Emily is a young creative individual, currently on a work placement with us at We Can Creative. Emily is passionate about food photography and has put together her top tips for photographing food at home…
I’ve been photographing for years – my first portraiture commission at a mere fourteen years old. However my first job shooting food photographs was very recently and involved shooting an entire cookbook independently. Through trial and error, I learnt a great deal in the areas of food styling, deciding on props and what angles to shoot from to best show off the dish. From this I developed a passion for photographing food and started my own food blog, Cortado Chronicles, in a bid to further my skill.
Professional-looking food photography at home is easier than one may think. If this is something you might want to try, here’s a few quick tips to get you started.
Natural light. Flash or artificial kitchen lights can ruin a perfect shot! I take my food photographs right by a window and I often take my props & food outside so that I can photograph with light coming in from all angles.
Props. The best food photography materialises when the image works as a whole – not just focusing on the food. Although macro detail shots can be effective – backgrounds can take the form of chopping boards, a rustic baking tray, parchment paper or crumpled up brown-bags to name a few. Spices can be photographed piled onto a teaspoon, spilling onto a slate board for colour contrast. Wooden slabs can take the form of plates. Get creative with serving!
Colours! Make sure all the colours on the photograph work well together. A drizzle of bright green pesto over mozzarella, for example, can make an otherwise ordinary image really pop. Your plates, bowls and other props should lend to the dish that you’re photographing; not take centre stage and clash.
Angles. It’s common knowledge that when photographing people, they look better from certain angles. It’s the same way with food! Experiment and play around with viewpoints: stand on a chair directly above the dish, shoot from below or straight on the same level.
Garnish. Fresh herbs on top of a bowl of soup, a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on a salad for sheen or a big bite out of that sandwich before photographing. Minute details can make a massive difference; giving the image more depth, interest and character.