Sunday, November 28, 2010

Photographing Food: Getting Results That Make You Hungry

Someone asked me the other day “What camera do you use? Your food photos are so good. “ Photographers have both an eye and a passion for what they shoot. It’s really about the eye and not so much about the type of equipment. I actually know one professional who takes photos with a simple point and shoot and does so just to prove a point to those who ask him that very same question.

New technology has made it a lot easier to become a good photographer these days.

Here are a few tips for shooting food that will significantly improve your results.

Bon Appetit!

My # 1 Tip: Fill the frame.When shooting food, you’ve got to get up close and personal with your next meal.

I devour the food in my head before I actually eat it. Thinking about what you are shooting is 80% percent of the photo.

Practice makes perfect. Shoot often and analyze the results. I constantly pore over photos in food magazines and on the internet and introduce styles that I like into my food portfolio.

Keep it simple. Using solid colored plates and bowls and fewer props produces more natural, eye-catching results. Make it all about the food instead of the plates or props.

I will sometimes use props to match my food, as in the case of this cupcake or a few holiday items.
Use natural light. I have a big window in my kitchen where most of my food photos are shot. I also run a dish out to a ledge in my front yard to shoot it outdoors. I always use natural light and as needed, increase the ISO to get the shot.

Turn off your flash. Shooting with a small flash is the worst thing you can do because the photos will look flat. Use back or side light on your photographs.

On days with a lot of sunshine, use a white card placing the food between the light source and the card. The light will bounce off the card and soften the effect.
When shooting in low light, use a tripod to keep the camera steady. You’ll get blurred pictures when hand holding a camera in low light.

Take time to set up the shoot and pay attention to the details. Everything that is not right will be exaggerated under the eye of your camera. Small plates and bowls are best. Large dishes are harder to frame.