Food can sometimes be a tricky subject to photograph. Steaming bowls of food cool down in minutes and ice cream melts just as quickly (which means you only have a few precious minutes to perfect your lighting) and , so what do you do?
First off you need to understand light. We are surrounded by light but we never learn to fully appreciate it. Carefully study the way light wraps around a loved one’s face early in the morning and take time to absorb the wonderfully soft light just before the sun dips below the horizon in the late afternoon. This even applies to when you have your lunch, place it on the counter and study the way the light and shadows enhance and hide certain features.
By following these simple guidelines you will already be halfway to a better photograph of food. When you set up your shot, take an object (which has a similar shape and size as the food you are photographing) and try to get your lighting 99.9% correct before you even think of placing your plate of food in front of the lens.
All you need to do is make a normal plate of food look good enough to eat (literally ) Slow down and make time to examine the colours and textures of the food while your food stylist prepares it. And lastly, a very important tip when photographing food is to visualize the shot you want to create. Without this vision you will be lucky if you get anything good enough to show off…
Lastly here are two quotes that I think very much apply to the art of food photography:
“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography” – George Eastman
“It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary.” – David Bailey