1. Dishes: Choose your dishware carefully. Realize what colour your food will be when you finish making it, and make sure that you have a plate (or bowl or platter) that is not the same colour. I generally choose white dishes to add a nice contrast which usually makes the food stand out. However, if I'm making cream of potato soup, I'm going to want a burst of colour from my bowl to get that white soup to pop.
|Left Photo - Risotto looks yellow compared to the white plate
Right Photo - Risotto looks correct white colour and stands out against blue plate
2. Lighting: Always choose natural lighting when possible. When that isn't an option, white balance becomes so important. Food can easily take on tinges of yellow or red and become unappetizing. I usually start with the auto setting and if that doesn't give me the result I'm after, I take a picture of something white to set the white balance, and then shoot my food item.
|Left photo with improper white balance
Right photo with correct white balance
3. Move around: Try several different angles and take a lot of shots. Try directly overhead, try getting right down to the level of the food, try a straight shot, try a diagonal shot. You won't know what direction will produce the best photo until you see it.
|These are all good shots, just depends on what you're after.
4. Get close. If your camera has a macro setting, use that. (I have a Nikon and its close-up setting is shown as a flower). Zoom in as close as you can and make sure that you are focusing well. This will make it seem like the viewer is about to take a bite of your yummy food. (I just discovered this little setting during my research and wow, what a huge difference it makes to food shots).
5. Styling: Put some thought and some effort into your shots. Try to imagine ways that will add to your presentation. Maybe drizzle an oil onto your soup, stack your tomato slices instead of having them spread out on a plate. Play with it until you like what you see.
And practice. That's the only way to get better at these food photos.
Digital Photography School - Food Photography
I'm linking up at these parties:
Wow Us Wednesdays (Savvy Southern Style)
What We Wore and Made (Rae Gunwear)
Link It Up Wedneday (Junk in Their Trunk)
Super Sweet Thursday Par-tay (Fabulously Flawed)