Five Food Photography Tips
by Roberto Machado Noa
1. Look for indirect lighting– bright sunlight (or direct bright lighting from household lights) is often not flattering for a food photo. That's why the use of a strobe with a large softbox is used by professionals. Another acceptable solution would be to diffuse the light entering the room with a translucent white bath curtain. If the window is place to the north side, better.
2. Make sure the image is in focus. In low lighting the camera will sometimes require very long shutter speeds so using a tripod is a must. Focus in the color that excels in the dish to bring the attention to a point before the view goes wandering into the rest of the picture
3. Turn off your pop-up flash. When a camera detects that there isn’t much light in a room, particularly on point & shoot cameras, the flash will activate, giving washed out unappetizing photos. Generally, the use of on camera flash is strongly discouraged by professionals because the food loses texture and detail.
4. Take a step back. While we all like to get up close and personal with our food, however, some other times it may be beneficial to back up a bit. You want to make sure the food is the hero of the image. You want to bring the viewer mentally to the table with mouthwatering dish.
5. Use the white balance setting. If you ever take images that end up with a ghastly yellow or blue cast on them, it’s likely you need to adjust your white balance. This depends on the lightning. E.g If you are using off camera flash set the white balance to flash. If you use continuous tungsten lights change it to tungsten. This way you avoid the bluish or yellowish cast that sometimes appear in food photography. Another solution would be to adjusted in a photo editing software like Photoshop.Sometimes, of course, it is up to artistic interpretation
What I’ve given are just some simple guidelines, not meant to be constricting, just helpful. But most of all, it is important to play. To experiment and try new things, see what works, and what doesn’t. Sometimes right before serving dinner to a hungry household is not the best time to do photography. Think of using a professional if you are in the Restaurant business.