Guest Post: Top 5 Tips for Great Food Photography
Posted: 07/15/11 9:00 AM (Modified: 07/15/11 9:00 AM)
So, I love C.C. Miller Photography
. Carissa took our family pictures, my promo pictures and then just helped teach a Blogging Bootcamp/Photography Bootcamp workshop will me as well. She's amazing but even more amazing is that she's a mom with a camera who self taught her way into being a professional photographer and an awesome blogger.
For those of you food bloggers out there or those of you who love sharing your pics of food on facebook or even our site. Check out C.C. Miller Photography's Top 5 Tips for Great Food Photography:
1. USE NATURAL LIGHT. That’s right. If you want to take great pictures of food, you’re going to have to turn off that flash and JUST SAY NO to light bulbs. You will have to plan out the best times of day to take pictures and use natural light only. In other words, find a window people. Open a door. Do whatever you have to do to use that good old God-given sun and NOT your flash or a light bulb.
Flash and indoor light gives you a yucky yellow tint and unnatural look to your pictures. Here is an example of a picture of food I took with yucky indoor lighting. Look at how dull the colors are and how the picture has a yellow look to it.
Now here is a picture of food using natural lighting. Look at those vibrant colors and the detail and clarity of the food! Outdoor lighting = GOOD. Indoor lighting = BAD
2. PUT YOUR LIGHT SOURCE BEHIND YOU. Now that you know you will have to use natural light to take a great food pic, you also need to know where to put your light. Your light source always needs to be behind you and behind your camera. In other words, you don’t want to be pointing your camera into a glaring window.
You want to position your window or your door at your back so that your light source is shining ON THE FOOD and you are in between the food and the window. This is what we call front lighting in photography. For food photography, you will always want to use front lighting. For example, the window was behind me as I took this picture and it was shining directly onto the food.
Because of that, you can see the bright colors and detail of the food. If I tried to take this picture with the camera pointing into the light of the window, it would be blurry, washed out, and you wouldn’t see the crisp details of the food as you do in this picture.
3. FILL YOUR FRAME. This is photography lingo for “get up close on that food girls!” Lean down. Put your camera close to what you are photographing. Don’t have a lot of useless space in your background. You want that yummy food you are cooking to fill up the entire frame of your shot. Take, for example, this shot. Boring much?!?!
Now all I did was get closer to my food and then it’s interesting and beautiful!
4. DRESS IT UP! I’m a photographer so I’m always thinking about accessories and props that will make a shot more appealing to the eye…hats on kids, umbrellas for a maternity shoot, a cute bench for family photos. Well, it’s no different for food. Add some parsley on top, or a slice of lemon.
If your cooking Mexican food, put a blob of guacamole or sour cream on top with some tomatoes and olives. Accessorize that food with bright colors. If it’s a boring looking food with no colors, put it on a brightly colored or patterned plate. Dress it up before you photograph it. Make it look ready to eat. Put a fork on the plate, ready to take a bite of the yummy creation you just made.
5. CONSIDER YOUR BACKGROUND – It’s very easy with food photography to muck up your background with a messy kitchen. Don’t make this mistake! It will detract from the food that you are wanting to be the focal point of your photograph. Take the time to clear the kitchen or find a good backdrop to use in order to photograph your food. I have a white cabinet that I use frequently. It is near a very large window in my home so I always take my food over to that area to photograph.
Don’t just think about your kitchen! Maybe you have an entryway or even a bathroom that has a good light source and would provide a good background for food photography. Take the food to wherever that light source and background is, even if it’s not the kitchen! If you don’t have a location that has both of those, buy something that you can use as a background such as a white foam core board that you could place behind the food or a nice wooden chopping block.
Here’s an example of some brownies I photographed recently that were featured on the Pioneer woman’s Tasty Kitchen
. I took them into a different area of my house and set them by a window with white cabinetry as the background. This is much better than trying to photograph them in a messy kitchen!
Hope you enjoy C.C. Miller’s Tips for Food Photography. Can’t wait to see pictures of the food your whipping up in your kitchens! You can check out what I’m cooking AND photographing by subscribing to my blog - www.ccmillerphotography.com/blog