Are you a food blogger or consider starting a food blog or one of those delicious Instagram pages that are filled with beautiful food shots? Are you such a huge fan of food that you want to share your passion with the world through food photography?
In that case, I am here to help you improve your food photography skills by sharing with you my top 7 Delicious Photo Tips for Food Bloggers.
First things first, to take beautiful photos of food you need to have the right equipment. While if you just maintain an Instagram page of tasty and good looking meals, an iPhone and some image editing apps will do the trick, food blog photography is more complex. You will need:
You can make your own or check Etsy and other online shops that specialize in photography boards. These are basically surfaces on which you will take your beautiful food photos. I recommend investing in a few, so you have options. For some recipes where you want to concentrate less on styling and more on the food, you can use lightly-colored boards.
For others, where you want to create an amazing composition and have colors that complement each other and work great together, you can have some fun with colorful surfaces.
Another food blogging tip that I always give my fellow food bloggers is to always be on the look-out for interesting and unique props you can use in your shots.
Etsy, flea markets are a great place to search for them. Make sure you have a few kitchen towels that could add distinctive texture and pop of color to your photos. Also, vintage plates, forks, spoons are nice additions.
You can use it as props many things that you already have available. If you are making a recipe with fresh berries, make sure you have some in the background in a bowl. This will add a pop of color to the photos and also it will help the viewer quickly understand what the recipe contains, which increases the likelihood of him clicking on your recipe and checking it out.
But keep in mind, never use items that clearly do NOT belong in the shoot. For example, if you are shooting a delicious chicken noodle soup, it would not make any sense to have as props a fork and vegetables in the background that you didn't use in the recipe. A photo should tell a story, and confusion should be avoided.
This is definitely one of the most important food blogging tips I can give you. While I own a professional studio, we always try to take out photos using a combination of natural light and some artificial light.
If you are a beginner food blogger or don't have space and finances to invest in artificial lighting, I highly recommend you schedule your shoots during the time of the day when the light is best in your apartment. This may involve some planning, but the results will be well worth it.
Food photography needs a lot of advance planning. I highly recommend that you take photos of how the food is being prepared, to help the reader visualize the recipe making. A great example is this Tres Leches Cake recipe, you can see a mix of "process shots" and "hero shots".
The hero shots are the final product shots that you will use to promote the recipe and share across social media platforms. While the process shots are more to stay on your blog, to help the readers navigate the recipe.
Do not be afraid to take very close photos of your food. Play around, find the perfect angle, use a macro lens and get close to your food. Keep in mind that 80% of people will check your recipe from a smartphone, so having those close shots is very important as they show the food in all its glory and details.
Sometimes the food that we make may taste great, but not look very appealing. These are the type of recipes that are harder to photograph. A few tips, if your food is red, brownish or yellow, would be to never use yellow surfaces or props.
I usually recommend going for a light white surface, some simple green garnishes to add some contrast: like parsley or green onions, and some serving props.
If the food looks bland, adding some garnish always helps, that pop of color that ties everything together.
If you are cooking meat and it looks dry, spray it with some vegetable oil to make it glossy, juicy and appetizing, Also, if you just made chocolate truffles, but don't have enough to fill a bowl high with them, use some paper towels to fill the bowl halfway and arrange the truffles on top. Be creative with things that you have on hand to help you in a visible or invisible way to elevate your photos!
Different foods may look good from different angles, so do not be afraid to play around when you style the shot. I always tell my photographers - do not be afraid to restyle your shot! Especially, if you find it that it is not great or not working the proper way for you.
Also, do not be afraid to move around, or to move the plate. Sometimes it can take hours and dozens of attempts to get that juicy hero shot.
The food photography world is always evolving, so to keep things interesting make sure you have fun with your photos. For example, instead of adding all the process shots to your blog post, create a photo collage or add text to your photos to help the reader better understand the steps.
Use Pinterest or Foodgawker to see what is actual and trending. This way, you can get inspiration for your own photos and ideas. There are so many talented food bloggers that take absolutely stunning photos, you can always find something that will amaze and inspire you to get better and better.
Keep in mind, that with each taken photo, you are improving your skills and are getting more experienced. Also, make a progress board so you can see how much you have grown and progressed over time. This will help motivate and push you to be more creative in the long run!
Over the past 10 years, my team and I, have created well over one thousand recipes all accompanied by beautiful photos that make your mouth water. All the recipes are shared for free with our beloved followers and readers.