After you have found the perfect spot to eat, take note of the tips below and snap blogworthy food shots to take home with you and make your friends green with envy.
1. KNOW YOUR EQUIPMENT
The first step to creating a better image is to understand your equipment inside out. Know the software that your phone or camera is using to capture images and what the different settings can achieve. Try out all the different settings so you know what the end result looks like. Practice makes perfect so spend as much time as you can learning about your equipment’s functions.
Set the focus on the main point of the plate or food that you want to capture. Some smartphone cameras come with an auto-focus option or you might need to help the camera focus by tapping on a part of the image. If you are still unsatisfied with the images, try smartphone apps such as Pro Camera which has a focus feature. For cameras, many point-and-shoot models auto-focus on the image. Try depressing the capture button halfway to help the camera focus the shot. A great function of more recent smartphones is portrait mode: this allows you to get a detailed focus and a professional finish.
Not all food shots need to have the dish dead-centre. Try composing an interesting image where the subject isn’t centred and think about dividing your screen between left and right, top and bottom and place the dish in a few positions – off-centre, left, right, etc. for different effects. Top down or close up? It all depends on the lighting – try to choose a well-lit table in the restaurant and avoid any harsh direct light.
The scene can be the restaurant as a backdrop, diners enjoying their food, a view, table setting and table decoration. Lighting is key to making any photograph successful. Some types of food, such as steak, require warmer colours saturated in post-photoshoot, whereas others, such as Mediterranean dishes, can look more appetising when using brighter white lighting.
5. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Use natural light where you can, pay attention to the colours, textures and depth of the dish and try not to always aim for perfection. Crumbs on the table? They can add an interesting perspective to the shot.
6. SHARING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Do your beautiful picture some justice and remember to use hashtags in the caption and geo-tag the photo. These will allow your photos to be found by other like-minded users, increase your likes and even your follower count.
6. DON’T LEAVE IT COLD, ENJOY THE FOOD
Now that it’s all taken and posted, it’s time to indulge and enjoy!
Look for where the light source is coming from and move the food so it is well lit, especially on the areas you wish to highlight. If you are shooting at night, use your smart phone’s torch to create an additional light source. It’s all in the details, so think about the overall shot, and ask yourself if you need a wine glass, or a small bowl of salt on the side? When in doubt, shoot directly from above.
- Anne-Marie Cummins, Founder of The Food Dept. Australia