I love my local Facebook “foodie” group, and it is for that group that I would like to give a few tips for food photography.
A few suggestions, then, to make your food photos great – even when you just use an iPhone:
- Ensure there is lots of light – but not direct “hard” light, like direct sunlight. Ideally, I want open, soft light, and backlight. So I reposition the food to obtain that, if at all possible.
- As said, some back light, if you can arrange it, is also excellent: like here: it gives food that yummy look:
Then continue with the rest of the rules:
- The most important rule: Simplify. Compose carefully, to remove distractions. So tilt, move things, and get close in order to blur out backgrounds, all to get a simple image;
- Often, cutting off half the plate is a good way to simplify. Fill the frame!
- Look at the food carefully and ensure it is well arranged, the plate is clean, etc. Use garnish where needed. If food is older, use a brush with olive oil.
- Include some of “plate, fork, glass”: things to indicate that this is food in a nice setting. Turn the plate, or reposition the food on the plate if needed;
- If using a “real” camera, use a prime (fixed) lens, and ensure a fast enough shutter speed by using a high enough ISO.
Often enough, an iPhone will do just fine. The closer you get, the easier it is to get a blurry background. And remember, simplify. Everything you take out, is good.
If you have pro equipment: one umbrella or soft box above the food; one flash behind it aimed toward you:
Which leads to:
If not, simply use a window, or whatever else you have available.
Did I mention it is wise to simplify?
Finally: do the post work you need, in Lightroom or Photoshop, to perfect the photo.