Quick Food Photography Tips
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Food Photography - What better time to try a spot of food photography than Christmas!
Photo by David Burleson
PreparationProfessional food photographers have stylists and chefs working with them but even though you probably don't have this luxury still make sure you're picky about your food. It doesn't matter if you're photographing vegetables you've bought from the supermarket or mince pies you've baked yourself, make sure you take a good look at your subject and only select the best of the bunch.
A tripod will keep your hands free for adjusting the food in your shot and it'll also ensure your shots are sharp when working indoors with lower light conditions.
Set Your SceneWe are not all lucky enough to have large, light kitchens we can work in but this isn't an excuse to take a messy photo. The odd bowl, spoon or floured rolling pin may work in your image but a table full of objects from everyday life won't. If you don't have much space just fill the frame with your product or use a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus. You could also hide your clutter with a background - something as simple as a coloured piece of card or even wrapping paper can work well. Just frame up correctly so what's behind the background doesn't sneak in from a corner.
You need to think carefully about what you set your food on, too. If you want a clean, simplistic feel go for a white plate while something more colourful can work better for Christmassy food.
Use Your EyesYou're not putting food on a plate to just eat it so make sure you think about how it's presented. Grouping items in odd numbers works well but so does pairs with certain foods and objects. Take a good look around the plate for crumbs and sauce that may have run as too as this will just distract the viewer from your main subject.
Don't automatically shoot your food like you'd sit to eat it. Look for the most interesting angle and work from there. However, there are occasions when shooting directly above can work, such as when creating patterns or working with a particularly distinctive plate.
Finally, watch your white balance and make sure there's plenty of light – setting up near a large window is a great idea. But avoid using direct flash as it will leave you with food that doesn't look appetising.
For more food photography tips, have a read of this article: 10 Top Tips For Taking Better Photos of Food