Here’s some sage advice for this month’s photo competition entrants, who in true Procrastinator’s Delight style may be waiting until the last minute to shoot the subject — food.
Composition is king in food photography. Give careful consideration to the angle of the shot, the direction of the light, and the placement of the props. Keep reading for a little more on each.
Pick a Side
Several factors determine the best angle to shoot from. If your subject has a lot of horizontal layers, like a cupcake, you’ll want to showcase that by shooting from the side. A straight down perspective can emphasize the shapes of plates and cutlery, and also eliminate a distracting background. Shooting more diagonally can give you the best of both worlds.
Consider the Light
Usually, the most dramatic food shots appear to have one light source, often on the side of or slightly behind the subject. There may be other lights involved to reduce or soften unwanted shadows, but this can often be handled by deflecting, diffusing, or blocking the light. Some photographers love the feel of natural light, but others like the control of artificial sources.
Choose Props Wisely
A successful shot has several ingredients, including added props. These can help draw the eye to the main subject, but can also distract if not done well. Select items that complement the colors of the food, including the background or table. When shooting from the side, try putting props in the foreground and background to help tell a story, but use depth of field to soften the focus while keeping the main subject sharp.
Shake It Up
Much of these guidelines pertain to traditional food photos. Your best results may come from tweaking the recipe.