Believe it or not, a ton of behind-the-scenes work goes into food photography. Sometimes, you can get lucky and take a good food photo with little to no effort. However, to get better photos, you should think about how you are portraying your subject. Here is a list of nine important tips for better food photography.
1. Less is more
Avoid clutter by thinking about what is necessary for your photo. If a utensil or napkin takes the attention away from your food, get rid of it.
Try to use solid colored dinnerware with a matte finish. Shiny plates can add unwanted highlights and reflections.
The general rule is to use three or more layered textures in a photo. For instance, the wood is the bottom texture, the napkin is second, and the bread is on top.
3. Color and Contrast
Think about the color wheel when you take your pictures. This particular photo uses a contemporary color scheme with the contrasting blue and orange colors.
Taking a photo parallel and directly above the food can produce consistent results. However, don't be afraid to tilt the camera at different angles and see what looks better. In this example, the photographer took a photo at an angle that showcases the textures in the sandwich ingredients.
The rule of thirds is a fundamental photography rule, but it can be limiting. Try placing your food at intersecting diagonals. In addition, think about symmetry and balance.
6. Lighting (Natural vs. Artificial)
You can use natural light, artificial light, or a mix of the two. Be careful of having highlights at a different color temperature than the rest of the photo!
Use a reflector to give you more control over how the light hits your subject. Some food photographers prefer to only use artificial light to have more control over their lighting.
Cool backgrounds can make or break your photo. If it is too distracting, get rid of it.
8. Human Interaction
Including humans in your photos can make the overall image seem more natural. It can be fun to also include images of the process of preparing the food.
9. Have Fun With It
Food photography doesn't have to be boring. Get creative and make your food sing.