Food photography without using a professional photographer
If you run a restaurant, bar or café you know how important your menu is. It is the first introduction to your food that a customer gets and having great pictures can make a world of difference. How do you attract these people into your food establishment with ease?
Everyone can understand a photograph; the phrase “people eat with their eyes” has never been so relevant. Most people like to see a photo of their food before they order so they know exactly what they are getting, and for those from a different culture who are not familiar with your style of dishes this is even more important.
There are a huge number of photographers that specialise in Food Photography and they will all tell you the best shot of food should be done by a professional photographer. But what if you take the ‘Do it yourself’ method?
Food photography is a hot topic these days, as many cooks love to snap shots of their food for friends on Facebook and Twitter. Even if you don’t keep a blog or photograph food as a hobby, you may want to share that birthday cake you made or the lasagne from last weekend. We here at Levy McCallum have done lots of photo shots for all kinds of Food and Drink clients so here are a few pointers we can share if you are looking to ‘Do it yourself for social media etc.
But one word of warning. This blog is to help with you trying your own food photography, but when it comes to ‘Drink in Bottles’ in our experience here at Levy McCallum, we advise you seek out a professional photographer who understands Photoshop very well.
What is the most important consideration ahead of undertaking a photo shoot?
The goal of food photography is is to make the food look appealing, appetizing – even irresistible. Companies who will buy food and drink stock photos will likely be using them in one of three ways: advertising, product packaging or in a magazine. In each of these cases, the food is meant to be enticing and motivating. By keeping a few things in mind, you’ll be well on your way towards taking great food shots.
Step 1: Texture
When we think of food, most of us are enticed by the smells and tastes, right? Here’s the problem, however: food photography can’t rely on those two senses to compel customers to take notice. Instead, food photographers have to rely on things like the color and texture of the food to get viewers salivating. Is it the juicy interior of an orange you want your viewers to notice? Is it the nooks and crannies of a piece of freshly baked bread? Whatever it is, find the texture and focus on it.
Step 2: Colour
Don’t put a pile of green grapes on a pale green plate, for example. The grapes will never stand out that way. Similarly, if you are trying to highlight a tomato sauce, don’t put it in a red bowl. Contrast is important, but so is harmony. The whole image has to be a harmonious whole. That doesn’t mean you can’t take risks and do something unconventional, but you have to make sure the finished product works.
Step 3: Lighting
Lighting is certainly one of the most important ingredients when photographing food. The goal of lighting in this situation is to make the images pop off the page. Playing with shadows and light can help you breathe three-dimensional life into your still-life subjects. Natural light from your window will be your biggest friend see the links below to find out more on how to enhance natural light in your photographs
Step 4: Perspective
Another important consideration for food photographers is perspective. When deciding on the angle for your shot, consider the effect you are trying to achieve. If you want to make the item look taller, for example, shoot it from a low angle. If you are trying to create a feeling of grandeur and abundance, like a buffet spread for example, it may be a good idea to shoot the image from above.
Step 5: Styling
Food and drink stock photographers have to moonlight as food stylists, too. Even food “models” need accessories, in the form of garnishes and props. These props help to create a story around the food item. For example, adding a fork on a dessert plate bearing a half-eaten piece of pie will give the impression that the pie was irresistible. Fresh herbs, flowers, glassware or even a napkin can make all the difference.
Whatever we can tell you about trying your own food photography it’s not as good as the links below. These have great tips from people who have done it for themselves
Great blog site helping with lighting for food.
Pinterest is great for Bloggers view on Food and Drink photography: