Taking and posting photos on social media may be how you share experiences with your friends and family. In addition to snapping pics of your vacation and everyday outings, you might take photos of interesting and creative cuisines. This might be the case if you run a food blog and enjoy sharing pics of meals you’ve experimented with.
Whether you’re taking a photo of a dish you’ve prepared or a dish you’ve ordered at a restaurant, certain techniques can help you capture the best picture.
1. Use natural light. It’s important to take the photo in natural light. This can be hard to achieve, especially if you’re in a restaurant with dim lighting. Keep in mind that a flash isn’t always sufficient to create the best photo. If you’re planning a food photo while dining out, ask to be seated at a table near a large window, if possible. When at home, turn on all the lights in the dining room or kitchen, and open your blinds or curtains to allow as much natural light into the area as possible.
2. Limit shadows. In addition to having natural light, you’ll want to minimize shadows. Too many shadows can ruin a good food photo. As you angle the camera, examine the photo carefully to ensure nearby objects don’t cast large shadows over your dish. Shadows may not interfere with the plate’s beauty when gazing with the naked eye, but once you snap the pic, shadows on the actual photo can make the image appear muddy and unattractive.
3. Stand in a chair. If you’re taking an overhead food photo, put as much distance between the dish and your camera. To achieve this, you may have to stand on a chair and angle your camera downward to get the perfect shot. Just make sure the chosen chair can support your body weight.
4. Take the photo before digging in. There’s nothing worse than a photo of a dish that’s half eaten. For a great food photo, snap the photo before you take the first bite, unless you’re going for this particular image.
5. Neatly arrange the food. Food ordered at a restaurant may arrive at your table neatly arranged, although you might have to tweak it slightly for the perfect photo op. If you’re preparing a dish at home, don’t just toss everything on a plate. Play around with the placement so the food is visually appealing. Also, prepare foods with vibrant color schemes and switch up the colors. If everything on the plate is one shade, the photo may appear boring. Garnish the meal with chives, dill, mint to add color, or put a lemon wedge on the side.
6. Choose a neutral background. While we’re on the topic of color, choose a neutral background for the photo. If you prefer placing food on a white plate, make sure the table or tablecloth underneath the dish isn’t the same color. Use a different background instead. Select a black or blue placemat, or take the photo on a wood table to add contrast.
7. Use a photo editing app. Don’t be afraid to edit your photo. This might seem like you’re cheating. But sometimes, cameras can’t capture what we see with the naked eye. A photo editing app lets you add filters, plus you can tune images to bring out the natural color of the food.
Your technique when taking a food photo can make a dish look mouthwatering or boring. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t get the right photo immediately. Getting the perfect shot takes practice and patience. The more you do it, the better your photos will turn out.