Have you seen those mouth-watering pictures of Hamburgers, Chicken wings and Pizzas in advertisements? Well, we have and it’s a guilty pleasure that we certainly can’t deny. Even when we know some of those foods are unhealthy but we still can’t get over the fact how tasty they look. Yes, the ‘Look’. Everything that matters at that moment is the appearance of the food, which brings us to the psyche behind Food Photography.
The food industry is one of the fastest-growing industries. With changing trends and digital marketing techniques, vendors around the world are investing in decent photographers to attract customers and expand their business. It may sound weird that someone is paying Photographers to grow their Food business but that’s the truth.
Food companies are doing their best to increase the visual appeal of their food through advertising so that people watching them become their customers and maybe regulars. Now, in order to advertise their menu in a heavenly way possible, they look for Food photographers.
The thing about Food Photography is that it is so much different from those Instagram photos where people take a top shot of food and give hashtags like #foodgram, #foodgasm, or #instafood. There’s so much more to Food Photography than meets the eye.
If you are new to the photography industry or specifically to Food Photography industry then there are some things you can do to up your game and click the most mouth-watering pictures.
What is Food Photography?
Food photography is the genre of photography that comes under the family of still life photography. The goal is to click creative and high-quality pictures of food that can attract the attention of masses. Now, the purposes of such photography are largely for commercial use.
This is why it is mainly used in advertising, menus, publications, websites, and social media.
In order to successfully execute food photography, the pictures are usually enhanced and the subject itself is altered to look fresher and attractive to please the eye of the audience. This is the reason why food photography is a collaborative effort of photographers, art directors, and food stylists.
How to start a food photography business?
As a photographer, one needs to largely rely on self-employment skills unless you are working for brands that hire photographers for a full-time basis. You can start as a food photographer if you have an interest in the idea of clicking food pictures.
Nowadays, everybody has a smartphone that can click high-resolution pictures of food. But the trick is to bring out creativity and that quality that matches the industry standards. So here are some food photography tips for beginners to start their own business.
1. Improve skills
The first thing you need to do is improve your photography skills and click as many pictures of the food as you can in order to understand the psyche and know what works and whatnot. You can experiment with different camera settings along with different lighting and props to get a hang of how professional food photography is done.
Once you are done practising photography, it is time to build a strong portfolio. You can create your own website where you can publish all your best work. This way, you can authenticate your food photography business and get the attention of clients.
Get in touch with those working in the food photography industry like stylists, art directors, and companies that might be needing your services. This is the best way to enter the industry as if you build contacts, people would start referring you to potential clients.
4. Digital Marketing
Don’t wait for the customer to come to your doorstep. Make use of the internet and expand your online presence. Publish blogs, posts more pictures on social media and your website, and make use of hashtags. Target relevant keywords that would help you rank high on google searches. This way, you can get noticed and actually expand your business.
5. Learn to edit
Just photographing food won’t be enough. You’d have to learn to edit pictures too. After clicking pictures, there’s always something that can be improved. So, try to shoot RAW images so that you can bring them for post-processing and make the required changes that might please your clients.
10 Food Photography Tips
1. Fresher the Food, the Better
It goes without a saying, if the food you are photographing is fresh, the picture will automatically turn out good. If you are using stale ingredients, or ingredients that are better off in dustbin then don’t even bother photographing. While doing food photography, it is best to promote freshness because that’s what the customers are going to see at the end of the day. And if something looks fresh out of oven or fryer then the results become visible. This food photography tip will surely help you in capturing the most refreshing photos; photos that are not just limited to the food industry.
2. Fake the Appeal
One of the secrets of food photography is that not everything you see on screen is edible. Sometimes those amazing ice-cream scoops you see on screen are just mashed potatoes with added food colour. And then there are those pancakes. No those pancakes are not fake but the fluffiness of them is. Have you noticed how puffed those pancakes look? So different from what you make at home. Don’t worry, you are doing everything all right, it’s just that photographers use little pieces of cardboard and stick them between pancakes to add volume. Similarly, there are many other techniques you can adopt. Try to make the food as visually appealing as possible.
