I try to feature the best pictures I can possible, here on my blog. I think it’s so important, as people are visually drawn to pretty, bright and clear pictures. I feel my strongest photographs are my food ones, and the ones I get the most compliments on. (Totally not trying to blow my own trumpet here by the way, haha).
Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of times when I cook a fantastic dish, but the pictures turn out truly awful.
Damn it’s a killer! I am not gonna lie, because I then won’t feature this recipe on my blog.
Sad, i know, and nothing in life is perfect, but I try and put the best I can out there.
If a picture isn’t up to a standard that I feel proud of, then sadly it won’t make the cut.
At least I still have a yummy plate of food to devour though! Always a silver lining, huh?
Anyway onto the tips:
Background: So before I start photographing any dish I make sure the background or surface is clear and appealing to the eye. A white sheet over the table is sometimes an option for more flat lay pictures, if i am after a more rustic feel, then the table is fine without a sheet. I may add flowers, tea-towels or items of crockery, to help improve the overall aesthetic of the image.
I have a small white light box from eBay, it was around £10 and I use this for when I photograph smaller dishes. This is basically a white box with an open flap at the front. You then place an item or dish in. It is handy as behind the dish will now have a white background. The sole focus is on the dish – not the bread bin, stack of cups, dirty dishes or anything else knocking about around the kitchen.
Food: I brainstorm, and put a lot of thought into the ingredients and mixture of colours when I compile each recipe. Food pictures, with just one or two colours in sometimes won’t look appealing. When this is the case I will garnish with herbs, add slices of lime, lemon or fresh chilli etc. This adds colour and depth to any dish. For example below: A creamy dish can look dull on the eye, a simple garnish of a herb can lift the whole dish.
Crockery: I mainly use white bowls, black plates, copper cutlery, chopping boards and glasses. I like to keep it simple, so the dish can be seen clearly. I also try and use crockery in-keeping with the ethnic cuisine.
So for example: Chopsticks when photographing Chinese cuisine.
Pinterest: Is my best friend. I source a lot of inspiration from there. From studying camera angles, props and the way high-profile accounts present their dishes. Mine aren’t Pinterest worthy, but it is a useful platform for sourcing inspiration.
Presentation: It is pretty obvious I don’t just lash everything on the plate and hope for the best. (This was totally my approach when i first started out blogging though, haha).
I know the recipe tastes good, so it needs to look good. I experiment a lot with this. For example: Instead of using a bowl for the overnight oats recipe above, I used a glass.
I photographed the turkey rolls below as a flat lay originally, and they looked truly awful. So I decided to stack them up, and they instantly became more visually appealing.
Camera: I use the Olympus Pen. I don’t know much about cameras at all, but I know that they are tonnes better than taking pictures on an iPhone. The images are crisper, brighter and clearer. I always try my hardest to photograph in natural light.
I take pictures from all different angles, and I can easily take 10-15 pictures of any one dish, but only 1 or 2 make the final cut.
Edit: I edit my pictures on Pic Monkey and the Photo App on Macbook. I mainly use Pic Monkey to lighten the image and enhance certain parts. I use the Photo App on my Macbook to remove any splashes or marks that may appear on the image. I generally use the above tools when lighting is poor, or an image needs tidying up. Fortunately 70% of the time most pictures don’t need any editing at all.
I admit I do have a lot of factors that i incorporate when photographing my recipes. But it truly is just all about experimenting, learning, practising – and most of all having fun.
I hope you found this post helpful.
Thanks for popping by as always!