Note from the Editor: We’re back with part two of 10 great photography tips for making your food look irresistible, courtesy of our contributor Mama J. from A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock and Roll. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read part 1 of 10 Great Photography Tips to Make Food Look Irresistible here.
We hope you’re on your way to taking exceptional food photos that make your friends jealous and your family worship your culinary skills.
Because let’s face it, as foodies we all simply must show off our culinary masterpieces with the world on Facebook, Pinterest and Foodgawker; and to do that right you need to get your food to look like this:
Read on to get to get closer to learning how…
10 Great Photography Tips to Make Food Look Irresistible – part 2
By: Jenni Fleener
4. Never use the built-in flash on your camera.
The built-in flash on your camera is a food photo’s worst enemy. It will only end up blowing out certain areas, create dark shadows and mess with the colors. Whites should always appear white, never gray (too low of lighting) or yellow (artificial light). Good lighting, as mentioned above, is key to this. If you have good natural light, make sure other artificial lights are turned off.
This photo of Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust was taken with lots of natural light.
5. Learn to embrace manual mode.
Manual mode will open up a whole new world for your photography. Automatic settings are safe and easy, but not very creative. The brighter your room is, the lower your ISO (film speed) should be. On my camera, I don’t like to have my ISO any higher than 800 (in low light) because the photos tend to get grainy. Your f-stop/aperture (how much light the lens is letting in) will definitely change up your photo. Having a low f-stop number (like 4.5) will allow just the foreground food to be in focus. The higher your f-stop, the more background you will have in focus. (Read your camera’s owners manual to learn more about this.) Having your focus in manual mode will allow you more freedom and creativity as well.
These Gorditas with Black Beans were photographed using a low f-stop so only the gordita in the foreground is in focus.
6. Get a good tripod.
After having your f-stop and ISO selected, you need to work on getting the right shutter speed. I love holding my camera by hand. There is so much freedom and you can move quickly. In order to do this you need good, bright light and a quick shutter so your image will not appear blurry. In low light situations a tripod is a must. You may think you are standing absolutely still but any slight movement can make a photo blurry. Having a tripod allows you to have a longer shutter speed, therefore allowing more light into the lens. This can compensate for a less than ideal lighting situation. This will also keep your camera steady so your image will not be blurry. Sometimes I will set the timer and back away from the camera so that my pushing the shutter button will not bump the camera, causing the image to blur.
My Oven-Baked Flautas were taken looking down using a tripod.
7. What to do when natural light is gone.
I love photographing food right before my family sits down to eat. But during the winter months when it becomes dark in the late afternoon, it becomes a challenge at dinner time. Foods like cookies and breads I try to photograph earlier in the day when I have natural light. When that is not an option, I use a flashgun. Flashguns come in all price ranges. A middle of the road quality flash gun works for me. I use a flashgun with a soft box light diffuser over it. Make sure your flash gun has a swivel head so you can direct the flash away from your food. I do this to bounce the light off the ceiling instead of aiming the light directly at the food.
The sun was was almost set as I took a shot of these Peppermint Sprinkle Top Cookies. A flash gun bouncing light off the ceiling was used to get this shot.
Check out part 3 (the final post) of 10 Great Photography Tips to Make Food Look Irresistible â€¦to be continued!
About the blogger:
Jenni Fleener is the creator, photographer and chef behind A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll. She has had a passion for cooking since she was a child. Forget Saturday morning cartoons, Jenni was watching Julia Child. In high school, she would pour over Rolling Stone and cooking magazines. In college art school, she would come home from the design studio to prepare homemade bread â€¦read more about Jenni on her Featured Foodie profile on RecipeLion.