"Each day provides its own gifts. "
- Marcus Aurelius
Like a painting, you start with a blank canvas first and then build layer upon layer. You construct the photo until you strike the perfect balance of reality and art. Food makes for an excellent subject when it comes to still life photography, as you can achieve some incredibly artistic results.
But when it comes to clicking some really good pictures, a little effort is required. Light, Background, Texture, Colours and Shapes are a few things that you just can’t skip.
Every shoot is a new story and may sound like a lot of work, but it’s not. When it is food photography, always remember these few pointers:-
1. Shoot in Natural Light. Artificial light comes out to be very harsh sometimes. Always try to click pictures in natural light or soft light. In case you can’t manage to have a professional setup for light, try and purchase a white paper lantern which helps to soften the artificial light. If you illuminate your food with an artificial light such as a normal lamp, it’s likely to create an ugly orange or yellow color cast in your photo.
2. Shadows make a lot of difference when it comes to food photography. Soft shadows are always preferred as they give depth to photography. Try and diffuse the light on a bright sunny day to avoid harsh shadows which may be created due to sunlight streaming in through the window.
3. Using reflectors makes a lot of difference. You need not have a professional reflector. So DIY. Try making your own reflector using any square or rectangular board covered with a white/silver matt paper. It works great!
4. Background makes a lot of difference. I prefer using a neutral and clean background most of the time. Again its choice will vary from person to person. If the background is too colourful or messy, the viewer’s attention will be drawn away from the food.
5. Colours play a very important role in food photography as they create a big impact on your composition and can affect the overall feel of the image. Many colour schemes can be used to give some effect to the picture, for example – Contrasting, Ombre, Nude and so on.
6. Angle plays an important role. Decide your angle before clicking. Top, front, diagonal, side, lower – it helps capture the details.
7. Breathing space is the most important in food photography. People often end up filling all the space available on a platter or table. It’s not required; some empty spaces create a more pleasing composition and place more emphasis on the shapes of your subjects.
8. A picture tells many stories, so always create a story around your picture. Add elements that help enhance the view of your image.
9. Try not using the flash of the camera. I always prefer using my camera on manual mode to create a nice dramatic look, making use of the natural light available.
10. Editing is a must. I always thought that clicking pictures is all we need to do. But NO. Editing plays an important role. Always edit your pictures to adjust the colours, backgrounds and give effects.
I hope these techniques have given you plenty of ideas of how you can create compositions with maximum visual appeal. But if you need some more inspiration to get into the photography mood, a simple option is to get some ideas from the internet. So make sure you try out some food photography ideas this New Year’s Eve. Wishing all our readers a very Happy New Year!