Food photography is a very technical area of photography because you have two dimensions to master – film and food. Here are some useful tips to help you.
Light is obviously the tool of a photographer second to the camera itself. Getting this right is always the trick with any kind of photography. With food photography though it is super important. Get it wrong and no amount of photoshop work will bring the picture to life.
With food photography props often save the day. The reason restaurants use big and fancy plates to serve food on is because we eat first with our eyes! Choosing the right props for a food shot is imperative. Get it right – masterpiece. Get it wrong – roll up your sleeves and start again.
If you do a lot of food photography then shopping at second hand markets can be a great way to build your box of props. You can pick up expensive items like large pots and dishes and vases for a few dollars and a smile. If you do not do much then you may have to go shopping for what you need and bill the client!
Speed is essential
Unfortunately food won’t stay appealing for very long. As a food photographer you will want to be well prepared and ready to shoot your picture as soon as the dish is finished. This will give it no time to melt, collapse or lose its color. So knowing what you want the picture to turn out like will help you to prepare for the photo. One way food photographers prepare is to have everything arranged before the food is finished. By placing a temporary stand-in plate is an excellent way to get the lighting right, and when the food is finished you switch it with the finished dish and your picture is ready to be taken.
Way to improve your photographs in an instant
An excellent food photographer will want to learn this last but not least creative technique when it comes to taking photographs of food. And that is to use a small amount of vegetable oil that you have on hand and brush it on the food. This will make your dish glisten and stand out deliciously in your pictures.
Work with the chef
The last area to cover is working with you food professional. If you are unlucky you will have to do the presentation of the food yourself. If you are lucky and the client has a good budget you will have a chef to do the food display.
Take a few minutes before the shoot to talk with the chef and ask them how they like to work. Ask them if there is anything you need to know about the food that may not be obvious. If nothing else this will make them feel good so you will then be able to work closer and better together.