If you want your recipes to jump off the page (or screen) you need good photographs. You don’t have to be Herb Ritts to get your readers running to their nearest bodega to make their own herb-crusted pork loin.
To take food blog worthy pictures, keep in mind composition, proper lighting and other tricks of the trade. Learn the secrets to an improved image and create photos that will make mouths water just by moving a mouse.
Let There Be Light
To get great food photos you need to get lit. And when it comes to light, ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.
Sunlight is the best way to illuminate your entrée, so you need to open a window — or at least a shade. There are different ways of using natural lighting when taking photos for your food blog, such as diffusing it with a curtain or positioning the dish in various light reflections — but make sure the brightest spot in your picture is focused on the food.
If you need that extra help focusing the light, Digital Photography School suggests using a bounce card, which is a sturdy piece of white paper or foam board. You can pick one up at your local art store for less than the price of a cup of coffee and make your meal look like a supermodel.
Dress It Up
Does your bowl of soup seem static and sad? Make it du jour by spicing things up. If you want them scrolling through your scrumptious snapshots, add texture and color with simple garnishes. This increases your color contrast and texturize the subject.
The shutterbugs at Foodie Photo Pop suggest sprinkling and drizzling with a heavy hand to get that wow factor on your website. Garnishes such as parsley, herbs, greens, seeds, sea salt, sugar or spices add dimension to your dish that help it stand out.
Props and backgrounds can really set the scene for your food — as long as they’re done properly. Plating can be just as important as the food! Since readers aren’t tasting or smelling your four-star cooking, how you present it visually is how you promote your fare.
According to Pink Lady Food Photographer, food stylist Olivia Wardle likes to use various colors and patterns, so long as they don’t overpower and pull focus from the food. A plain or marble background is a good backdrop for an ornate dish. If going for a more rustic look, a wooden cutting board is an interesting way to display a cut of meat or a juicy burger. Props like vases, teacups, cutting boards, interesting linens, parchment paper and antique cutlery can enhance the pictures, add a seasonal flavor or a sense of the food’s cultural origin.
Steady As She Goes
Are your photos a bit blurry? Perhaps your hands are shaky from that double cappuccino. Or maybe it’s your aperture or shutter speed? Either way, you can click it up a notch with a tripod to get crisp, clear photos.
That Sage Photography recommends using a tripod to give your image stability. Once your camera is stationary, you are free to get creative. Set your composition, use manual focus or even use a slower shutter speed — which is awesome for those emo, cloudy days. So let that tripod hold steady while you and your dish shoot for the moon.