By Gillian Stippa, Photographer
If you’re on Instagram, then you’ve experienced food envy. That conflicted feeling of desire and jealousy that whatever your friend is eating is more delicious than anything you’ve ever tasted before. Want to elicit the same reaction from your friends or followers? Just follow these simple tips for drool-inducing food photography:
1. Use Natural Light
Shoot in natural light. This could be outside in the shade, or inside near a window. Avoid shooting in the same direction of the light. In other words, use directional light, make sure the light is coming from the side or the front of the product/food. Avoid using a flash, especially if using a cell phone to take a photo.
2. Point of View
Overhead photos are received very well and are usually the safest bet. If you do shoot from another angle, try 90 or 45 degrees. Always make sure the background is blurred so that the product is the main focus. If using a DSLR camera this is done by widening the aperture (f/5.0).
3. Take time to Compose your image
Overcrowding your image is a common mistake. Instead, play around with negative space to balance your image. Think about plating - does the dish complement the food? Is the surface distracting from the food? Style your food, but don’t obsess over perfectly placed parsley or pristine plate because keeping it real often makes for the best photo. Remember that you are creating art, whose function is “to present what the narrow and desperately practical perspectives of real life exclude.”
4. Tell a Story
Find your aesthetic niche. With each image try to answer the question, what is my story? Make sure your images look great as one cohesive piece. Think of each photo as one note of the symphony, and make sure you have a consistent finish or look.
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