Letís say youíre on a cruise or at a new restaurant. A gorgeous plate of food is set before you, or a stunning buffet is spread out, and you want to remember this moment forever (or at least post it on Facebook). You snap a pic with your phone and . . . ick! The photo looks extremely unappetizing, and youíre wondering why.
There are a few food photography tips that can help you immensely, even if you donít have a fancy camera. Keep the following tips in mind when you shoot your next plate of food, and you should get better results. Of course, the gorgeous food photos you see in magazines is shot by professionals who have a lot of training and experience, but you just might get a lucky shot and create something just as good.
Turn off your flash.
When I first started food blogging, I couldnít believe the difference that turning off the camera flash made. For some reason the light that the flash provides makes the food look all blown out and unnatural. You can lighten up the image later in photo editing software, or let sunshine do the heavy lifting. Ask to be seated near a window and place the food in front of it. If funky shadows appear you can use a white napkin or piece of paper to bounce light to fill it in.
Get up close and personal.
A macro lens is nice but not necessary if you can manually adjust the focus. Get as close to the food as you can to crop out any background noise, or to focus on the texture. Of course if the table or linens are unique you can include them, but many professional food photographers have arsenals of props that you probably wonít have when youíre traveling. Experiment with getting as close as you can, then backing up a little, then more than you think you want to. Cropping can always be done later.
Practice, practice, practice.
Before you go to that fabulous restaurant or leave on your next trip, take some time to practice your food photography at home. Get familiar with the camera so youíre not fumbling around when the time comes. Take photos of your dinner, even if itís mundane, at different angles and depths and look at the images later to figure out which are your favorites and why.
Follow the above tips, and soon your food photographs will look as great as the food tastes!
Wendy Hammond is a lover of food and travel, is a member of Slow Food USA, and an occasional contributor to The Cruise Web.