Let's face it, cooking is only part of the fun. It’s fine to say that we cook for ourselves and for those we love, but don’t you just love sharing photos of your spectacular creations on Facebook and Instagram? Food photography is just like cooking: it requires practise, but you’ll soon master a series of tricks that enhance shapes and colours, and makes the end product a treat for the eyes. Here are some top tips for food photography at home.
Always remember that the protagonist is the food. That's why the background of your photos should be as neutral as possible. If you want to take professional-looking photos at home, you should opt for shots from above, so that the table is the backdrop. If your table is tatty, lay a wooden cutting board on top and you will see the difference in your photos.
The word ‘photography’ is derived from the Greek for ‘writing with light’, so think about the importance of light when practising food photography at home. You don't need to spend a fortune on professional artificial light sources. Use natural light to your advantage, especially on a sunny day. Just be sure to shield it with a light curtain that functions as a ‘soft box’. Don’t take photos in the evening using kitchen lighting - the lights in your kitchen are among the worst to photograph under.
Make sure your crockery complements the food you are photographing. Think of a simple bean soup: use a colourful variety of crockery, perhaps red, to contrast with your food and make your dish beautiful to look at – and to photograph.
Composition is the art of creating the scene, and it’s one of the most important skills for the budding food photographer. Take two factors into account: shapes and colours. A white dish, like a cheese mousse, looks good in a round black bowl. A round black bowl looks good next to something else that’s round, which can be either white or black: a spoon, for example. Always remember that the eye must be initially drawn to the star of the show, that is, the food.