A Few Ways to Take Good Photos of Food

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Running a culinary business is a challenging task. Not only do you have to have a scrumptious menu, savvy chefs and a delightful venue, you have to have a ‘mouthwatering’ appeal. What better way to achieve this particular requirement than to take brilliantly tantalising photos of your best dishes you have to offer!

Nobody is going to visit a venue which boasts of food that looks like goat fodder and railway station toilet mush instead of mashed potatoes and mutton curry. The wrong style of food photography could tank an entire culinary enterprise. You do not have to spend a whole bunch of money on a professional photographer however. Listed below are some techniques you may use to take good photos of your best food. So save yourself some embarrassment, employ the following techniques so that you may promote your restaurant with the utmost pride.

1. Perspective

Imagine a close up of a fried dumpling, or don’t. It may evoke several latent images of deer excreta. A close up of sprouts salad can have a tryptophobic effect. It is of utmost importance that one chooses, with great discretion, the perspective of a certain dish. Here are some perspectives you could use:

a. Neutral perspective

The dish is parallel to the eye of the viewer. Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

This is the easiest and most appropriate angle for photographing food. Here the dish is parallel to the eye of the viewer. Viewers will be able to see food photos up close and can provide a clear picture of the product or menu offered. They need a creative way of looking at the photo, which is different from looking down on their own plates.

b. 45 degrees perspective

Giving a blur effect (“bokeh”) will make the food look even more appealing.  Photo by Heather Schwartz on Unsplash

If parallel angles are too mainstream, this is a common alternative.  Aim the camera lens at a 45 degrees angle with respect to the standing body position, to make all the food objects on the table clearly visible. This position allows you to create a “bokeh” effect or blur. So you focus on one dish while the other dishes serve as sweetener elements in the background.

c. “down on my plate” perspective

One of the most popular techniques used on instagram. Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Stand up on a chair and point the camera directly down at the food. This gives the effect of looking down at one’s own plate, triggering a sensation of already being in the process of eating that certain dish. A lot of food buffs on instagram use this angle as it also captures extra elements like smoke, steam or the shine of a lusciously cooked meal.

2. Avoid Breathing Space

Enjoy the sense of fulfillment by looking at this picture. Photo by Malidate Van from Pexels

A food photo, unlike most other photos, are supposed to evoke a sense of ‘full’-filment. In most other forms of photography, a good amount of empty space is left on one side of the subject so that the viewer may focus on the subject. However, in food photography, empty space could actually take away from the appeal of the meal.

3. Once You’ve Taken the Photos, Where Do You Put Them?

Appealing menus that make you feel the burden of choice often employ two styles. The S-style has photos arranged in the shape of an S, with little or no text next to each dish, so that a customer is lured into obsessing over the food instead of the decisions they have to make during the ‘ordering’ stage. Another style used is to place the photos parallel to each other. But they shouldn’t be placed too close, or else the appeal per dish reduces. A few lines of text separating each photo would be adequate. But the best style to go with would be to have small compact menus that display one dish (and image) per page. This allows the customer to dwell on each dish individually and flip through the menu like a calendar.

4. Some obvious things you should keep in mind

This fresh drink is really going to quench your thirst. Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

The photo must be taken when the food is still fresh. A photograph of a sizzler that’s not sizzling, a pizza that’s got hardened cheese, biryani that isn’t steaming, chocolate cake that isn’t shimmering, or ice cream that’s making a sad impression of global warming will just not do! There are a few small tricks that could go a long way. Keep in mind the key ‘effect’ that a certain item in a meal may have, and attempt to exhibit this particular element in your photos. For instance, while shooting pictures of a meat dish, spray a little bit of oil, up the grease factor. While photographing drinks or salads, spray glycerine to give the ‘cool and refreshing’  effect.

5. Learn with experts

Practice makes perfect, and learning from the expert will make you even better. Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Of course, taking the guidance of an expert couldn’t hurt. Show your photographs around and they may offer a few helpful tips. Attend workshops or simply browse a billion YouTube tutorials on how to take the best photos of food. There is no such thing as too much information.

However, consulting a guide in a live class is always the best way to go. It is a way to get live feedback and make quick improvements. So join the class and upgrade your culinary business to rival the highest class of competition.

Photo by Izzie R on Unsplash



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