Studio photography: How to take photos of food.

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

Soft boxes are ideal for creating soft lighting, but white card can so an equally good job.

For a #photographer winter can be depressing. We could go outside and aim to capture some amazing cloudy skies or stormy beaches but the truth is, it is so much warmer inside. Apart from cooking up some killer #soups and #stews this #Winter, I’ve decided to focus on refining my food photography skills and in this article I'd like to share some tips that work for me.

1. If you are going to photograph hot #food, let it go cold first. Yes this sounds ridiculously contradictory but the steam that comes off hot food can be down right frustrating. Not only will it fog up your #lens if you are close, but it will ultimately affect image #sharpness, and even more so if you are shooting in #macro. My advice? Let it go stone cold and then use some other techniques if you must have “steam” in the image (google this, there are loads).

2. Put the food in #context. There is nothing more boring than just a single sausage role on a plate. Think about some settings where you might eat the dish you are photographing and then arrange a little #scene to support it. It’s all about being creative here and having some fun and taking lots and lots and lots of images.

3. Use a tripod and then not use a #tripod. Yes, contradictory, but by changing your shooting style you might end up with some more interesting #compositions. Obviously if you are going to shoot without a tripod you will need to keep your shutter speed high or fire some flash into the scene. Which brings me to my next point, #lighting.

4. I am sure I don’t need to tell you how important lighting is in #photography, but when it comes to food you really want it to be as flattering as possible. This is a beauty #shoot for food! So I’m talking large soft light sources - #softboxes, natural light from a #window with tracing paper attached to it, bed sheets, anything that is going to wrap the light around the food and soften the shadows. No #film noir here, unless of course you want to #experiment, which of course I encourage by all means!

5. Don’t play with your food. No, really. If you constantly touch it with your hands and move it around it will fall to pieces looking quite #inedible. Instead think about how you want to position it before you shoot (It's all about planning!), and during the shoot use implements to move things around the plate ie. tweezers, spoons and spatulas.

Ok, I am pretty sure that’s not everything, but it’s a good start. #Enjoy your Winter photography!

Arrange food in an attractive manner will make for an interesting photograph.

Nick Griffin

Aspiring Actor & Comedian
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