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How to take good food photos?

Your food pictures are will be your biggest advertisement.  Great food photography means more than just snapping what’s on your dinner plate. Just like any other photography genre, there are certain rules that you need to follow to make the most of the stunning colors, textures and shapes.

1.Shoot In Natural Light

Light is the key to creating beautiful still life photos. Always shoot your food pictures in natural daylight rather than under artificial lighting.

If you illuminate your food with an artificial light such as a lamp, it’s likely to create an ugly orange or yellow color cast in your photo.

Color is extremely important in food photography as you want the colors of the food, plates and background elements to appear accurate. You don’t want your white rice, white plates, or white table cloth to look orange.



Color casts from artificial light will ruin the natural beauty of your subject, but daylight provides a much more neutral colored light.

The best kind of light for food photography is soft, diffused, natural daylight. When the weather is warm, you could try photographing your food outside.



However, in most cases you should avoid shooting in bright sun as it can cause exposure problems and cast harsh shadows on your subject.

Overcast days are perfect for food photography because the clouds act like a giant diffuser, creating a soft light with more subtle shadows.

When you’re shooting indoors, use the natural light from windows to illuminate your subject. Having a table positioned near a window allows you to easily set up your composition to make use of natural window light.


2.Take Control Of The Shadows

Shadows are very important in photography, and they can make or break an image. Sometimes shadows enhance a photo, adding depth and visual interest, but other times they can ruin it by dominating too much of the picture.

The intensity of shadows depends on the type of light you’re shooting in. Strong directional sunlight will cast hard, dark shadows, whereas an overcast day creates a more diffused light, making the shadows much softer.



The photo above was taken in bright sunlight. Notice the harsh shadows being cast by the objects in the scene. Sometimes strong shadows will enhance the image, especially when they create interesting shapes that add to the composition.

But in most cases you should try to avoid harsh shadows in still life and food photography. Soft shadows are much more flattering to the subject, creating subtle depth and dimension without dominating the scene.



To avoid harsh shadows in your food photos, shoot on an overcast day or move your subject into a lightly shaded area.

If you’re shooting indoors and the sun is shining brightly through the window, use a semi-transparent white curtain to diffuse the light.

If you’re shooting outdoors on a sunny day and you don’t have the option to shoot in shade, try using a reflector to fill in the shadows with light.

Position your reflector on the side where the shadows are, so that the reflector is facing the sun. The light from the sun will hit the reflector and bounce back onto the subject, brightening up the shadows.


3.Use A Neutral Background

When shooting a food photo, the background is very important. If the background is too messy or colorful, the viewer’s attention will be drawn away from the food.

Using a fairly neutral background allows you to place maximum emphasis on the food in the scene. A neutral background doesn’t mean that it has to be completely plain, but it should complement the subject rather than suppress it.



There are three main types of background that work really well for food photography: light backgrounds, dark backgrounds and wooden (brown) backgrounds.

Dark food usually looks good on a dark background, and light colored food looks good on a light background.

Wooden backgrounds, such as tables and chopping boards, tend to look great with almost any kind of food.



You can also use a neutral wall if you’re shooting your food from one side. Just walk around your house and see if you can find any of these objects in a subtle, neutral color.


4.Think About Color

The great thing about food photography is that it gives you the chance to play around with color. Colors have a big impact on your composition and they can affect the overall feel of the image.



Using contrasting colors in your composition tends to have the opposite effect. It creates a vibrant, dynamic and exciting image that stimulates the viewer’s emotions in a different way.



5.Shoot From The Best Angle

When taking photos of food, always think about which angle to shoot from to make the most of the subject. Shooting from above is often the best choice, especially when the food is arranged on a plate or bowl.

Shooting from above has several benefits. It allows you to include all the details of the food and the background, and it emphasizes the bold shapes of the dishes, cutlery and other objects within the scene.

It’s also much easier to create a strong and balanced composition, allowing you to arrange the elements on the surface you’re shooting on.

Finally, it’s great for eliminating any distracting backgrounds in a busy room, or at an outdoor location.

Shooting from one side is also a good choice when you want to show details of a slice of bread, cake, muffin, etc. Just make sure you shoot against a neutral background such as a wall.

The third option is to shoot diagonally. This is the best option when you want to include both the side view and the top view in order to capture the three-dimensional shape of the subject.



6.Arrange Your Food Neatly

The way you arrange your food will have a big impact on the final image. Composition is the key to great food photography, and the position of each element in the scene should be carefully thought out.



There’s nothing worse than a photo of a messy dinner on a plate. That’s not real food photography. So always arrange your food in a neat or unique way to create visual interest and balance.

After creating your arrangement on the plate, make sure you haven’t spilled any food or sauce on the edge of the plate or the background.

If there are any spillages, clean them up before you take the photo. There shouldn’t be any unnecessary mess in your picture.


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