Instagram Ready: Our Favourite Food Photography Tips
Over the past few years, with the advent of social media and the like, food photography has exploded like an over-stuffed jam doughnut.
It’s become such a meaty hobby that, if Marie Antoinette were alive, she’d likely have to change her infamous statement to: Let them photograph cake…then eat it.
In this post, we give you a few tips to make the most of food photography so you can take juicier, tastier pics that’ll leave your Instagram followers salivating like Pavlov’s dogs.
Since we’re a camera company, we place a high emphasis on the equipment. Even if you’re dining at The Fat Duck or El Bulli, it won’t look great with a sub-par camera. And while an iPhone can get the job done occasionally, it just can’t compare to a proper camera.
With food photography, it’s very important to consider specs like exposure, shutter speeds, flash, detailing and focus.
It’ll be hard to show off those vivid berry colours at a farmer’s market if you can’t adjust the exposure, just as providing pictures to accompany a recipe will be less effective to your followers without sharp detailing.
Putting some well-placed items next to your food can turn a fairly ordinary shot into a delicious one. Whether it’s your glass of wine or coffee, your side dish, utensils or the tea light on the table, an accessory can really add value and a bit of atmosphere to an otherwise lifeless pic.
This picture (courtesy of HemsleyHemsley) works because of the lovely figs in the foreground. While they’re not the centrepiece, they add gravitas to the beautiful fig salad and draw your eye into the picture well.
A lot of this depends on your own artistic eye and a bit of common sense as different angles suit different types of food.
If your food is vertical (as in, a massive burger or sandwich), then a flat close-up shot works wonders, while, in contrast, the birds-eye shot is good for flat, horizontal dishes. Close-ups are good for intricate appetizers or minimal types of dishes. Wide shots are effective if you’re trying to capture a cafe’s ambiance or decor as well.
Professional foodie Marcus Nilsson takes his pictures from a number of different angles. We reckon this one, shot from a birds-eye perspective, is pretty damn good.
If you’re dining out, try sitting at a table with natural light but not too much glare. Shadows and irregular light can kill even the best looking food in the world and can make it hard to tell the difference between apples and oranges.
Likewise, if you’re taking pictures of a recipe as you cook, make sure you choose a bench or table in your house with good light, otherwise you’ll be left with a recipe for disaster.
Arrangement/thinking outside the box
While some photographers hate tampering with any food served up, others like to arrange it to their heart’s desire. There’s really no right answer here, although if you rearrange it so much that your food goes cold, that’s probably a little excessive.
As you can see from RawVeganBlonde’s fantastic, artsy shot, you can play around with food. It doesn’t have to be generic…let your creativity shine!
The food itself
It goes without saying that the content goes a long way. You can take all the advice dished up above but if you apply it to a plain bowl of cornflakes, your followers probably won’t be impressed. Generally, the food should promote colour, texture and something a bit different.
A photo posted by huffposttaste (@huffposttaste) on
Well, that’s about it. We hope you’ve learnt a little about food photography and are now ready to dominate Instagram. Don’t forget to check out our recent post with 7 great camera accessories, which will also help budding food photographers.
All this talk of food’s making us hungry. We reckon it’s time for a snack.
If you’re keen on becoming a great food photographer, Camera House can help you get up-and-running in no time. Browse our full range of food-friendly camera products today.