Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Blogging 101: 6 Ways to Improve Your Food Photography

If you're a Pinterest user, you know just how enticing food photography can be. Beautiful photographs of meals are enough to make you pin the image, and then run to the store to buy all of the items needed to make it, take pictures of your concoction, and then tell all of your Facebook friends about it.

Images are powerful. Gorgeous pictures of food are even more powerful. Learn how to improve your food photography to create delectably delightful food pictures for your recipes, your blog, social media, or just because you want to.

Backdrop is Everything

Food is the focus, but backdrop is important. If your backdrop is not equally as gorgeous as that platter of chicken, then your photograph is virtually useless to viewers. Having two children and a dirty spoon in the background just takes away from the overall look and feel of the image.

We eat with our eyes, and the backdrop is still a part of something that we see. Use the images below as examples to how important the background is when we're viewing images of food.

Imperfections are Okay

Did you add too much frosting to one side of your cake? Add a little too much garnish on top of your spaghetti and meatballs? No problem. Imperfections can sometimes make photographs even more original, as long as the other elements come together nicely.

On the other hand, however, if the imperfection is affecting the image quality, consider taking a photograph of the "better side" or even using filters to help enhance the image.

Natural Light is Ideal

Can you tell a difference between the two dishes below? The first image was taken in natural light, and the other was taken in artificial light. While they're both striking images, the shrimp dish captures more of the vibrancy, whereas the chicken dish isn't as captivating.

Below, you'll see two examples of some buffalo chicken meatballs that I made at home. The first image was taken in my kitchen using dim, yellow-hued lights. The second image was taken using natural light.

While the first image appears brighter, the color and the glare is harsh. There is a yellow hue to the food and the natural vibrance is lacking. In the second photograph, you can see the natural colors of the meatballs and the light isn't nearly as harsh.

Use Filters if You Have To

If natural light isn't available (like if you're taking photographs of your food at night), you can help liven up the image a bit by using filters.

In the first image above, the quesadilla is dull and dim. The second image is exactly the same, although edited with PicMonkey to add more vibrance. Some exposure adjustments were made (brightness and highlights) and the "Focal Soften" filter was added to create depth.

Less is Sometimes More

If you feel that you just can't get your backdrop right, consider using a simple white background with natural light. This is also a good idea if you're trying to bring out specific details, such as the color of the garnish or the texture of the crust.

Simple dishes or sides are also perfect candidates for all-white backdrops.

Invest in a Quality Camera

While all of the tips above are great for creating beautiful images, it should be noted that you're more likely to achieve crisp, high-quality images with a digital camera as opposed to a cell phone camera. With advances in technology, we may one day be able to say that phone cameras are as good as SLRs, but unfortunately, that is not the case today.

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1 comment:

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