Dos and Don’ts of Food Photography
When scrolling through your Instagram we’re sure you see lots of food photos (the good and the bad). People love to show off their extravagant sushi rolls, their squid ink pasta and of course, their giant slice of pizza. It seems like everybody wants to be a food blogger these days, but there’s more to it than just snapping photos and posting them. Have you ever scrolled through your feed and seen a dish that was not so appetizing? Us too. Whether you’re photographing food for fun, work or your blog we’re giving you some guidelines that are key to taking the best food photos.
Do use props.
Using props is key when photographing food. Our rule of thumb is to first get single shots of the dishes, but then play around with setting up a dinner-like setting. Grab some utensils, napkins, coasters, whatever you can think of and add it to the food. This will make the photo not so boring and add some lifestyle to the photos.
Don’t let the food sit out.
Nothing looks worse than food that has been sitting around for a while. The camera will immediately capture the dull, dry dish and the photos will be useless. If you are wanting or needing to photograph multiple dishes, try to spread them out. Prepare 1-2 dishes at a time and as you finish photographing them, start adding more.
Do plan ahead.
Mother nature can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Try and plan ahead and around the weather to get the best lighting. Don’t shoot when it’s terribly bright out or your food will have many shadows. Try to find a time when you will have the best natural light. If you’re going to a restaurant you haven’t been to, go and scope it out beforehand to see what the best time would be to come.
Don’t buy a fancy camera.
You don’t need an incredible camera to take incredible photos. Your iPhone will do just fine! There’s no harm in spending money on a camera, but if you’re doing this just for fun or just getting started, play around with your iPhone. Portrait mode is phenomenal for food photos. Pick the dish you are wanting to focus on and snap some shots from different angles.
Do take flat lays.
Flat lays are perfect for food photography and if you are needing multiple shots this is KEY to getting them. You can change up the setting for the flat lay to look like they were taken at different times. Adding some silverware in and switching around the cocktails will change the photo like night and day.
Don’t use flash.
Flash should be off-limit for food photography. The flash will increase shadows and make the depth perception of your food very off. If you have lighting equipment, then that’s a different story.