3. Experiment with the Food
In order to make the food stand out, you need to experiment with the setup. Work those aesthetics and bring out the artist in you. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. This food photography tip is all about what you can do to enhance the visuals. If adding sawdust around the spaghetti bowl is making it look good then go for it.
4. Shoot at Shallow Depth of Field
As mentioned before, food styling photography is about making the food stand out. That’s why shooting at a shallow depth of field can help. Just open the aperture as wide as you can. This will give a soft blur to the background and give your photograph that clarity.
5. Avoid Clutters
Do you know what’s worse than a blurry food photograph? It’s a big red balloon sitting right across the bowl, taking away all the attention. When it comes to clicking a neat food photograph that stands out, make sure that the surrounding is not loud. By loud we mean that the surrounding should not be too distracting. Another food photography tip to avoid clutters is that you can avoid covering the main subject. If you have props or anything, make sure that it doesn't come between the camera and the subject.
6. Shoot in Natural Light
Food photography works best when you shoot in natural light. Natural light brings life to food. It makes the food look fresh. So, if you are going to do creative food photography then make sure that you choose the right time. The afternoon is the perfect time for shooting in natural light as you can get all the light you want. Moreover, if you want to click magical pictures, choose golden-hours But make sure to cut shadows. If there are too many shadows, the photographs can become dark and less appealing.
7. Shoot in a Studio Setup
It might sound contradicting to the above statement. But it is true that you can effectively create a studio set up to do creative food photography. Now there are some rules to shoot in such a setup as you need to illuminate the product as well as cut shadows for great Product Photography. So, the basic things you’ll need is a fluorescent light, a softbox, and a tripod. Use fluorescent light as hard light and softbox to cut shadows and throw soft light. This way you can get click mesmerizing photos.
8. Work with Stylist
In order to make your food photography part easy, you can try working with a food stylist. Basically, a food stylist is a creative professional who helps with decorating and creating a setup. The professional can help in setting up the stage, experiment different styles and help you think out of the box. A food stylist knows the aesthetics and can improvise at times to make your food photographs look better.
9. Your Subject Needs Breathing Space
While doing food photography or any other photography, the key is to give your subject some breathing space. Don’t aim towards over-filling the frame. Your subject doesn’t have to be complemented with random accessories that are not required in the photograph. A food photograph looks good when there’s ample free space around so that the attention goes more on the food.
10. Don’t Shy Away From Adding a Human Touch
Now, such photos are rather popular on social media platforms where a hand is introduced in the frame. It gives the viewer a perspective and adds a human element with which people can connect to. Adding an arm in the frame can actually enhance your food photography.
In the end, the only food photography tip we would like to stick to is experimenting. Your creative food photography can only improve if you keep trying new stuff. Don’t think of it as a task, think of it as a fun activity. Play with food, sprinkle a little salt or chalk powder (yes, you can!) and work the magic of your creativity. Photographing food is like doing the painting. You have your subject, now all you have to do is paint around to make it indulging. Make use of these food photography tips and see where they take you.
And if you are looking to get a Food Photoshoot for your business, then we here at Spyne can certainly help you with that.
Common Food Photography Mistakes to Avoid
While doing food photography, there are some things you must keep in mind in order to get the best pictures. Most rookie photographers and even professional photographers make a few mistakes that sabotage their food shots big time. So, here are some of the common food photography mistakes that you must avoid.
1. Using Camera Flash
One of the worst mistakes you can do while taking food photos is using the camera flash. It may look like a good option to click pictures that have plenty of light but the camera flash throws out harsh light. This can leave you with an awful image that can’t be used for commercial purposes.
2. Sticking to the same angle
It is common for a beginner photographer to stick to the same angle while taking food pictures. The common angle that is used is the top one. Try to be more creative with the shots by shooting the food from different angles.
3. Adding too many Accessories
Sometimes while trying to fill the frame and add accessories that might compliment the food, photographers tend to go too far. They add too many elements that might come off as distracting and take away the appeal from the pictures. So, try to avoid that as much as possible.
