Monday, 7 November 2011

Sugar and Spice: 5 Top Tips for Photographing cakes and other foods

I've recently started taking photographs of food more seriously, mainly as a result of a new business that my fiance has started, making cupcakes. This has really given me an opportunity to see what I can do technically. The main thing is to make the food look as irresistible as possible.

Here are a few very basic tips that I've found useful in getting started:
  1. Timing

    Some food may be perishable and so of course the food will look better, the fresher it is. It might be useful to set up in advance of the food being prepared or delivered.

  2. Setting Up

    When setting up the food, think about the arrangement of the food and the context. Decide on whether, for example, a bowl or a plate will work best. Fruit would normally be served or kept in a bowl. But this might not suit the particular mood you are setting.

  3. Lighting

    This is really important. This helps set the right atmosphere. The amopunt of light you use will depend on the subject and the context in which you are portraying the food. For example, it might be seasonal. Perhaps using a device such as a window, or maybe more subtle visible lighting such as a candle can help give warmth. Try an be clever and use walls and reflective surfaces effectively. Adding a glazing to bread with olive oil will also add an appetizing glow.

  4. Composition

    Think about the arrangement of the food to provide the best composition, applying the same processes that you would for any photograph. Sometimes, less is more and try and avoid too much clutter. Practice photographing both narrow and wider shots and from a number of positions to see what works best.

  5. Perspective

    Keeping a low perspective and angle than from up above makes a much more interesting shot. This also adds extra depth of field and can accentuate detail and focus on a particular area.
You might also like to have a look at my Food collection on Flickr.

Cupcakes at a cake tasting event
Festive Mince Pies
Freshly baked focaccia bread
Mini cupcakes on display

Yule log at a set table

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