If you like to take pictures of food for a blog, or just to share with your friends on Instagram, you can improve your food photography with just a few tweaks.
Lighting Is Key
It’s important to be careful with lighting for food. The lighting that you use for food is backlight because it will help show off the texture of the food and even show the steam coming off hot food. If you want your food to look super fresh, remember the backlighting to avoid plain, flat images. If you do nothing else, do this.
Backgrounds Should Be Interesting
While you want the food to be the main thing in the photo, the backgrounds are important too and should be interesting. A nice idea is a blurred table-scape featuring the food in focus, as well as perhaps some of the ingredients that are in the food in whole form to bring out thoughts of the flavors in the viewer.
The Food Is the Star
The fresher the ingredients you use, the more colorful they’ll become in the photo. If the food looks bland and colorless in life, it will look bland and colorless in the photograph - and there isn’t much you can do to improve it that will seem realistic.
The Little Something Extra Matters
People eat with their eyes, which is why plating matters so much when it comes to eating food. This is also true of photographing food. Adding a little touch of contrasting color in the form of a garnish can make the colors of the food pop and look even more appealing.
Keep It Simple
Like with most photos, simple is always better even though it looks more difficult. When the cooked food is bland, add a little extra to the photograph to make the idea of the flavors stand out. For example, black bean soup is, well, black. But, you could juxtapose that with a topping of Pico de Gallo to bring out more colors, and perhaps a shot that shows only part of the dish with a jar of black beans in the background blurred.
Include the Raw Ingredients
Sometimes food looks better before you cook it because all the colors get blended in. Therefore, showing the raw ingredients in different stages of preparation can sometimes make a boring-looking dish come to life. You want the viewer to feel as if they can taste the flavors, so what better way than including the raw ingredients.
Take a Cooking Shot
Sometimes nothing is better than seeing the bubbly action of cooking going on. This works very well for shots of stew because you can better see how great all the ingredients work together. Plus you can take the image before the food is fully cooked just as the colors are most bright.
Try Different Camera Angles
Sometimes the food looks better if you change the angle of your photograph. Switch up the camera angles, the lighting, and make it look even more special than it is. The light will catch the food differently and make the colors stand out.
Finally, sometimes - even when you’re trying to cook healthy - a picture will look better if you toss a little oil into the finished product as it will help the food stand out better. Mostly just try different techniques to find out what works best.