Food photography is one of the most rewarding types of photography. This requires attention to detail.
Your subject is losing its freshness every minute, melting or wilting. As a beginner, there is nothing that can take place or save all the trial and error that you go through. But as someone who has spent their time photographing food, I can help you avoid some pitfalls.
Something wrong with the Highlights
A lot of photographers use window light for taking photos. This gives consistent results but over time, this rather dependable method can become bland and not match the overall skill of your work.
With blue skies, the highlights may not turn out as well as you want. You can fix this later so don’t let it overwhelm you. Simple lower the saturation which can be found on the HSL in Lightroom and be sure to cover anything blue in the image such as props.
If you’re shooting in a restaurant, the tungsten lights overhead can cast an interior orange highlight on your photos.
If the light is coming in from a window on the side, there is a process known as flagging, where you add a black flag above your set to control the amount of light entering your photos.
When it comes to food, you have to decide the point of image. This means you need perfect sharpness in these areas. Put some planning and thought into your photo and you will have something great at the end.
Begin by deciding what parts of the subject need to be in perfect focus, which ones in near-perfect focus and which out of focus. The next question is ‘’Why?”.
Review your image immediately so you can get the best out of that, right then and there. A good idea is to view your images at 100% magnification to make sure there is nothing that you could have done better.
Prop your subject in the middle whether it is a hamburger or a pie. Adjust your lighting according to this and then place things in the background to complement this.
Remember, less is more. Don’t crowd your image with props because they can take away from the subject. Make that burger the star of the show. Make sure the colors don’t clash with it.
For example, a loaf of bread can’t have a red background. Your eye will always go to the background first.
This bread is already a dull color; a dull background will cancel this out. There needs to be something that doesn’t detract from the image but has a clear separation from the image. You might need to cut the light in spots around the subject to increase the focus.
Lack of understanding
If you are photographing a famous actress, you’ll want to learn all about your subject to bring out their best in the photos.
As you arrange the props and food, ask yourself why this dish must be placed with a certain prop. Think of your photo as a scene, imagine what is taking place here. Don’t just place a spoon, place it to cut the neutral background.
Having a better reason than ‘’this is gorgeous, eat this!” is very important. With inanimate objects, figure out the story you want to capture in this image. This will help you develop as a food photographer. That vision is what will make you stand apart.
The author is a blogger and a professional photographer for an online photography website called Photo Professors. He is enthusiastic about bringing the best in photography to amateur photographers. Visit their site for more information.