Recently, there has been much online debate over the flood of personal food pics on social media. This caused me some reflection.
As my long-suffering husband will gladly confirm, I take heaps of food photos. Once when it was suggested he keep a food diary to deal with a potential allergy, he said, “I don’t need to. Everything that I eat is on Donna’s camera roll.” Ouch!
While I confess to being slightly addicted to food photography, I seldom keep these photos for long. Nor do the majority of them appear on my social media feeds. I experiment with the shots, grab what I need for my blog, then delete (most of) the rest.
Here are the food-related shots that are on my current camera roll. Each of them had the potential to set the topic for this edition of #What’sOnYourPlateBlogChallenge.
Current Camera Roll
Forgoing the above topics, I decided to focus on my interest in food photography. This passion originally stemmed from blogging. If I was going to include food photos on my blog, I wanted to learn to do this better.
I tried to compare my food photos throughout the years. I wish that I had saved more of them. As a great friend recently said, “People and food — that’s how memories are made.” I completely agree!
Some Food-Related Photos that Survived
I hear you arguing that many of these photos are not pure Food Photography. People do tend to dominate my photos, especially my earlier ones. As these are personal photos, they each conjure a taste, smell and emotion for me. When Richard walked past my screen, he said, “What I wouldn’t do to taste that BBQ’d Thai Corn Again!” Including a human element in photos offers viewers a way to connect with the image. It also also adds depth, dynamism, and visual appeal (source).
What Makes a Good Food Photo?
Apicius, the 1st Century Roman gourmand, stated, “We eat with our eyes first.”
Here are some suggestions repeatedly appearing in food photography literature that have been helpful to me.
º Plate carefully and creatively.
º Compose your image to tell a story.
º Try different forms of lighting. When in doubt go for soft natural light.
º Light/shoot from the side, not the front.
º Experiment with different heights (both for food placement and camera angle).
º Don’t be afraid to add props, but ensure they are not cluttering or stealing the show.
º A photo with contrasting colours is usually more eye-catching.
º Allow negative space (it is soothing on the eyes and mind).
º Think like an artist.
º Edit to sharpen and provide contrast (but don’t overdo it).
Love It or Hate It?
Where do you stand on the food photography issue? Love it? Hate it? Or don’t care either way? What suggestions would you add to the above photography tips?