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Being in the food business can be tough, especially when competitors seem to be playing the marketing game better than you do. Don’t let that happen, though! While you have to appeal to your customers’ taste, you also have to consider visual appeal when marketing your brand.
Yes, it means tasty-looking photos that are as delicious as your products!
Studio quality photography may be the best option, but it would mean you have to shell out thousands of money to run a full production. On top of that, it would not be feasible if you invest in professional food photography for every item on your menu—unless you are trying to get Gordon Ramsay’s attention.
While you are on a limited budget, there are key ingredients you can follow to ace food photography that gets your customers’ stomachs rumbling from the very first look.
3 Ingredients to Better Food Photography
Peach Mango and Pizza Empanada by Elizabeth’s Empanada
The best advice we could give you when it comes to food photography is having good lighting. A well-lit photo stands out among the rest, and bright, white-balanced photos can make your food’s natural colors and details pop.
Now, it does not matter whether you will use natural or artificial light.
For artificial lights, it’s more than just plugging in the lighting unit. You need to learn how to manipulate and angle it correctly so it will look as natural as possible.
But as a beginner, a simple daylight setup can already work great for your food photography. Place a table beside a window, and make sure that the light is directed slightly above your product.
Assorted Cookies (Coffee Almond, Milo, and Chocolate Chip) by Sweet Kreations
With the right composition, you can guide your viewers towards your most important subject. Even the most boring and simple recipe can look amazing in photos because of good composition.
Some of the basic composition rules are as follows:
This technique is simple. Images can be great to look at when your products are symmetrical.
Believe it or not, some photos actually look good when there are only two or three subjects in frame.
3. Negative Space and Minimalism
This is one of the most used techniques when it comes to food photography.
Minimalism is pleasing to the eyes. With more negative space and a lesser number of side objects, more focus will be on your subject.
A common way to frame your subject is by having an object in the foreground that is out of focus and making your important subject in focus in the middle.
5. Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds has been introduced at every photography class. It is a technique that states that an image should be divided evenly into thirds so you can have nine parts. From there, your subject must be placed at the intersection of the dividing lines or along one of the lines.
Oreo Cheesecake by Sweet Kreations
Texture is an underused element in food photography, but it is necessary when it comes to styling and capturing food. When you think your food looks stale or bland in pictures, why not add a unique material that contrasts your subject?
When your product is something soft and creamy, you can put a crispy element to add texture— perhaps, bits of cookies or peanuts. But when your food is crispy, like cookies, you can include a silky red ribbon to your setup.
Yes, you read that right. One of the secrets to making your product look fresh is to spray it with a bottle of water. This does not apply to all products, though.
3. Props and Backdrops
What about when your food is already picture-perfect? If that is the case, then you can play with props and backdrops to add more texture. You can make your photo more interesting by adding a linen clothing table or having old wood as your backdrop.
Photo Editing Applications
Do you want to know the secret of professional food photographers? Just like yours, their images don’t look perfect straight out from the camera. They do a little (or maybe more!) tweaking and editing to enhance their photos.
Custom Cake by Edyza’s Cakes and Pastries
Sample Product Shoot by Duo Lens Project
Assorted Cheesecake by Cheezken
Win the Instagram game.
A lot of people use Instagram for visual inspiration. It is a platform where we can discover new brands, places, and businesses from all over the world. If you are running a food business, then this platform is the perfect place for you to grow your brand.
Now that you already know how to take photos of your product, it’s about time that you learn how to style your social feed to make it look creative and appealing to your customers.
Wanna know how? You can read our blog on Photo Editing Style for Your Instagram Feed to learn more. The blog covers photo and feed styling tips, and inspirations.