You’ve just been served a delicious plate of food from a Zagat-rated restaurant in the Caribbean. You’re ready to take an enormous bite—but wait! First you want to share this moment with friends, family, and anyone else who may follow you on Instagram. You take a shot with your smartphone, ready to make less-fortunate diners green with envy. But for some reason, your perfectly delightful bowl of soup looks like slop from a mess hall. Your juicy steak looks like something pulled from a TV dinner. And those steamed vegetables are totally devoid of color.
Taking appetizing pictures of food has been one of the most difficult challenges faced by professional photographers since cameras were invented. So it’s no wonder that you haven’t been able to capture the scrumptious moments that you’re aiming for.
Next time, try these tips from Bon Appetit and the Digital Photography School.
· Pay attention to what’s around. Too often, amateur photographers get caught up in the object they intend the photograph. But the surroundings matter, too. That’s why you don’t take portraits in your disorganized closet or family photos in the master bathroom. Don’t just look at the food. Look at the table your plate is on. Look at the plate itself. Is there a dirty napkin in a ball in the upper corner? Get rid of it. Look at the "bigger picture.”
· Try shooting down, directly at the food. This usually gives off the best angle.
· Don’t use flash. The majority of the time, it doesn’t come off well. Especially not with food.
· Lighting can make or break a food photo. If you’re in a restaurant with friends, you won’t have much control over the lighting, but you can give it your best shot. Lighting from behind is your best bet, but that won’t always be possible.