
When you use flash, that idea goes flying out the window. This photo was taken with an on-camera flash and lights the food from the front. The lighting makes the food look flat and boring. You can also clearly see the wooden table and grass outside the porch–both are distracting.
Natural Light could Your Friend
If you have a studio you can do some pretty amazing things to light your food just the way you want it. However, a studio set up is costly and pretty darn difficult to travel with. It’s also unnecessary. You don’t need a studio to achieve great results!
Natural light is your friend when it comes to photographing food. Move your food near a window or maybe take it outside for better light. Making use of the natural light around you is the second step in achieving an excellent food photo.
Focus and angle
Firstly, I talk about the right focus and angle. To get the correct focus and angle, think about which would best complement the food and show it to the best advantage.
Overhead shots are the most graphic and work for many types of flat foods, such as pizza. They’re also a great way of getting more elements into the shot because the depth becomes flattened.
Use lower angles or straight-on angles for tall foods, such as burgers and stacks of pancakes. Keep in mind that lower angles create more surface shine. In general, you usually want to focus on the front of the food.
Use a Blowtorch
It’s necessary for browning the edges of hamburgers or poultry. Remember that you should cook hot dogs before torching if you don’t want to provoke an ugly effect.
Harness the light
It’s all about the light! My best tip for beginners is to become conscious of the intensity of the sunshine and the way it hits the food and learns to regulate accordingly.
Before you put the “hero” food down on the table, do a lighting test with a stand-in that is a similar shape and size of the dish you are shooting. Food dies very quickly, so you don’t want it sitting around while you’re tinkering with your lights.
Soft light is usually best for food photography, so use a diffuser, scrim, or translucent fabric to diffuse the light. In most cases, directional light (coming from one direction) will look best. Use black cardboard to create shadows, white cardboard or reflectors to kick in light or fill shadows.
The light should come from the side, the back, or somewhere in between to be most flattering to food. Never use front light – it looks great in portraits, but is too flat for food and will cause unwanted shadows on your set.
Set the Table
Now you’re ready for the grand finale: a whole table scene! For this, you’ll most likely want some help, a lot of time, and a tripod. Choose food that’s not going to easily wilt (e.g. salad) or turn color (e.g. avocado). An arrangement of appetizers or tapas works well for this; if you’re looking for something simple, try a pasta dish. When selecting your props, keep in mind that they should complement your food, but not be overpowering.
Start setting your table with just the props and take an overhead photo from your tripod; check the image and re-arrange until you’re proud of your layout. Finally, add and style the food. If you wish, invite some friends to be models for the shoot and incorporate some action shots of them sitting at the table and reaching for items or cutting their food. And, of course, eat and enjoy.
The bottom line:
It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a foodie or not, everyone loves taking photos of food. Shooting food can be an imperative part of creating a story, it can also elicit great reactions from others and trigger memories for the photographer. There are many challenges while working with real food. That’s why so photographers use so many unusual food photography tricks. People use motor oil instead of sauce and mashed potatoes instead of a creamy dessert. The food should look perfect as in a restaurant, but the expiration date of some ingredients is too short to take photos