7 Tips for Aspiring Food Photographers

Good food photography induces a physical response. A really great food photo makes you hungry, makes you salivate, makes you want some for yourself. Whether you are a recipe blogger, trying to write your family cookbook, or just stuck at home on a wet afternoon, there are a few simple tips that can make your food photos truly seductive.

1. Pick physically attractive stars
Sure, beauty comes from the inside, but until someone invents taste-o-vision, visual appearance will remain a critical part of food photography. And that means choosing fruit without bruises, lettuce without brown edges and meat that isn’t overcooked.

2. Don’t be afraid to enhance your assets
Food photography isn’t about dieting and small portions, it’s about generous, even lavish quantities, and creating an idea of abundance.  If you have big cups to fill, and don’t have quite enough food, just use padding.  For example, by putting an upside down saucer or a tea cup into a bowl, it will make it easier to fill the bowl right to the top.

3. Consider the use of multiples
Repetition of simple elements helps create the idea of abundance. One cookie on it’s own looks a little mean, a whole pile of cookies is much more enticing.

4. Think about a garnish
Garnishes are the lacy lingerie of the food world.  They may not be the main event but they add a little colour and a hint of what’s to come.  Consider a herb that is in the dish, a little chilli, or even just a sprinkling of black pepper to make an everyday meal seem more alluring.

5. Use flattering lighting
Poor lighting makes food look unappealing, especially the use of direct flash. You won’t find anyone in the adult entertainment industry working with the lights off and nor should aspiring food photographers.  But you don’t need fancy camera equipment, daylight is perfect for food photography.  Don’t be shy to take the action outside.

6. Focus on the main event
Good food photography tends to favour a shallow depth of field, really focusing on the action in the foreground.  Keep the background uncluttered, again, so that the focus is brought onto the food.

7. Find the “money” shot
Try both portrait and landscape mode when shooting. It can create a different feel to the finished photo.  If you are wanting to submit to one of the food photography sites, you will need to crop the photo to a square format so it’s a good idea to keep this in mind from the beginning.
Above all, remember that food photography is best shared.  Don’t  just sit there drooling over the computer screen, bake those cookies and enjoy them with someone special!

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