Cooking is definitely a kind of art, chefs can create a masterpiece on the plate just like any sculptor can encapsulate the ideas in their pieces of work. Chefs see and feel the chemistry between the ingredients and come up with absolutely heavenly dishes, which taste like nothing else in the world. The only difference is the lifespan, as the food sculptures are likely to disappear quite quickly. In order to save the beauty of the dish and show the result of the recipes, we can use another kind of art – photography.
Taking photos of food may seem quite easy, you just click the button and here it is – your masterpiece. However, the result doesn’t show all the harmony of the taste, and ingredients used, it looks too simple, poor, and lifeless, and evokes no desire to taste it.
If you want to master your photo skills to reflect the true beauty and taste of the dishes, here are the best techniques to use to reach a desirable effect:
1. It’s all about light
Light is a major component of any type of photography, and food in particular. When taking a photo, make sure you check the impact of light from every angle:
- Front light – the easiest to perform, as it will guarantee no shadow. The photos will always look nice, but somewhat plain.
- Sidelight – brings the focus on the texture and particular ingredients; helps to show the contrast of colors.
- Backlight – the most difficult to master, yet the results are always impressive. Backlight sets a focus on the food, and emphasizes the details. However, the automatic settings will not work, as the wrong exposure will create excessive shadows.
Take your time and try numerous shots from different sides, comparing the differences. Experiment with the light, color, and texture of food, to see what fits your vision the most.
2. Artificial light
A lot of photographers prefer shooting during the daytime, to catch the daylight, as it performs best in the photos. However, some give preference to artificially lit surrounding. What’s the best to choose?
- Natural light gives a more ‘natural’ look, however, it’s time-constrained, which creates an excessive rush. Besides, you will need more time to ‘play’ with the balance of white, as the natural light is quite inconsistent;
- Artificial light is more consistent throughout the photo shoot, saving you time in editing the balance of white. Besides, you are free to choose any time of the day, as you have all the tools to create the necessary atmosphere.
However, don’t go overboard with light, as it is supposed to bring the focus onto particular details, but not flood the whole photo.
Another important detail to remember – don’t direct the flash toward the background, as the food will lose all attractiveness, and the important details will just get lost.
3. Correct timing
Food photography isn’t just about the result. Divide the process into three stages:
– preparation – the photo of fresh vegetables, still having the drops of water after washing, the utensils, and the work surface. When all the inventory is connected by one style, it sets the proper mood for the photo set. Other than the style, some ingredients look better in the pre-cooking stage, giving color vibrancy to the photo.
-cooking – a few photos of the process itself will stir up interest, being the bridge between the initial stage and the outcome.
-the result – don’t wait for too long to take a photo, as meat can look dryish, salads and herbs quite wilted. The setting must be prepared in advance, to help you catch the tastiest moment.
Having all the stages photographed, you can use them for the blog post, or organize them in a more creative way – creating online slideshows or collages.
4. Amount of food
Obviously, we want to show as much as we can; yet it will work as a distractor, and you will fail to show the beauty of the food. Focus on one thing at a time, thus, the followers will see clearly what you wanted to show.
Cohesion matters. Everything that appears in the photo must be united by one idea, and thus, style. Any detail that is not part of the story must be taken away or brushed out while editing. The reason is quite simple – you will work hard to reach the image you wanted, however, the viewers will just notice an out-of-style detail. Even the color of ingredients matters, as they can function as the intensifiers of the image.
Before cooking the “meal of the day”, make sure you learn how everything works. You need to feel confident while taking the photos, as it will help you to concentrate on the result, rather than just worrying about the light or proper angle.
Practice makes it perfect, and with food photography as well. The right photo will talk to the viewer and motivate them to follow your workshops, order the food, buy your books, be your loyal subscriber, etc. With the essential tips and tricks, your creativity and excellence in cooking will also take the lead in photography. Only the one who sees the chemistry of ingredients can masterfully show it in the photo, just give it a try and time.