A picture is worth a thousand words! So goes the popular saying…
And nowhere does it apply more than to the photo clicked of the food you are trying to sell! Look at it this way. A customer from abroad wants to order a chocolate cake for his mother in your home town. He cannot taste your food. The only way to stop him going to the local bakery is by sending him a drool- worthy photograph of your chocolate cake!
The basics for Food photography are the same… whether you use your phone camera or the most high-end camera available. Follow these simple rules to capture amazing photographs.
- Light — THE most important aspect where Food photography is concerned. Do NOT use the flash. Use Natural light wherever possible. It’s not necessary to click in the kitchen. Shift the food next to the window. Be careful where the shadows fall.
- Fresh food – Try to use the freshest produce available. And try and click as soon as it is cooked. Sometimes even BEFORE it has finished cooking! Confused? Food loses its visual appeal quickly. A vegetable dish may look better when the vegetables have not wilted completely in the cooking process. Click and put it back for cooking! Keep it simple – A simple setting lets the eye focus on the star – the FOOD! Use a white plate and make sure it is wiped clean after plating the dish. Do not have too many bright designs vying with the food for attention.
- Backdrop – The right background brings the focus more clearly on the food. It also sets the tone for the rest of your props. Experiment with the backdrops. Keep a few paper sheets in stock. Wrapping papers work beautifully. An Indian traditional look can be achieved with your silk saree!
- Props — Limit the number of props you use. Don’t let them overpower the food in importance!
- Focus and Framing – You can adjust the focus in the phone camera to some extent by tapping on the screen. There are two popular ways of framing your dish – From directly overhead or from the side at an angle. Both give amazing results. So my advice is to click both angles and choose the best.
- The Rule of Thirds – THE secret to professional photography! Make sure the food occupies 2/3 rd of the shot. In simpler terms the food must not be dead center in the shot. Keep it just slightly off to the side. This applies to the props used too. 1/3 rd of the picture must be left empty if the eye is to be led to the food.
Having said all that you are always welcome to break the rules!!