Do you have Instagram? Do you find yourself documenting your food photos and wondering if you could do better? I want to share useful tips for drool-worthy food photography, including beginners or people who shoot with their phones can implement! Even if you don’t consider yourself a photographer, who knows, maybe you’ll start seeing the world differently. Chase the light, my friends!
Take advantage of color when you can. Pop that yolk!
I’ve seen so many shots of food that could be easily elevated by just popping the runny egg for the burst of cheerful sunny yellow, or sprinkling some parsley or cilantro over the brownish food.
Eat when the sun is out!
I know that might mean a really early dinner on some days, like senior citizens dinner time, but do it for the ‘gram and eat like gram! Get seated by the window or outside.
If the sun is out, it’s not raining, and the restaurant has dim or romantic lighting, I’m sitting on the patio. Natural lighting is free and so flattering! Both for humans and foods.
Pay attention to both your foreground and background.
Sometimes we get distracted by just the focus or subject of the photo, and forget to see what else is in the frame. Double check! What’s in your foreground and background? Do they add context or do they distract from your delicious subject? I’ve seen so many scrumptious shots on Instagram ruined because the photo was shot while someone was standing by the table, butt facing the meal. If someone is walking by, wait till he or she is gone or seated and then take the photo.
Odd numbers are usually better than even numbers.
An odd number of items usually is more pleasing to the eye than an even number of items.
Notice and utilize your environment.
What’s around you? Is there cool wallpaper that would make a great background? Twinkle lights to help accentuate your shot? How about the floors? I’ve seen resourceful Instagrammers place their plate on wood floors to get the trendy overhead shot, without having to climb on furniture. Please use discretion! Don’t do this at a swanky place, please.
Incorporate a human element to your photograph.
If you’re eating with someone, have them dip a chip, or grab a fry! Adding human elements into your photos reduces the emotional distance from the audience to the photo. You can almost imagine yourself eating these chips when you see someone else is helping herself to them. You get bonus points if you carry hand lotion for your hand models!
Play with your food.
Stack for height. If your tater tots come in their own container, throw a few with your burger to give more context. I know your momma already taught you this, but don’t forget to wash your hands before your meals!
Cut into your food or take a bite!
I wrote an entire blog post on my favorite props for food photography. You can read it here!
Sometimes cutting out a slice or taking a bite out of your subject makes for an interesting photo. I find this usually true for casseroles, lasagnas, and pies.
Well, that’s it from me. Now it’s your turn! Any tips I didn’t list?
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