Pick the perfect plate
Use plates and surrounding props that are all similar in tone and colour to that of your background. Doing this will ensure the food in your dish remains the hero and nothing in the frame draws focus away from the hero.
I recommend leaning towards more matte materials as well, like clays and unglazed ceramics, so there’s no room for reflection or shine when it comes to shooting the final piece.
The art of food photography is really about capturing the light, not the food itself. Always shoot in natural light where possible. Head to a window and put your plates right up against it, as the closer you are to the light source, the stronger the contrast will be.
This makes your food appear 3D (and more beautiful), rather than flat and lifeless.
You’ll often need the odd touch up, so I suggest getting comfortable with a couple of editing platforms that will only help make your content that much more professional.
Lightroom is my personal favourite, allowing you to play with hues, brushes, texture and contrast to bring out the best in the frame. For example, many food photographers change green in an image to a more peppermint-esque shade, giving off an element of freshness that might have gone unnoticed.
Every photo tells a story, so let’s make it an interesting one! You really want to set the scene and be able to portray what time of day it is (are you eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner), what kind of meal you’re eating (is it fresh, deconstructed, or a little luxe), what is the occasion (are you dining with friends, cooking a romantic meal).
All of the aforementioned can be brought to life with additional props, lighting, and texture, whether you add a glass of wine and a candle to the frame, have multiple hands reaching for the grazing board to showcase the shared occasion, or scatter nuts and herbs because the meal is just that fresh and healthy.
Working with Soulara for example, it’s a super convenient clean, green, plant-based meal delivery service so I opted for natural soft morning light, a monochrome palette, and fresh sprigs of herbs, garden greenery (thank you, neighbours!) and garnishes to really drive the message of natural veggie-loving food.
I know it is quite an investment for beginners, but if you have fabulous tech to work with it makes a world of difference. The Canon Rebel T6 and Nikon D3500 are two fabulous cameras perfect for shooting food due to their features.
Whilst they may weigh more, it’s a big step up from the trusty iPhone. Don’t be embarrassed whipping it out at lunch, or when the delivery man rocks up. Think about it, ask questions, but definitely know you’ll eventually need all the gear to get by as a content creator.
Happy styling! Instagram awaits…