More food photos are taken on smartphones than ever before; if you’re looking to get the most from your phone’s camera we’ve got five tips to share with you that’ll ensure your food photography rivals the best.
With so many smartphones and willing photographers out there, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Here are our top five tips for getting the most out of your edible subjects.
Five Tips to Improve Your Food Photography
Use Natural Light
Make sure you get that window table! An abundance of natural light is the holy grail of nearly all photography, which makes typically dark restaurants a troublesome hurdle for your photo shoot. Try positioning your dish in as much light as possible, indoor lighting will help but al fresco dining makes this a lot easier. Avoid the temptation to use the flash, the bright whites will overpower your subject and make it appear lifeless and unnatural on your plate. If you are dealing with low light, use a tripod or stand to minimise blurry, muddy shots.
Perfection in Imperfection
We’ve all seen the impeccably presented photos of dishes from top restaurants; bright colours and clean lines against pure white china. It’s cool, it’s clinical, it’s haute cuisine, and it’s also not going to work for all food. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy; a crumbly slice of cake, gravy running a little haphazardly over your plate, a cut of lamb already pulled from the bone, even a shot mid-way through cooking. This will all help you convey the act of actually eating and enjoying your food, rather than it be something simply to observe.
Explore Your Phone’s Camera Settings
People are beginning to understand that megapixels aren’t everything in the world of great photography, meaning phone manufacturers are having to rely on more than just an increasing number of pixels to stand out from the crowd. The upshot of this is that many phone cameras include an abundance of unique features and manual settings. Whilst the terminology and icons may be confusing and scary, you’ll soon get to grips with what your phone is capable of by simply experimenting. Depth of field effects in particular can add a professional flair to the simplest of photos.
Use props, sparingly
The food is the star of the show, but a good prop or two can add a little je ne sais quoi and aid the narrative of the photo. If cooking and photographing at home, a few of the raw ingredients placed strategically in the back of shots can help tell the story of the cooking process, and convey the freshness of the final product. Whilst eating in restaurants, let the table ware and decor add a little ambiance to the scene. Be careful not to overdo it however, your eye should be drawn to the food first and foremost.
Take more than one shot, but don’t forget to eat!
You’ll never get the perfect photo on your first go, so get used to taking a few. Try different angles on the same composition, or throw out the composition entirely and try something completely different. Play with the lighting, shadows especially can add drama to a scene and really bring the food to life. Try getting up close to really showcase the intricacies of a dish. Remember though, that freshness counts, try not to let the food sit out for too long to avoid wilted vegetables and unappetizing meals.
photos via David Griffen, Glenn English, Superbra Food and Bread and Stephanie Lee