A Mini Guide to Food Photography
Every food company loves to see their products bright, intense and to be photographed professionally. Taking shots of food couldn’t be more easier if you follow these simple small steps. Then you too can show off your photography skills with some really great shots. The products shown were taken and and colour adjusted for a website I did for Food Produce company based in North London.
For the website I designed and built i had to take various shots of fruit and vegetables against a black background. This was the brand identity of the company. I took several shots at different angles, including overhead, up close, filling the frame etc. These shots were also used for advertising the company globally through transport, i.e lorries and vans. As this was the first bit of professional photography I have done in a long time, this project was a great challenge for me to complete from start to finish.
Step 1: In and around: Use various background elements or branding ideas from the company that you are taking the photos for. Example, if its thai cuisine, you could place the plate on a table together with some aromatic flowers, leaves, plants etc.
Step 2 Overhead: Try taking photos Overhead, you could get some pretty striking images by doing this. You’ll get a better direction of light from the an outside source , like a window.
Step 3 Eyelevel: Shoot just above eye level to create that classy, professional look. You can focus more on the foreground item and blur out the background. this can also work well with many plates or items of food.
Step 4 Fill the frame: Creating a packed shot full of food and utilizing all the space in the frame shows a nice atmosphere. It gives the eye a lot to take in.
Step 5 Minimalism: There is also something very appealing about negative space. In adverts it leaves plenty of room for copy. Look for an angle that makes you feel comfortable with the negative space, taking into consideration how the finished item will be shown, i.e , website, editorial, poster etc. Take lots of shots and at different angles.
Step 6 Shallow down low: When you’re at a lower angle, it helps really isolate your subject from the background. This allows you to also create a pleasing fade from your main food subject. It works well in food that has a few items in a row. I recommend a 50mm lens. Adjust shooting at different shallow apertures until you’re happy with the background blur, while still keeping enough of the product you want in focus.
Step 7 Working with window light: You can create very good contrasts, fill in with white cards, backlight for a fade away affect and much more. Place a dish down on a round table with a window in one direction and take a new photo of it from every 15 degrees. You’ll get to see how the light affects the dish from a variety of angles and find a few you really enjoy.