Whether you’re a serial snapper or not, you can’t deny that creating or being presented with a stunning plate of food brings with it the irresistible urge to capture some delicious pictures.
Making your friends and followers green with envy is one key motivation behind the rise of food photography, but a recent study by the Consumer Journal of Marketing also suggested that snapping a shot of your meal actually makes it taste better.
So whether you’re chasing Instagram fame, hoping to launch a blog documenting your eats or just want to up your snapping game in general, we’ve pulled together some handy food photography tips to make sure your pictures look drool-worthy every time.
Of course, the obvious first step is to have a delicious recipe on hand to create a tempting dish, and www.tastyeasylamb.ie is the perfect resource for some simple cooking inspiration – the less time you spend cooking the more time you can spend snapping!
Lighting is Everything
If the subject in question is a masterpiece you have whipped up at home, make sure to make the most of natural daylight to capture your dish at its most vibrant. Set up a little food photography corner near the window or even take things outside – trust us, this will be a game-changer.
If you’re serious about snapping impressive food shots, it is worth investing in a couple of go-to backgrounds to capture that Insta-worthy image. To get the ultimate chic shot, a marble background is ideal, but if like us you’re not lucky enough to have vast marble kitchen counter tops you can buy linoleum marble-esque backgrounds which are super handy for wiping down too if things get messy…which leads us to our next point…
Set the Scene
No matter how nicely presented your dish is, a picture of a lone plate is never going to capture the viewer’s eye like a set up scene. Get creative with props like stacks of plates and eye-catching cutlery or chic napkins draped underneath your dish, even adding in a glass of orange juice and coffee pot to a shot of a breakfast dish helps to create context and contrast, as do ramekins of sauce and garnishes of lime and herbs in dishes like this Lamb Steaks with Mango Salsa.
Lambassador Indy Power of The Little Green Spoon has some handy advice when it comes to kitting out your photos – ” Props make a huge difference, there’s a great place called The Props Library that I rent props from – they can really make or break a picture”, she says.
The Art of the Overhead
As above, going to the effort of creating a scene is time well spent, so make sure to do it justice by capturing the full extent of your scene. You’ll often see food photographers mounting ladders to get the perfect overhead shot, but a kitchen chair should give you sufficient height to get everything in the shot. Alternatively, if you happen to have a particularly nice wooden floor, feel free to cut the table out altogether and stand above to snap.
Lambassador Imen McDonnell is a pro at these kind of shots and makes them particularly inviting with an array of dishes in all different shapes and sizes and even including her son smiling looking upwards!
Overhead isn’t always best, as with dishes with a bit of height, think a chunky loaf of banana bread or a burger piled high for example. These kind of dishes benefit from a 45 degree angle shot, and playing around with different angles is always advisable. Remember, you can always crop your photo after the shot.
This may sound counter-intuitive but a little spillage actually adds a pleasing dimension to photos of certain things – a couple of crumbs if you’re shooting a stack of cookies and some leftover chocolate chips or nuts scattered around makes the entire picture look inviting and abundant.
If your dish features herbs or leaves, make sure they are crisp and fresh, not wilted, and scatter them liberally. Halved avocados, ruby red tomatoes and colourful veggies like red onion and red cabbage always make photos pop.
Choose Your Subject
When it comes to snapping your supper, not all dishes are created equal. With #TastyEasyLamb dishes, the undisputed model subject is rack of lamb – ask your butcher to French trim the bones and cook it just long enough to serve pink. Make it pop even more by adding a delicious herby green crust.
If it’s lamb steaks you’re photographing, slice them thinly and fan out with vibrant green rocket, sun dried tomatoes and other contrasting ingredients like in this delicious Lamb Tagliata recipe – simply stunning and so easy to achieve. You can also embrace your inner hand model here and add some aspect to the photo by reaching in to steal a bite!
Practice Makes Perfect
Having built her blog The Little Green Spoon from scratch with no formal food photography training, Indy has graduated from taking shots on her phone and says her number one piece of advice is “Practice, practice, practice. I’m still a total beginner and I feel like I learn every time I take a shot.”
She also adds that when it comes to choosing equipment, “a good lens is a must and it’s so important to do lots of research before investing in one”. For handy food shots with a dedicated food photography setting, we often use a Canon EOS M3 camera and a mini tri-pod for steadiness.
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. With that(and greed) as the ultimate motivator, I realised that baked goods make excellent bribes and an obsession was born! I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake off, fuelling my desire to focus on food in a serious way. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting.