1. Learn the basics. Start to learn as much as you can about photography - composition, light, framing, focusing, etc. You won’t be able to take great food photos without mastering the basics of photography.
2. Collect props. You might not have millions of plates, cutlery, towels, and other props - but I’m sure you do have some. Start with what you have and make good use of it. Whenever you see something that you think would work well, keep it. This doesn’t mean you have to buy stuff, sometimes you already own a prop that you just didn’t think you could use for a food photography shoot. Keep your eyes open, it could be anything from an old piece of fabric to a bowl you’ve kept jewellery in before.
3. Get inspired & learn from others. What do you like about certain food photos? Have a look on Pinterest, and create a board with your favourite food images. What attracts your eye? Is it the styling? Or the colours? Or the type of food? Do what they do.
4. Find what works for you. Find the best spot in your home to shoot in - it will probably be somewhere by a window, as there’s lots of light. The same goes for backdrops and anything else - find whatever works best for you, and keep doing it. E.g. get some wood and paint it white (or whatever colour you prefer), and use it as your ‘go-to’ backdrop.
5. Always shoot in good light conditions! Shoot during the day, and use natural light.
6. Be creative. Experiment. Play. This one is similar to tip number 2 - you might not think of a certain prop or backdrop in relation to food photography, but be as creative as you possibly can be. Here’s an example: I sometimes use a wardrobe door that I can easily take off, and place it on the floor as a backdrop - who would have thought a wardrobe door could come in handy for a food photography shoot?
It’s the same with styling - rearrange, play around with your props, have fun. When I shot the muffins in this post for example, I tried lots of different options - I used different coloured towels, put the muffins on a plate, … you never know what works (or doesn’t work) until you try.
7. Edit your photos. Please do! Edit your photos! You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
It all comes back to basics and making the most of what you have. Be creative.
I hope these tips help. If you want to read more about my thoughts on food photography, check out this feature on Shutterhub.
Shutterhub are also giving away a free one year membership to their site which let’s you create your own portfolio, be part of their community, and showcase your work in exhibitions. To enter simply comment and let me know your biggest problem when it comes to food photography (or anything else you’re struggling with in photography, if photographing food isn’t your thing).
The giveaway closes on 16 April at 11.59pm GMT, I’ll randomly draw a winner.
AND, Shutterhub are also offering 50% off their one year membership, if you want to create your portfolio right now - just sign up by 20 April and enter the discount code HELENA50.
Thank you Shutterhub team for being so generous!