Food Photography is not like the other genres of photography, so it is completely natural for you to wonder what all equipment will you be needing to execute such a shoot. And as you are already familiar with some of the most important food photography tips, here is all the equipment that you will need to conduct a food photoshoot:
It's no surprise that a camera is one of the most basic things that you need when you are planning a photoshoot, and food photography is no different. Try and use either a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera as they are the perfect cameras that you can get for food photography for beginners.
If you are wondering what a macro lens is and how is it different from a normal kit lens, it is a lens of very short focal length. Which means that it is amazing for capturing up-close details. Unlike other lenses, macro lenses can easily focus even with some really close up shots. Another reason these lenses are recommended for food photography is that they have a larger field of view so that you can get the most in from such a tight focal length.
The food photography business is all about slowing building to the final image test shot after test shot. So it is necessary for you to have a tripod so that you can fix your camera at a particular angle and make changes to the frame and its composition. Keeping the camera is also something that is not recommended by professionals.
As most people prefer to have their food photoshoot indoors, they also have to have a proper studio lighting setup. And if you are someone new to studio lighting, you can find everything that you need to know to set up your own studio lighting setup in our 3 Point Lighting Blog.
When you work with harsh light, it is very important that you have reflectors and diffusers with you so that you can manipulate the light the way you want.
As you already know, more people prefer to have their food photography indoors so that they can change and manipulate the lighting conditions to their liking. So for the setup, a food photographer has to have good artificial lighting setup. But if you are someone who is not an expert on Artificial studio lighting, not to worry as we here at Spyne are here to help you pick out the perfect lighting setup for your food photography.
When it comes to professional food photography, you are always advised to use Strobe Lights. It is also one of the most important food photography tips to use Strobe lights to make your work look more professional. And when it comes to making a setup, 3 point lighting is where you can not go wrong.
The setup is perfect for professional food photography as the light from this setup is neither too harsh nor too soft, which is perfect for the shoot. Hence, if you want to read more about three-point lighting, or want to understand the dynamic better read A Complete Guide To Three-Point Lighting.
Commercial Food Photography is something that can help you make a brand image for your restaurant among all the competition. Plus, food photography is itself is a feast for the eyes, and we all can back it up as we all love going through food photos and videos on Instagram.
And whenever we see a moth watering photo from a restaurant that is close to us, we are always persuaded to go and try the food ourself.
And this is a strategy that you as a restaurant owner should also follow. This can help you bring a lot more customers through your door.
Hence Food Photography can be used from 2 main purposes:
1. The Branding and marketing of the restaurant, and
2. Making the restaurant known to more and more people.
Food Photography is all about being creative. So you have to do everything to make your photography more innovative so that more and more people are drawn towards your restaurant after seeing your food pictures. And to do that, here are some of the props that you can use that look great with professional food photography:
1. A Marble Slab
2. A Wooden Board
3. Different Kinds Of Utensils
4. Variety of bowls and plates
5. Parchment paper
6. Cutting Boards, and
7. Colourful Napkins etc.
What is SPYNE?
SPYNE is an AI-driven tech platform that helps businesses in getting high-quality photoshoots by helping them hire the best food photographers from the industry. Soon after it's launch in 2018, the platform already has 2500+ photography clients associated with it. If you are a business that wants professional images to enhance your brand's online presence or want to fulfil marketing and advertising purposes then you can book your photoshoot with SPYNE instantly. Along with a professional photographer, SPYNE provides its own professional photography studio where your photoshoot can be executed with perfection.
Why Choose Spyne Studio for Food Photography?
After working with business giants like Snapdeal and Amazon, we have set up studios in every major city including Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Noida, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata to provide Convenient Studio Shoots to all our clients.
Hence, if you are searching for the Best Photo Studio for your Food Photography, we here at Spyne can provide you with the Smooth and Seamless Photoshoot Experience that you deserve.
If you want high-quality Food Photography for your restaurant and menu, you can totally rely on Spyne. Spyne is an AI-driven platform where you can hire the best photographers for photoshoots.