10 Photography Tips for New Food Bloggers
One of the best ways to encourage more people to visit your food blog is by posting delicious looking photos of food. More than almost any other topic out there, food is visual. Sure, you can write about it. But without a photo that has your mouth salivating, no one’s going to want to read your words.
What are the best food photos? The ones that start your stomach growling and your mouth salivating. The ones that make you want to lick your computer screen. The ones that have you running for the kitchen, fingers crossed that you have everything on hand to make what ever was in that photo.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a mouthwatering photograph (I’m not!), but it may take a little practice. I’ve made a list of the 10 things that have helped me improve my food photography the most.
I’ve also included links to three books I think every food blogger should own. One is an e-book from Pinch of Yum that offers very relevant, easy to understand and useful tips for food photography called (Tasty Food Photography.) The second book is about writing about food (Will Write For Food) and the other is about food styling (From Plate to Pixel.) Whether you borrow them from your local library or purchase them though the links below, I highly recommend you can your hands on a copy of each
10 Tips for Improving Your Food Photography
- Find a photo online that you absolutely love and try to re-create it. Cook the meal, set the stage and go to work. Paying close attention to the details in other’s photography will also help your own. Pay attention to the food styling, the lighting, the angle the photo was taken at and the depth of field. It’s much harder than you think! Check out the bottom of the page for a few examples of my attempts
- Buy (or borrow, or rent, or salvage) a copy of the book From Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin, and study it.
- Take photos from different angle, and take a lot of them. Move around the food, take pictures from up above and down below, up close and further away. Change the set up. Play with your camera’s settings. You can always delete the photos that didn’t turn out, so take lots.
- If you are submitting to sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting, you will need to crop your photos into a square. Keep this in mind while you are shooting. At the bottom of the page I’ve shared a few examples of shots I’ve taken specifically for these sites
- Never use the flash on your camera! This is true for almost all situations, but especially true for food. Shoot in daylight, preferably close to a big window with a white sheet or curtain to diffuse the light. Increase you ISO if necessary if you need more light. My apartment only gets good light in the morning (and I’m not a morning person) so my camera is often set at Shutter Speed 40, Aperture 2.8, ISO 680.
- Get a few props that you like to work with. My favourites are two placemats that look like sun-bleached wood, a white piece of fabric, a flax coloured napkin, tiny wooden spoons and white dishes.
- Always be on the lookout for new (at least to you) props. Some of the more interesting props that I have found are a newspaper, old postcards, and interestingly shaped dishes.
- Photograph food that is easy to work with. Think bright colours and lots of texture. The most difficult foods to photograph (I think) are those with muted colours or are very white. Starting with an easy subject will help to build your confidence and make you want to take more photos.
- Treat yourself to a copy of Pinch of Yum’s e-book Tasty Food Photography. I bought it for myself and learned a lot of useful tips and tricks.
- Have fun with your photography! Becoming a better photographer should be a fun journey. Keep practicing and remember to enjoy the process.
My Attempts at recreating great photos: