When I was a freshman in college I won the superlative “Most Likely to Take Photos of Her Food” – that was before the days of Instagram and Snapchat where food photos are as common as photos with friends! Now, I’m not the only crazy one taking photos of every meal. I love that people are sharing their food on social media all the time. Since I am constantly snapping photos of my latest recipe or delicious restaurant find, I wanted to share five tips to taking better photos of your food.
Find the Light
The most important thing for the best possible food photos is without of doubt light. If you’re at home, take your plate away from the kitchen and go toward a window. Your food will look brighter and your camera will be able to capture it better. If you’re out at a restaurant, ask a friend to turn on their iPhone flash and play with the angles of them lighting up the food for you!
Pay Attention to the Background
You can have the most gorgeous plated dish in front of you, but if you have dirty napkins next to the plate at brunch or wrappers on your kitchen counter, it will take away from the photograph. Move the items around the food away. If you want to keep details in the photo, move them around for staging. Play around with the placement of things like silverware, drinks or salt and pepper shakers.
Get an overhead view of the food, the dishes or tablescape by standing up or even standing on a chair–but be careful! You’ll see a lot of these images on Instagram and adding in your sunglasses, iPhone, recipe cards, spices or other details create a really pretty “flat lay” as it’s called. That overhead view sets a scene and is also super #grammable.
Create your own food photography studio by purchasing two white foam backdrops for less than $10 total. Pull these out and place near a window when you’re ready to shoot your completed dish. This will keep all your recipes consistent and also fit whatever style you’re looking for. Bloguettes also has a tutorial for making your own flat lay workspace with different wallpaper stickers to create the illusion of a countertop or floor.
When I say get personal I mean up close and personal. Don’t be afraid to take your phone or camera close to the food and capture those details. Showcase the beautiful dimension of those veggies or the inside pattern of the fruit.
Scan the Web
Check out Pinterest recipes, food photography websites and Instagram food hashtags for inspiration. See what you like! There are so many different styles and your photography will turn out better once you figure out what niche you like. Dark and gloomy? Bright and white? Simple and clean? Styled with details?
What other tips do you use for the best food photography? I would love to hear! Comment below or share with me on social media.
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Photos by Brooke Marcella Photography