Food Photography is no doubt, a very exciting type of photography. If you are considering starting food photography, you will definitely enjoy it. Your job mostly involves making food look appetizing.
However, food photography is not easy. It is not like photographing your plate. You need to ensure that the food is attractive enough to actually inspire desire when people see it. This means you need to be very creative with your camera if you want to be successful as a food photographer.
Note that food photography requires a lot of learning curve just like other genres of photography such as Landscape or street photography. You also need to invest in a high-quality DSLR camera instead of a point-and-shoot camera. When you have gathered the tools you need, it is time you go and master camera settings such as how to use ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed. All these are extremely important in your new job as a food photographer.
Being able to take a good photograph of food is a great way to learn a new photography skill by honing your compositional techniques, lighting skills, and post-processing methods.
In this article, you will learn of great tips to help you master food photography in a very short time:
Top Tips For Getting Started With Food Photography
1. Make use of Shallow Depth of Field
The first thing you need to do when you want to take a photograph is to figure out the best background for your shot. With food photography, it is best to have only a sliver of the subject sharp and then make the rest of the plate soft blur. You can accomplish this by choosing the widest aperture your lens allows. You will get a shallow depth of field at f/2.8. When using a kit lens, you will have a more enhanced effect if you use your lens at a longer focal length and move closer to the food.
2. Make Use of a High ISO
The logic here is a simple one; a faster ISO can allow light enter your camera faster. You will probably get light into your camera faster at ISO 800 than you would at ISO 100 or 200.
If you are shooting food indoors, I will recommend using ISO at 1600 or even 3200. Personally, I would want to avoid using ISO 6400 or higher because they tend to increase the amount of digital noise which is also called "grain". If you are experiencing noise in your camera, make use of Lightroom's noise reduction tool.
3. Take Advantage of Natural Light
If you have natural light available, you should make use of it to your advantage instead of adding flash. Natural light can give a food picture a feeling of bright airiness. You can set up your shot in spaces where sunlight streams through a window.
You will get the best result when you shoot in the morning. It is the best time of the day to get a softer light with less contrast. If you want to shoot in the afternoon, make sure you shift the food into an area with even light so you can avoid harsh shadows.
4. Get a Bit Messy
When it comes to food photography, getting a bit messy can seem very creative. It makes your food photography look more real than staged.
You can do this by adding crumbs to the set. At first, the imperfection may seem odd but it adds visual appeal. You can as well try a bit of cheese sprinkled over the plate. Just get creative with a subtle approach.
5. Take Time to Get Your Composition
When crafting your composition, think beyond the obvious and consider shapes and forms. For instance; you can balance your composition by adding a knife. You can create an elegant frame when you shoot directly overhead. If you wish to add more shine to your silverware or reflective objects, use a reflector board to bounce in extra light.
6. Take a Bite
Remember, a great food doesn't have to be staged. You will get better visual appeal when it seems spontaneous. When you are done arranging your shoot, go ahead and take a bite. It will add more authenticity to your shoot. You know that you've successfully succeeded in creating scrumptious food photographs when your food photo makes the viewer want to take their own bite.
7. Know Your Camera
A great photograph starts by mastering your camera. Whether you are shooting food photography or anything else, you need to understand your tools. If you can master your camera settings and the right way to use them, you will always produce great food photos.
8. Understand Food
A great way to be a good photographer is to have an intimate knowledge of your subject matter. If you are going to be a good food photographer, you will need to learn about food and how it works.
You don't have to go to college for that, you can take short classes or learn online. Either way, your knowledge of food will help you in producing great food photos.
9. Know Food Styling
I will recommend working with a food stylist if you want to produce food images that will always "wow" viewers. It is really a very tough task to cook, style, and photograph food on your own. Get someone to help you in the creative process and you will both progress much faster.
Food photography is a very exciting subset of photography. You will love this type of photography. It is definitely a great skill to add to your arsenal. If you love food and photography, there is no reason not to try food photography, you will love the idea.