Food photography is a challenge. Professionals have
expensive cameras and brilliantly lit studios, and
they have professional cooks willing to make a dish
just to make sure it's ready for
close-up. But what about the amateur photographer who
wants to capture that intricately decorated Yule log
or the puffy, golden Yorkshire puddings sitting
alongside that perfectly roasted beef tenderloin
To help the home
photographer show off the home
creations in their best light, we asked our staff
photographer, Daniel van Ackere, for
some tips. Here's
what he recommended.
1. First, he told us, focus on the lighting. If you
have a choice, shoot in a room with beautiful
daylight. If that's not an option, check the film that
you're using or the setting on your digital camera to
make sure that it matches the available light. People
often overlook these basic steps.
2. If the lighting isn't great, color print film is
your best option. It's more for
giving of bad lighting
conditions than slide film or digital cameras.
3. Position the food against a simple--not
cluttered--background. Don't put it on a tablecloth
with a complex design or pattern.
4. If you want any objects to be in the photo with the
food, place them a little farther away from the
camera. They'll be a little out of focus, which will
highlight the food.
5. Put the food in a spot that allows you to walk all
the way around it. View the food through the camera
from different directions, then choose your shot. Some
views will illuminate a greasy spot or hide the
decoration you're trying to highlight.
6. In most cases, it's best to hold the camera at a 45
degree angle to the dish being photographed, or at
least a lower rather than higher angle. Straight
overhead shots, more often than not, look weird.
7. When lining up your shot, make sure that the camera
isn't tilted or cockeyed. The image you're seeing
through the lens may look dramatic and impressive, but
in the photo the food will likely appear to be falling
off the plate or table.
8. Most consumer cameras do not focus well when held
fewer than 3 feet from the subject. If you want good
close-ups, you should have a telephoto lens or a
camera that is designed for close-ups.
9. Too many home
photographers take only one picture.
Shoot more than one--at least two or three. Remember,
once the dish is eaten, you'll have no opportunity for
retakes. And take the photos at different distances
from the subject--one as close as your camera will
allow, and then another one or two from a few steps
farther away. Take one or two from different
10. Finally, don't overlook more interesting shots,
especially those that tell the story behind the food.
If you want to document your grandmother's famous
cake, take some pictures of her and the grandchildren
making it together and of people eating it in addition
to getting pictures of the cake itself. This photo
story will be much more meaningful to the next
generation than a single picture of a frosted cake.
info taken from cookillustrated.com...most important
is to have fun