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9 Food Photography Tips for Amateur Food Photographers


With photo sharing becoming quite a thing these days, most restaurateurs have started taking their food plating more seriously. Every social media platform will have a hashtag and a picture of the food people are enjoying with family or friends. Do you fall in the amateur food photographers club too? Here are 9 tips to get you guaranteed better photos than ever before.

1. Lighting

Lighting is the utmost important aspect of your photography skills. Bad lighting will make your food look dull and boring when in fact, it probably was the other way around! Try to use natural light as much as you can. So if you’re thinking of taking pictures inside a restaurant, choose your surroundings wisely. The angle of the light will make all the difference. For example if you have a light source behind the food you are only going to get a silhouette of the food, move the plate or yourself to get a better shot.

2. Negative Positive Spaces


Use the plating style of the food for your best angle. Most served platters are designed to optimise the aesthetics of the entire plating of the food by using the concept of negative and positive spacing. That is, you will not find food coming to you on a dish with the sauces overflowing from one side. You will not find just one colour on your food. Cooks and food stylists will always design your food on the plate so it looks appealing and adds to the mouth-watering delight that it is.

3. Colour Contrast


I don’t mean the settings on your phone! Place items that create a contrast to your food. For example if you are at a restaurant that has a dark table cloth and your dish is an earthy colour, place glasses or white plates strategically so you can help your food stand out. Noticed the white shakers that are always around in some pictures? They were not there for decoration alone!

4. Simple over fancy


Choose to arrange your backgrounds in as simple and basic a manner you can, because the lesser the background noise the more focus on your food. This is partially why we take pictures of food from the top; only food related items with no disturbance from someone in the background.

5. Camera Angles


Choose your angles wisely, the light matters and so does the angle you hold your camera lens in. For example taking a top view of the food will give you a different texture and colour combination as compared to a low angle or bottom to top angle picture would in the same lighting scenario. Try it and you’ll see for yourself.

6. Avoid Flash


Try and avoid using the flash setting on your camera. More often than not the white light of the flash will clash with the surroundings and give you some really horrifying colours in your picture. Don’t want that to ruin your food, do you?

7. Clean or Crumbs


Most food pictures are on clean backgrounds with spoons that show you are yet to taste that little bite of delight! But there are times when a half dug in piece of cake will look as delicious as when you first set eyes on it. Don’t be shy, take a picture, it is just proof that you are actually enjoying your piece of cake too!

8. Don’t take too long



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When taking a picture, work quickly. You’ve been sitting for a minimum of twenty minutes in the restaurant by the time your food is served. You know where the light is hitting the most so don’t waste time by slowly adjusting your camera and light angles. Doing so will only lead to grumpy companions and your food may not taste as good as it was meant to at the temperature it was served. And mostly it is about manners. You are not at a photography shoot and a food photography shoot is definitely faster.

9. Camera on a surface vs. Camera in hand


Shaky hands a problem? Use the surfaces available at your disposal and take a picture. For example, simply take a picture of your food by placing your camera on table and tilting it slightly such that you are able to capture a good shot. Makes a piece of cake seriously royal! Or stand up and steady yourself in a comfortable position to take a top view of the food. Sometimes, if you are lucky, the shaking of your hands can contribute to an artistic photo too!
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