Food photography at home


Food photography is something that always interested me, maybe because eating is one of my hobbies. I like cooking and of course eating. Also going to restaurants and trying new food its always interesting.

Usually at cooking books we can find really nice pictures of food but are they real? There are so many tricks that the food photographers do to the food in order to make really nice and tasty photos that after that the food its not eatable.

The idea of this post is to give some tips on how to take some pictures from your food in a fast way (before it gets cold) and that you can eat if after it. I’m not a food photographer myself, so by writing this post I will be checking some tips and tricks around the internet on how to make this happen. At the end of the post you can find a list of resources.

Make pictures of not cooked food

Some tips :

    • LIGHT!  As any photograph you take, light is the most important component of the picture. In food photography is even more important, because depending on the light you can give an delicious look or a nasty one.  Natural light is always the best. But if you cannot get natural light, find a illuminated spot to take your picture. More light, less speed is needed to take the picture and the less blurry it appears. Also try not to get to harsh light, its not nice to get hard shadows in the food.
    • Yellow light: This is related to the previous post, but try to avoid this yellow light (or fix your white balance). Yellow lights make food unappetizing.

Check your light and white balance

    • On camera flash : Don’t use it! It creates harsh shadows and lights in the food. Colors get washed and the subject becomes unappealing.
    • Change the angle of shooting:  In general the normal shooting angle is the sitting angle, change it, play with your angles, trying to create volume in the food and showing it from different angles.
    • Different preparation modes: Try to shoot your food in any of the moments of cooking, the food looks good in most of its stages, not only when is ready and its on the plate.
    • Make the background part of the picture: Try to integrate the background to the picture, not only plain backgrounds are good for food photography, use props and different backgrounds to give life to your pictures.
    • Food styling: Try to style your picture some how, even this is a home made food, it should look good. Make your dish look tasty and clean.
    • Change the aperture: Try different apertures, not only F2.0 works for food, try F11 and get all your picture on focus. Play around and see the results.
    • Get close: Get close to your food (but be careful to always give the idea of what you are shooting, sometimes too close is not good). Show details and tasty elements in the food.
    • Post edit: After taking your picture fix the white balance and colors of the picture if they are not right, crop it to show only what you want, rotate it if its crocked.
    • Get feedback:  Show your pictures to friends or in the internet and see if other people think about your food as YUMMY. If not try to find whats wrong with your pictures. Feedback is the best way to learn.

The background is important

Other tips:
  • Get inspiration. Look at other people photos and cook some tasty dishes that make you want to eat. If you cannot cook, start taking pictures of dishes at restaurants or at your friends places.
  • Know your camera. Its always good to know which settings to use, if you start trying around just to get your camera ready, the food will get cold and you will get nervous.
  • Plan the shot in advance. So you can have everything ready when the food is ready to be photographed, so it happens fast and you can enjoy a warm dish :)
Some places I read around :

You can also check my Flickr set for Food Photography and my food photo gallery




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