Food Photography

I’ve decided, that I’m going to start giving photography tips on my blog since I love to take pictures of things other than food. But first, I’m going to try talking about taking pictures of food. My pictures never used to look good. I struggled with lighting and shadows. Take this picture of Bubble Up Enchiladas for example.. See what I mean?

Before…

After…

I like the second picture better because everything is sharp and in focus. I’ve struggled with trying to get pictures on foodgawker. A really popular food porn site. It frustrated me when a picture wouldn’t get submitted and some sites I see, get pretty much all their pictures submitted all the time. That made me want to learn more about my camera and the different settings that are on it.

Here are a few of my tips, that I’ll share about food photography.

1. Use natural light as much as possible. I live in North Dakota, and the lighting around here during the year, can be really weird. I have found that my pictures look better on a cloudy day rather a on a day where the sun is shining bright. On those days, where the sun is shining bright, my pictures get these weird shadows in them and will often times make the food look darker.

In the Winter time natural light becomes very limited so it’s hard to take pictures  after 3:30pm here. I often wish, I was a stay at home dog sitter so that I could take pictures of my food during the day. Most of my shots are taken at night using a light box.

2. If you’re limited to natural light, like I am, there are certain tools you can buy to help you with that.

– white cardboard from Wal-Mart

– day light flourescent bulbs

I use a set to something similar like this. Artificial Light Food Photography

– light clamps

2. Start a plate and napkin collection. I like to buy my dishes at Pier 1 imports whenever they go on sale. My Mom works there so I get a discount. Whenever I buy a new plate, she asks me where I’m going to put it. I really want to buy a shelf to put downstairs in our basement where I can store all my supplies at. Go to thrift stores and look for dishes too. Get different pieces of fabric for napkins.

3. Look at other pictures to see how they have their food laid out.This can be inspirational sometimes. I like to go to Martha Stewart’s website and look at the food pictures there. The stylists like to use matching dishes and napkins to correspond with whatever color the food is.

4. Use Garnishes. I always try to have some Parsley or Green Onions on hand to decorate the food with.

5. Over at recipe-girl.com, she has a really cool tutorial on painting different kinds of woods to make different colored table settings. I did this and got some cheap wood at Menard’s and different colored stains. It was a fun little project since we don’t have a fancy table that I can set my food on at all.

6. I hate it when I go to a food blog, and you can’t really tell what the picture is of. Don’t tint your pictures, or color them. It makes the food look unappetizing.

7. The lens I use to take pictures of my food is a macro lens. It cost me a good amount of money, but there are ways you can make your own macro lens and different filters you can buy. Sometimes, I’ll use my 55 mm lens because I can get an aperture setting of 1.8 to make it really bright if I need to, but mostly I use my macro lens.

Reverse Macro Lens

If I can think of any more tips, I’ll keep posting them.

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