Our photography club Focus Bulacan had a recent food shoot at Hapag Restaurant & Events Place in Malolos City. It was the first time for some in the group to try food photography using their DSLRs - most of the time they snap photos of their meals with their phone's cameras. Fortunately for us, the food in Hapag looks great coming out of the kitchen, very minimal styling is needed for photos.
I wasn't able to shoot all the dishes, but here's what I was able to :
I'd like to share here a few practical pointers to help improve your food photography. This is part of the quick lecture we had before the food shoot :
- Food photography's goal, whatever your purpose may be in shooting food, is to make food look appetizing.
- There are five elements of food photography : food styling (make the food look at its most delicious form), props styling (arrange objects/elements that can complement or highlight the food), lighting (illuminate the food in a way that its appeal and details stand out), composition (shoot with proper angles or use of space to create an attractive image), and processing (correct details or accentuate the look of your food photo).
- Try to make food look three-dimensional. Shooting from the top view sometimes works, but don't get lazy to always do that. A three-dimensional view makes the food look more real-life and appealing.
- Get close. Highlighting the food's texture and details is definitely more important than including the whole plate in your photo. Remember, the star of the photo is the food, not the plate.
- Focus on the essential. When shooting food, try to think of the most important ingredient. If it's a hamburger, focus on the patty, not the bread, not the sesame seeds, and certainly not the plate. It's not a burger without the patty after all.
- Keep it simple. Draw the viewer's eyes to the food. Distracting (foreground or background) elements won't help.
- Relax... your subject won't run away. Take your time in getting the best shot you could possibly take. Experiment with angles and composition. Unless, of course, you're already hungry and can't want to grab that food. And unless, of course, your food is of the melting variety.
I would love to share some more tips but I think I'll stop here. I'd like to give the food shoot participants the advantage of having learned everything that I wanted to share. Peace.
Anyway, here's our group photo after the shoot. Terribly sorry for those who left early.
Hopefully I got to help improve your next food photo, whether you do it for your Instagram or Facebook account, or just personal use, or even for a commissioned project.
Pray. Shoot. Upload. Eat. LOL.