This week I wanted to tackle food photography. This sounds easy enough in theory, except…I don’t cook. I could go to a restaurant and take a great picture of a gorgeous plate of food, but we never eat out. So. Instead of giving you some artful pictures of chips and salsa or cereal, I asked my pal Meghan to give some food photography tips. She makes things like homemade marshmallows. That just blows my mind!
Two of my hobbies are taking photos and cooking. Having said that, I am far from professional grade at either of those things. I suppose that’s why they’re called hobbies, right?
I can comfortably say that I’m better at cooking than I am at photography. Which poses an interesting dilemma when I have a recipe I’d like to share. There’s really no getting around photographing your food if you’re going to post the recipe on the Internet. People want to see what they’re going to be cooking and eating. Plus, recipe posts can be pretty boring if it’s just the recipe.
I’ve learned a few general rules of thumb that have helped to improve my food photography. These are things anyone can do. Trust me, if I can do it, you can too, and it’s not even anything you need a fancy camera for.
Rule 1: Use as much natural light as possible
This can be somewhat difficult because a lot of the things I want to photograph are dinner recipes and it’s oftentimes dark outside at dinner time. If you know that you’re cooking something that you want to photograph and it’s going to be dark, try to make it early so you can get your photos before the sun goes down.
I took this photo during the day:
The natural light casts a really lovely glow on these rolls that are ready to go into the oven. The next photo, however, was taken at night using overhead lights and a flash:
It looks okay, but the flash really washes it out.
Rule 2: Use white dishes whenever possible
Less is more when it comes to food photography. It’s okay to add in some extra items, but white dishes will really make your food “pop” off of the plate.
This photo also reminds me to tell you to really look at how your food is positioned before you start snapping away. The piece of lettuce sticking up in the middle of the shot drives me insane.
Rule 3: Don’t be afraid to include props or splashes of color
While referring back to Rule 2, it’s perfectly acceptable to add some color and interest into your photos.
If there is a “theme” to your recipe, run with it. Just make sure it doesn’t take the focus off of your food.
Rule 4: Have fun!
This isn’t rocket science. If you love the food that you’re cooking and don’t take yourself too seriously, it will come across in your photos.
If you need recipe inspiration, my favorite go to recipe finders are food.com and the HP ePrint Martha’s Everyday Food app on my HP printer. I am a huge fan of being able to check out other people’s reviews and I especially love that the HP Recipe app can be used alongside the Coupons.com app, so I can find a recipe and then print out applicable coupons to take to the store with me.
Now, go find yourself a recipe and get cooking!
Heather again. Thanks to Meghan! Applause! A few things I want to add about other things you can do with your food photos:
-Snap photos of your easy-to-prepare feasts to share with family and friends. Print food photographs to frame and decorate your home or to make into greeting cards.
-Get creative: Add a personal spin to your favorite recipes, take step-by-step photographs, and start creating your own recipe cards and/or family cookbook!
Where do you like to get your recipes? What are some of the creative things you do with your photos? Share them below!
Want more information on different HP apps? You can find them here, thanks to my awesome photo partners.