Some photographers don’t enjoy shooting food because it doesn’t seem glamorous at first glance. They couldn’t be more wrong! Shooting food is fun and can be very sexy. And the best part about food photography? It doesn’t complain about it’s uneven eyes or its non-existent double chin! Food photography is an art form of its own and a good food photographer can make an excellent living.
Here are some simple tips to try out when shooting food:
1. Photograph everything you eat as often as you can.
The more you practice, the better you get. It doesn’t matter if it’s a slice of toast and coffee you make at home or a tuna melt you order at your local diner…shoot it all!
2. Learn to shoot in manual mode.
Chances are you don’t eat at the exact same spot in the exact same light every day. Shooting in manual mode will force you to learn ISO, aperture, and shutter speed which will provide you with the best exposure possible. Classes like Digital Photography: Shooting in Manual are a wonderful place to start.
Try different angles – perhaps a low side-view, an off-center bird’s eye view, an extreme close up, etc. You want the focus to be on textures and colors and sometimes the only way to achieve this is to try every angle possible.
4. Use depth of field.
Keep your subject in the foreground and make everything in the background out-of-focus. You can get this result by opening up your aperture as wide as your lens will allow and adjusting your shutter speed accordingly.
5. Try some Bokeh.
Bokeh simply means blurry lights. Follow the above steps and if you happen to have smallish lights in the background, they’ll come out blurry and beautiful! A fun way to experiment with bokeh is to set up a dish of food on a table and then string some Christmas lights on a wall or door 20 feet away in the background. You should see some interesting results. There are a lot of free online bokeh tutorials.
6. Editing tools are your best friend.
No one wants to see that shriveled corner of a lettuce leaf you didn’t notice when shooting. A simple retouch will take care of that. Did you get a light glare you don’t like at all? Stamp tool. The greens don’t pop but the red is bright and beautiful? Isolate the green and give it a little saturation. You don’t want to go overboard, but these tools are in your toolbox for a reason. Take a crash course on using all the key Photoshop Tools.
7. Use a macro lens.
If you’re not used to shooting with a macro lens, you should start practicing. You’ll be able to capture the smallest details in texture with the appropriate equipment. Check out Mastering Macro Photography.
Shooting food for social media is not just a trend, for some people it’s a passion, or even a business! It’s one of many fun projects for a rainy weekend. You most likely always have your phone on you. And honestly, camera phones these days are amazing. With editing apps like Snapseed or Adobe Photoshop Touch you can take stunning pictures on your iPhone. And there are courses like iPhone Camera Essentials that will help you improve your skills dramatically. Learn more about adding an iPhone & iPad to your photography workflow with this course.
As with any type of photography, you’ll want to know the basics like lighting, shutter speed, aperture, etc. to have as much control over your image as possible. Try a course like Become a Better Photographer Course and get up to speed (no pun intended) on photo terms, tips, techniques, and more!