Food photography is a very technical area of photography because you have two dimensions to master – film and food. Here are some useful tips to help you.
Lighting the scene
Light is obviously the tool of a photographer second to the camera itself. Getting this right is always the trick with any kind of photography. With food photography though it is super important. Get it wrong and no amount of photoshop work will bring the picture to life.
Food photographers setting up to take a picture not only arrange the food neatly but they also include a plate or table cloth to add the surrounding. The idea is not to clutter the picture but allow room for a few extra items you can add to it like a glass, napkin, or a fork. These items can be placed in the background in a secondary location of your picture area, giving it extra spice.
If you do a lot of food photography then shopping at second hand markets can be a great way to build your box of props. You can pick up expensive items like large pots and dishes and vases for a few dollars and a smile. If you do not do much then you may have to go shopping for what you need and bill the client!
If you are a slow-coach perfectionist then food photography may be hard for your to master. Like master chefs that throw masterpieces dishes together in minutes master food photographers capture the essence in minutes too. Be quick else it will be a mess is the thing to remember with food photography. As soon as food warms or cools it droops, melts, discolours and a whole range of other things. Be ready with all the lighting and use placeholder items such as places to get the lighting right. Once the food is there you should be shooting.
Simple way to enhance your photos
An excellent food photographer will want to learn this last but not least creative technique when it comes to taking photographs of food. And that is to use a small amount of vegetable oil that you have on hand and brush it on the food. This will make your dish glisten and stand out deliciously in your pictures.
Work with the chef
The last area to cover is working with you food professional. If you are unlucky you will have to do the presentation of the food yourself. If you are lucky and the client has a good budget you will have a chef to do the food display.
Take a few minutes before the shoot to talk with the chef and ask them how they like to work. Ask them if there is anything you need to know about the food that may not be obvious. If nothing else this will make them feel good so you will then be able to work closer and better together.
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