Food and Menu Photography–How to Get the Best Food Photos
Taking pictures of food seems like a relatively easy pursuit–people do it every day and post it on all the various forms of social media without a second thought pertaining to the quality of the photo. Come on now, how difficult can it be to take a picture of food? It’s not like it has to pose or anything, so what could be so demanding about food photography? If you really are looking for an answer, here it is: A LOT.
It’s In the Details
When it comes to photographic representation that adequately represents the subject in the best possible light, there are numerous details that might be fine for your next post on Facebook, but if you are in some kind of position where the food photo(s) you post are directly linked to your financial success, it means that those very “eh” details that matter the most-the elements of food photos that are difficult to pinpoint or describe by novices. When the food photos you post could make or break your bank account, make sure you share only the best images of the foods and meals you want to be known for. Here’s how to ensure excellent photos, when food is the subject.
Keep it Fresh
Before snapping that shot, take an unbiased look at whatever it is you are “capturing” in the photo. Check for prematurely wrinkled skin, scarred or otherwise damaged fresh veggies, replacing with pristine looking ones. Be sure that even the tiniest of flaws will show up big on the photo.
The Halo Effect
Backlighting is the key to displaying food in photography, especially hot foods, as it will reveal any steam that is escaping from the food–showing viewers that it is hot and ready. Backlighting is the only way to visually capture such stem and smoke as it rises from the food or dish. The angle of lighting used can portray lettuce as being more crisp, tomatoes more succulent and many other foods more appealing.
Keep a Simple Portrayal in Mind–Stick to Your Purpose
Make an effort to disallow anything (anything) that is not absolutely relevant and important in the setup. Adding in other seemingly benign items, even when they might be construed as commonly included meal essentials, just complicate the mission of the photo and confuse the viewer as to exactly what he or she is to extract from the photo. It’s not that you shouldn’t include other items in the photo, but choose them wisely. This may be one of the most pressing reasons why most people prefer to leave the ambiance of their food photos to the eyes of professional photographers who know all the tricks and staging elements that can sell, sell sell.