Food Bloggers: 5 Mouthwatering Food Photography Tips
Food is notoriously tricky to photograph – as any pro food photographer will tell you. Without the proper know-how, even the most mouth-watering dish can appear unappetizing and washed out. (Don’t believe us? Check out this Instagram account.)
So, to help you do justice to your amazing recipes, we’ve put together these simple food photography tips that should tell you everything you need to know about how to photograph food for your blog. Bon appétit!
Use natural lighting
Lighting is by far the most important element of food photography to get right. Too dark, and your photo appears blurry and underwhelming. Too bright, and your dish looks flat and unappealing.
The solution? Use natural light. Indirect sunlight is the crème de la crème of food photography, so try to position your plates close to windows or outside in a shady spot whenever possible.
If you can’t use natural light – for example, if it’s night or you’re at a restaurant – then experiment with different lighting sources, such as lamps or candles. Whatever you do, though, don’t use your camera flash. Photos taken using flash always appear harsh and glare-y, and are to be avoided at all costs!
Experiment with angles
If you want to populate your blog with exciting and varied images, learn to take photos from every angle possible. This will not only give you a wider selection of photos to choose from, but also make your blog posts appear more dynamic and interesting.
At first you might feel self-conscious climbing onto a chair to nail that perfect flat lay or crouching on the floor so that you’re eye-level with the table – but once you see the results, you’ll be snapping away without a second thought.
Compose your photos carefully
‘Composition’ is photography lingo for the way in which you arrange your photograph – and, when it comes to food photography, it’s an important element to get right. Questions to ask yourself when composing a photo for your food blog include:
- Would your photo look better close up or zoomed out?
- Should you take it landscape or portrait?
- What’s the focus – the entire dish, or a particular aspect of it?
You can make every part of your composition count by avoiding empty space and ensuring the frame is free from distracting clutter. You can also lean about the photographer’s ‘rule of thirds’, which we wrote about in greater depth in a previous post.
Style your photos with props
Props are a great way to add interest and depth to your blog’s food photography while showing off your personal sense of style and taste.
First, think carefully about the crockery and tableware you use in your photo. What will suit your new recipe more: plain white plates or vintage silverware? An embroidered tablecloth or granite countertop? Raid the back of your kitchen cupboards for inspiration, and comb the local charity shops or etsy for new one-off finds at bargain prices.
Next, find some props to make your picture pop. A few key ingredients or cooking appliances can look great artfully arranged in the background. Garnishes such as herbs, sauces and condiments can add interest (not to mention conceal any unsightly cracked or burnt bits). And candles, flowers and ribbons can look lovely, especially if they’re in a complementary colour.
Take action shots
You might need a friend or family member to help you with this (although, if you really can’t persuade anyone with the offer of free food, a tripod can also work). Action shots are great as they really bring the cooking process to life, and can make the reader feel like they’re right there in the kitchen with you.
You should take photos while you’re cooking, and also afterwards when you’re handling the finished product. And remember to keep taking photos even once you start tucking in – sometimes, the slice of cake with a mouthful missing can look eve more mouth-watering than the untouched slice.
We hope you find these food photography tips helpful and now feel confident that you can do your delicious dishes justice!
Do you have any other tips on how to photograph food for a blog? Please share them with the CollectivEdge community in the comments below.
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