Tips for Food Photography

Tips for food photography...When you blog a recipe one of the most important things to get right is the images that accompany it. You know those awful images that festoon takeaway walls the country over, where there's a rather sorry looking green tinged photo of a kebab? They put you off yes? Even though you know the kebab itself is rather yummy? The same goes for recipe blog posts. Some people have beautiful kitchens, fancy table cloths, cake-stands and china - the majority of us do not. Here are some simple tips to help you take the best food photos that you can without any extra equipment...

Light - Good natural light is key when taking any photograph. Turn the camera flash off, you don't need it on and it's not flattering to food. If like me, you have a dark kitchen, move the finished food to a lighter room, it will make all the difference. Getting good light is hard work in Autumn/ Winter time so that's when I head outdoors - these photos were all taken on my patio, on the ground!

Pecan,Maple Syrup and Milk Choc Fudge - decadent fudge bliss
Pecan,Maple Syrup and Milk Choc Fudge - decadent fudge bliss
Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta - Jamie Oliver Recipe
Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta - Jamie Oliver Recipe
Halloween Smush 'Ems - sweet Halloween treats for kids (and grown ups!)
Halloween Smush 'Ems - sweet Halloween treats for kids (and grown ups!)

Get close up - Experiment a little, you don't need to get 'the whole dish' in shot, sometimes close ups are more appealing.

Milk chocolate, malteaser and crunchie fudge

Background - Let's say you are taking a photo of a sandwich...when you look through the camera, what do you see other than the sandwich itself? Mottled laminate work surfaces, kitchen tiles, your kettle, the washing up - these are not things that will enhance your photo. In in doubt choose a plain or fuss free background, I often use a wooden chopping board or even a sheet of white card.

Crab Linguine recipe - a tasty lunch!
Crab Linguine recipe - a tasty lunch!
Rocky Road bites
Rocky Road bites

Blow - If you are taking a photo of food cooking or a plate of hot food be aware that the steam can rise up and fog up your image. Blowing on the food as you take the photo can help with this!

Edit - Photo editing is your friend, embrace it. Free online programs like PicMonkey can help transform photos. It's always worth playing around with 'cropping' your photos as well as the 'fancy focus' oh help draw your readers attention on to the food from the background. For those with Photoshop, RadLab's do a great photo editing plugin for Photoshop and also have a few neat filter effects too, like this one:

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Below is an image of some iced biscuits that I took (pre edit), I wasn't keen on the dribble of white chocolate on the chopping board as I felt it distracted from the biccies and looked a bit messy...

iced biscuits pre edit

With the help of the PicMonkey 'Clone' effect I wiped the icing off and away!

iced biscuits post edit

Once you have played about editing a few photos you'll soon get a feel for what looks good and what doesn't, it's well worth investing half an hour to explore.