How to Capture Delicious-looking Food

Lover of food and photography? Now that's an awesome fusion of passion! Whether you're using a digital camera or a phone camera, here are tips that will give justice, not only through taste but also sight, to that oh-so-delicious meal in front of you.



Lighting

If you're dining indoors, choose the table by the window because natural lighting always works best. However, if you're out at lunchtime with the direct, harsh sunlight, shoot in diffused light - under the shade of a tree or light through the curtains as this will help bounce and diffuse the light onto your subject. Shooting with strong sunlight can cause overexposure and dark shadows. While shadows create depth and develop visual interest, it can be tricky to play with shadows when it comes to food photography. An overcast setting also makes for a perfect lighting to your subject. Try different angles that will best bring out the elements and colors of your subject. If you're shooting in a dark place, move your subject close, not directly, to a lamp/light (and diffuse the light with a table napkin) to create warmth in your photo.



Backgrounds

There's a reason it is called food photography, you're emphasizing the intricate details of the juicy burger's luscious melted cheese, the texture of the bun and all the element that come into play. Using strong prints for a background can distract your viewers from the focus on the subject. Neutrals - light and dark, wood (table, chopping board, serving tray, etc.), kitchen towels or table clothing with subtle prints work well. The key is to always draw the attention to your main subject.



Plating

While it is important to keep your frame simple and neat, complementing your frothy cafe au lait with a book, eyeglass, spoon and maybe a table napkin somewhere around can help create a concept. Plain can sometimes be boring, so play around with the elements you have. Just remember two things: give space and don't over decorate. Fancy-patterned dishware is irresistible, however, it may not work well with your subject because it competes for attention. Also, check everything - plates, sides of the bowl, the background, before taking a shot, nobody will ever be pleased with spillage or anything that would make a messy, incomplete, awfully prepped dish. Shooting a close up of salad on plain white Chinaware would emphasize all the details, so make sure there is no spillage or crouton crumbs to ruin the flawlessness of your subject.



Composition

A human element - stirring the soup, holding the burger, picking up the noodles with chopsticks, work every time because it speaks "reality". Shoot the dish untouched and with a human element, be creative and try different approaches because sometimes it takes a thousand trials to achieve that one jaw-dropping photo. Colors are everything too! Colors, when it comes to food, have a way of working its appetizing magic. When cooking a dish with vegetable (particularly the green leafy ones), keep its bright, crisp, and organic feature by not having it completely cooked or baked. Food with warmer colors is best kept natural, or, if edits are unavoidable, keep it at a minimum and lean more to warm than cool. Also, applying selective focus or depth of field also conveys a more dramatic and enticing feel, especially with texture.



Editing

Saturate to intensify colors (just don't overdo it, the warmer feel the more appetizing it looks), sharpen for a more defined structure, and use subtle filters to enhance. If you don't want to use filters, adjust the individual setting. Best to keep things at a natural because hey, food is best and mostly enjoyed (viewed, for this matter) when it's "untouched".

Attractive dishes and food should be shared, and what other way of spreading the word of that heartwarming bowl of ramen you just had (if not personally) other than serving it on social media, right? It takes practice and a lot of patience to be good at something, so explore and get creative! When you feel like giving up, picture your mouth-watering subject as your reward cause if you can't be a pro at taking food photos, then you're sure to be a pro on your food adventures.