Photography Tips: Food Photography Tips for Bloggers

As some might know i teach Food Photography Workshop at The Photography Academy of Singapore. Many people has been asking me wide range of questions on how to take better pictures of Food. Other than the Article that I've wrote quite some time back, here is something you may read up too! 

Here's something mainly for Bloggers! Let's start from the very basic!

Tips for taking Appealing food Photos

Most of the time, it's about the light! My best tip for beginners is to become aware of the intensity of the light and how it hits onto the food, and learn to adjust accordingly. Here are some tips for getting started.
  • Take photos under natural light. Do not use your built-in flash.
  • Move around to find the best light source. Don’t feel confined to taking photos in cafe or even your kitchen.
  • Try taking photos from multiple angles. Some plates of food look better from above 90-degree angle, or from the side 10-20-degree angle, or at a 45-degree angle. Try moving around the plate and taking photos at various angles so you can pick your favorite later.
  • Minimize clutter. If that spoon, napkin or busy background doesn’t add meaning to the photo, it distract the photo outcome. Focus on what is most important but don’t zoom in so much that viewers can’t tell what the food is.
  • Use 1 to 2 background colours only. Other than those spoon, napkin & etc. We won't want too much colours in the background that also distract or outstand the Food you are shooting. Better to have one subject which is the Food, and lesser distraction from the backdrop.

Troubleshooting for common Food Photography issues

Frustrated by how your food photos are turning out? Read on for potential solutions.

  • Your colors aren’t true to life. When you’re editing your photos, if your plate of food looks very blue, yellow, pink or green. Solution is use your Computer software (I prefer Adobe Lightroom) or Phone's App (I prefer Photo Director, it's free) to fix white balance tools to fix it! Colors come alive when the white balance is set properly.
  • Your photos are blurry. The root of the problem here is that there isn’t enough light getting to the sensor of your camera. A few potential solutions: move to an area with more light, hold your breathe before snapping which makes your camera steadier and if you're on your DSLR you can increase your shutter speed to compensate with your handshake. 
  • Your photos just don’t “pop” like professional food photos. Experienced food photographers use lenses that allow them to narrow their depth of field to highlight the subject of the photo. Then they use photography software to tweak the contrast, levels and sharpness of their photos. Common DSLR are good enough to shoot photos with the right sharpness, however if the light is not sufficient or focus point not in focus... Sharpness may go wrong. Watch your focus point!

Cameras for food photography

You don’t necessarily need a super fancy camera to take appealing food photos. You can probably get by with a point-and-shoot camera for a while if you don't prefer smartphone. I'm pretty cool with my Iphone 6, however at my profession needs I uses my DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera). If you're using DSLR, get started with the user manual, try aperture mode for the start and practice is the key to better pictures!

Lenses for food photography

The lens you use for food photos will have more of an impact than the DSLR itself, so you got to choose wisely.

I prefer to use prime lens (50mm f1.4). Prime lens also means that the lenses do not zoom in or out, so I have to physically move myself closer or farther away from the subject. There's 3 version of 50mm for Canon users, all are at different minimum aperture and that also means they can perform different depth of field which makes the blurry background in your shot. I love my 50mm f1.4 because it's inexpensive, small, lightweight, and it is good enough for sharpness.
I'm using full frame Canon 5D Mk iii, and because it is full frame I can easily move back and forth for the photo framing i want. However, if you're using crop frame sensor you may consider 35mm or 24-70mm so that you may not need to move to far off from the table while eating at the Cafe/ Restaurant. 

Other photography equipment

Reflectors and diffusers: I mostly use recycled foam board poster with a white backing to bounce light back onto the plate to reduce harsh shadows. You can also use smartphone torchlight and diffuse it with tissue paper.

LED Light: Some of the time i use LED Lighting at Environment where it is too dark or white balance too much yellowish. Common LED lights comes with CTB (blue diffuser) and CTO (Orange diffuser) which also helps to balance Tungsten and Daylight in your shot. I prefer to use just pure LED light without the CTB and CTO because my LED light is already at Tungsten (blue) temperature.

♥ Thanks for reading as always!

Love reading my blog? Check out my Food Photography Tips here. Drop a PM on Facebook if you've collaboration ideas with blogger aka “female" photographer Irene.
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Singapore Food & Lifestyle Blogger Hello, I'm Irene

Welcome to Foodwanderers blog! The concept of Foodwanderers blog is to invite Friends to makan together and gather different opinions in the Food we ate. Read more long self-intro about why I started this blog here.