Thanks so much to those of you who have filled out my reader survey – I am so grateful for your feedback as it helps me to determine the direction and feel of this blog!
A good number of you have requested more photography-related posts, and I am happy to oblige! 🙂 Photography has gone from something I just did (as in, snapping hundreds of low-quality pictures of food and landscapes and people) to something I am very passionate and intentional about!! I now offer photo editing services – head there for more information as well as more examples of my photography!
The biggest drive for me to improve my photography has been this blog! Photography is really crucial in the world of blogging – you want crisp, clear images that really speak to who you are! My thoughtful husband Bjorn gave me my camera Pachelbel as a Christmas gift 2 years ago, and I’ve been striving to go from quantity to quality ever since! 🙂
We’re currently renting a house in a small town surrounded by acres and acres of fields…but we plan one day to actually live in the country. So, while we don’t have our dream kitchen right now, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying our kitchen and trying to take the best food photography shots I can!
Here are my tips for getting the most out of your food photography.
How to Take Great Food Photos (When You Don’t Have Your Dream Kitchen):
1 // Take it outside. I’m so serious!!! Any time I’m getting frustrated with how a photo shoot is turning out, I grab that plate, whisk it outside to our picnic table in the backyard, and suddenly everything improves! The lighting, the background… It is so worth it! Even if you have to set that plate on a chair on your patio, it will make a huge difference! Now, it’s a little more difficult in the winter here in Minnesota – but it’s always worth a shot!
2 // Shoot from particular angles to capture plain backgrounds. Now, I’m not saying not to experiment with new angles – that’s one of the neatest things about photography! Trying different angles is highly recommended! However, if you’re shooting in not-your-dream-kitchen (or even if there are dishes in the sink), limit yourself to shooting from more thoughtful angles. If I’m not in the mood to incorporate busy, unique wallpaper patterns into my food shots (and I’m usually not, haha), then I make sure I’m shooting from angles that only bring the plain cream-colored cupboards into the photo, or the simple kitchen table, instead of shooting where I’m displaying a whole swath of colors and patterns that may not necessarily fit the aesthetic of the photo.
3 // Make your own backdrop! I bought a couple different patterns of contact paper on Amazon and affixed them to poster boards. They’ve already been such fun to experiment around with, but my favorite one is the marble pattern. It makes shots look a lot more elegant! (Elah Tree has a great post with some more photo backdrop ideas!)
4 // Natural light works wonders. DO NOT allow yourself to be limited to just shooting food photos in the kitchen!! Grab that plate and head to the nearest window. I am such a natural light photographer at this point…I cringe when I have to shoot with artificial light.
A lot of these tips work for non-food-related photos, as well! The next time you want to shoot a picture of food or an object (even with your phone), just go over to a window with bright natural light coming in. It’ll make a big difference!
5 // Really pay attention to presentation. We’re not all Master Chefs (though, how fun is that show?!), but we can definitely take away some valuable tips from them. That show has taught me to carefully wipe the rims of my plates, and make sure I arrange pieces of food in the most aesthetically-pleasing way before shooting pictures. This doesn’t mean that plates and dishes must be pristinely styled…sometimes crumbs and drizzles and fluffs of flour add a ton of rustic, authentic character to a shot! I really admire Mary Beth’s food photography over on Casey Wiegand’s blog. (Scroll through her recipe posts HERE for a ton of inspiration!)
6 // Get creative! Some people may think that food photography is boring – after all, aren’t you just pointing your camera at food that’s just sitting there? Well, it’s so much more than that!! You can get creative with prop ideas, with color combinations, with place settings, dishes used, angles (like we talked about earlier), and backgrounds! For example, before I had made my marble and other contact paper backdrops, I used our Home Goods placemats for this DIY Hot Cocoa Mix post!! The options truly are limitless! 🙂
Do you ever experiment with food photography? What has helped you improve over time? Do you have any other photography topics you’d like to see here?