Food Photography – Composition tips to create amazing images

Home / Food Photography – Composition tips to create amazing images

Food photography is a field in growth and always in need of qualified professionals. There are many stock sources offering pictures for people to use in recipes and food blogs around the internet, they look awesome, that’s true. So, the internet is constantly hungry for more quality images. This way, having the skills to create delicious images by your own allows a bigger freedom to personalize your work and sell it.

Shooting food can seem simple, but it needs more than just a good camera and suitable lenses. You need to have a perfect and fresh looking dish. Some professional food photographers would shoot a prepared meal, working together with a food stylist or Chef that is responsible for assembling, cleaning and creating the plate or subject.

The most important thing when talking about this kind of picture is the composition. The viewer can’t smell the food or try it when looking at the final image (even though the photographer could), so it’s needed to put a really good story and context on the table. How to do that? Some useful tips:

In food photography, the rule of thirds is a big trick

You can use the established and valuable rule also in the composition with eatable subjects. Divide the image into three parts, using straight lines (vertically and horizontally). Your subject should cover one of the lines or to be exactly at a meeting point. Some cameras have the option of showing these lines, especially on live view. This feature helps a lot!

Whole wheat pie crust with banana-cocoa filling, strawberries and walnuts

Whole wheat pie crust with banana-cocoa filling, strawberries and walnuts

Empty space is full of meaning

As strange as it can sound, leaving a lot of empty space is very useful here. The observer will focus on the most important part of the image, as effect of the contrast created by the unoccupied area. Neutral colors work well, but textures, like fabrics and wood are also good options.

Fennel on top of hand painted card paper

Fennel on top of hand painted card paper

Tell a true story

Context and atmosphere are essential in food photography. When creating a composition, start thinking about the message or messages that you want to leave. Backgrounds, the kind of dishware, the way it reflects the light and interact with the space. If you are shooting pasta, for example, perhaps it’s interesting to have flour and a rolling pin on the table. Be creative and try a lot of different options, it’s the moment for artistic food photography!

Preparation of a pie

Preparation of a pie

Use symmetry and patterns

Use symmetry, create patterns and movements that will hold attention. It can be imaginary lines, repeated variations, change of colors, increase or decrease of size. The viewer should look at the image and recognize that the photographer wanted him to see that.

So, food photography is quite interesting and full of details. Creating an interesting and appealing composition for your food pictures can sound like a challenge at a first glance, but some tricks can change an amateur image into a delightful masterpiece. Experimentation is the key, grab a few elements, set your background, the context and don’t forget to have a good food photography lighting (natural light is awesome). I’m sure you will be hungry after the photo shoot!

Homemade ginger cookie

Homemade ginger cookie

By |2017-03-08T00:16:22+00:00January 7th, 2017|Categories: Art of Photography|1 Comment

About the Author:

Lusia Schetinger lives in Brazil and works with Culinary. One of her passions besides food is photography. So she decided to dive into this field! Luisa is at an early stage of her career, but already brings international cooking experience and have clients around the World. She loves to explore the infinite angles that photography can show.

One Comment

  1. Anila Jain March 26, 2017 at 11:18 PM - Reply

    Taking a perfect shot not only require the photography skill but also some good sense on seeing the scene. In food photography decoration plays a vital role in making a proper shot. Thank you for explaining them here in an easier way.

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