Firstly, congratulations to our culinary competition winners from last week – there were some lovely entries! We, (Katharina and Katja from Flavour Magazine) have compiled our top ten tips here to create the perfect food photo – you’ll find just a few simple tricks can really set the scene:
Flavour Magazine food stylists and bloggers Katja and Katharina
1. Lose the extras
Simple as it sounds, the focus should be on the food only. That means removing any traces of objects in the background, which can sometimes interfere with the food itself. Before clicking, take a closer look in the camera and see that nothing else is in sight.
2. Clean borders
Check the edges of your image for unsightly corners, table edges, power sockets and so on. Cutting those little things out from your food photo makes for a much clearer composition overall.
3. Let there be light
Light is also extremely important for your photo, preferably daylight, which will give the image a more natural look. If you’re looking to go dramatic, a hanging light over a table will also work. Backlighting is a great way to hide any unsightly marks in the background too.
4. Go bright
White cardboard, a white wall or even a bright tablecloth can be used to brighten the image and add emphasis to your food photo.
5. Stay focused
The focus should always be on the main object. A little blur in the background can be nice, but don’t overdo it.
Try out a shot from above or lean in for a close-up. The camera (or mobile phone) should always be just above the object. Also be careful as many smartphones have a built-in wide-angle lens – but you can always take the shot at a distance and then crop the image later on too.
7. Don’t overstyle
Your images shouldn’t look staged. Use everyday situations for the most flattering look. You want the food to look as if your guests have just sat down at the table to eat it and not as if the food has been sitting there waiting for them before they’ve even arrived.
8. Experiment with materials
Play with contrasts and textures in your photo by mixing linen with porcelain, a stone slab with tender vegetables and so on.
9. Shadow play
Don’t be afraid of taking extremely light or extremely dark shots too. Simple vegetables can often look completely different in a new light.
Black and white filters don’t really do justice to food photos and neither does sepia. You also want to make sure you avoid filters which make colours look too gaudy or bright.