10 Tips for Mouth Watering Food Photography

1. Choose fresh and locally grown ingredients
Don’t over manipulate the food and keep it simple. Let the food speak for itself and tell its story. 

2. Let the food tell you how it wants to be photographed
Is there something about the food or dish before you that has caught your attention, what was it? is it its shape or is it the texture? Answer this and you’ll know if you are going to need a hard or a soft light, answer this and you’ll know which angle is going to be best to photograph your subject from. Let the food inform your approach to photographing it.

3. Keep observing your subject
Is it colorful and vibrant? Food is the king, select props and background that complement your food without being overwhelming; keep an eye out for contrast.

4. Get the shot you had in mind, then switch camera angle
Explore and experiment: the best shot is often not the one you planned.

5. Use a Tripod
A tripod will reduce to almost zero any chance of camera shake and will allow you to take longer exposures – which are handy in low light situations – i.e. restaurants and bars with dimmed lights.

6. About White Balance
White Balance (WB) – every modern camera, even point and shoots, have a control for WB, so use it. Sometimes an orange cast makes for a warm and intimate mood but sometimes it’s just annoying. Besides this, the white balance control can be used as a creative tool; just explore the different options.

7. Coming back to the subject and how we are going to capture it – which type of lens is more suitable?
Generally, shallow depth of field works very well with food because it isolates the main subject against the background – drawing the viewer’s attention straight to it. If you have just one lens for food photography, it would be a 50 mm f 1.8: it’s small and light, it’s not expensive. It’s a fast lens and can be used for any other type of photography too.

8. Go for the details and feel the frame with your subject
Sometimes less is more, especially when food is the hero.

9. Try to get the picture right in the camera
Don’t rely too much on Photo Shop to correct mistakes; post processing should only take between 2 to 5 minutes per image.

10. Take lots of reference shots
I.e. take shots of the lighting set up, shots of backgrounds and props. Take notice of your mistakes, let others inspire you and seek other people’s feedback.

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