Our Five Best Tips for Insta-worthy Food Photography

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Have you ever heard the saying “we eat with our eyes”? Well, it’s true that most of us would choose to dig into a beautiful-looking dish over a badly presented one - sometimes despite how it might actually taste! So, if you’re trying to entice customers into your business to try your delectable menu, high quality, gorgeous images of your dishes are an absolute must! Here are our top five tips on how to photograph food and make it worthy of #foodporn status:

Look to the natural light

If nothing else, remember this: shoot in natural light! Shooting in soft, natural daylight is the best way to create beautiful images. Artificial light can often cast other colours onto your shots, making your food look unappealing. Also try to avoid shooting in bright sunlight, as this will blow out your “whites” and create harsh shadows too.

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Pop some props (and people!) in

Let’s be honest, a single bowl on a table can be a pretty boring post. Don’t be afraid to use props in your food photography shoots! Including props can help tell a story about the ingredients of a dish, how it’s cooked or how it should be consumed. An easy first step is to include a napkin and the appropriate cutlery next to a dish. Already, the shot begins to tell a story of the start of a meal, rather than just being food on a plate. Similarly, including people in your shoots, even if it’s just their hands, can include an element of liveliness in your final images. Just make sure that even with props and models, the focus of the shots remains on the food!

It’s all about balance

Just like the flavours in food, balance is also key in food photography. Create contrast and harmony in how you combine the colours, textures and shapes of your dishes, props and backgrounds. Generally, neutral backgrounds work best for food photography – think wooden boards, white tablecloths, grey walls etc. Whilst props can be a great way to enhance a shot, there’s also something to be said about negative space. Don’t over clutter your images, thinking that you need to get everything in there.

Get theatrical

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Do you have a hot clay pot soup on your menu that’s served while steaming and bubbling? How about a crazy cocktail created with smoked wood chips, or a soba salad that’s garnished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds? Think about each step in the creation or consumption of your dishes, and see if there’s anything you can capture that expresses the excitement of eating it. You want people to feel as though they are involved in the experience of that dish, in the hope that they will then come in and try it for themselves! When trying to capture elements like smoke or sprinkling salt, a darker coloured background will ensure that they show up more clearly in the final image.

Work those angles

Mixing things up is crucial to creating a truly captivating feed. This means having variety not only in the content you shoot, but how you shoot them. Try and capture every dish from a range of angles: close up, from the side, 45 degrees and, of course, the best-known angle for food photography – the flatlay. When considering what type of shot you want to shoot, think about the features of your dish. For example, a flatlay may be the best way to show off all those fresh toppings your wood-fired pizza, while a shot from the side will feature every scoop of ice cream that you’ve piled high for your strawberry sundae.

When shooting food photography, there are no hard and fast rules about what works and what doesn’t. But keep these tips in mind and we promise, you’ll see a big lift in the quality and overall appeal of your images!

Food photography still leaving you feeling flabbergasted? Contact a Milk Bottle Projects creative here today and we’ll lend a hand!