Culinary Photography: 6 Steps!

Culinary Photography: 6 Steps!

Culinary photography is an art: Professionals use lots of artificial stuff and their dishes are inedible, but by applying these tips, we can get quite decent results … As a pro.

1. Prepare in advance
Prepare the equipment and the shooting location in advance. The camera must be charged with enough memory for a digital camera or film for a film. Remember to use well charged batteries.

2. Use a digital
We can of course take the photos with a film, then scan the images to be able to then transfer them to a blog or site but the use of digital is much more convenient and the prices are quite affordable for a very satisfactory result. If you are on a tight budget, try to buy a second-hand camera from ebay for example. Technology evolves so fast that people often resell their old devices to buy the latest, and we can find models just out of date for a great price.

With digital, you can view the result of your photos immediately. The memory capacity makes it possible to take a lot of photos and then download and upload them.

3. No flash

Natural light, sometimes enhanced by artificial light, will give good results. Take photos with a very large aperture and do not hesitate to use macro mode. This will give a shallow depth of field and very aesthetic blurs that will sometimes mask the imperfection of your compositions. If you do not have enough light, you can overexpose your shot. This can burn a little photo but some colors will be much more vivid.

Depending on the type of lighting (sun, yellow light of a traditional tungsten bulb or white and cold light of a neon), the return of colors can vary completely. You can trust the different programs on your device that should at least cover these three scenarios. If this is not the case you can start by adjusting the white balance.

4. The Framing

The goal is to portray the dish as accurately as possible and make the images more attractive and friendly, and try to surprise your future observers. We must try several different frames (which is quite possible with the digital and it does not cost much) by decentering the dish or taking a picture of only part of the object. However, avoid taking the picture over: on the side, it often brings more volume to your dish.

5. Photographing the stages

The photos of the different phases of production of the final dish and the recipe are just as important as those of the finished dish. They serve to help readers understand the gestures or the delicate passages of its execution. These are good benchmarks for your readers. Feel free to photograph the different stages of the recipe especially when it is not very well known. Be careful not to photograph your hands, but rather the utensils: knives, containers, pans, etc.

6. Treat the background

Generally, what works best is a white background. To have a beautiful infinite white background, just take a very large sheet of white satin paper that you will unroll below, then lift vertically behind the composition without making folds. Your plates will be well developed if you avoid dishes that smoke.

David N. Clark