It is a controversial theme, but when all is said and done there are few dishes that don’t look good when photographed from above. You have to be precise, holding the camera or smartphone high up and parallel to the plate. There are exceptions though. For example, a layered cocktail deserves to have its photo taken in profile, and the same goes for a tall cake. If you cut the cake, a three-quarter view is well worth a try. Experience is the best teacher.
6. Hands yes, hands no
When you do food photography at home, do you really want your kitchen-weary hands in shot? If so, you’ll have to take care of them, with beautiful nails and definitely no calluses. The eye is naturally drawn to hands, so if you really want them in the frame while holding a forkful of deliciously twirled spaghetti perhaps, make sure the photo is taken in a natural way, while genuinely making that gesture.
Your dish is the subject of the scene, but discretion is the best form of seduction, even in food photography. This means that you don't always have to occupy the whole frame of your photo with the plate. Leave a bit of space and the photograph will be more natural.
Once you have created the main ‘set’, look carefully at your plate. Is it a roast chicken with complex shapes? In this case, only the bare minimum of decoration is needed. If it’s a very simple dish, like an Andalusian gazpacho, then it might benefit from some embellishment. Maybe some slices of toasted bread with garlic, or a flower that recalls the summer? The external decoration must never be an ingredient used in the dish, as that would be somewhat tacky.