Food, like social media, is a great connector. It enlivens conversation, bridges gaps between generations, and elicits emotional responses from everyone. But we’re getting tired of seeing food looking so… shall we say… effing doity in our Instagram feeds, Facebook timelines, and semi-favourite blogs. So, we’ve put together a few pro tips for taking better food photos. Try them the next time you’re snapping your hungover eggs benny brunch with a spicy Caesar…
1. Don’t Use a Flash… Like… Ever
So this is more geared towards the on-the-go smartphone shutter jockeys, though it holds true for uncontrolled lighting situations with a DSLR as well. Using a flash when taking a shot of whatever gorgeous dish you think will net you 50+ likes on Instagram typically results in even the most stunning presentation looking like a bargain-basement meal plan. If you can’t get away with using just natural light, then do all of us a favour and just don’t take that flipping food pic.
2. Proximity is Palatable
One thing we notice with a lot of food photos (and we’re guilty of this ourselves) is proximity when a photo’s taken – namely, peeps be getting all up in the grill of their grilled cheese. Extreme close-ups are best left for those who own and know how to use a macro lens. Everyone else, respect your plate’s personal space and don’t cause it on-camera anxiety.
3. Stabilize that Sh*t
There’s almost nothing worse than a slightly blurry food photo assaulting your delicate corneas – well, maybe a blurry food photo, taken with flash, of an extreme close-up. We often ask for an empty, extra glass (preferably a rocks glass) that we can use as a sort of easel to stabilize our phones or DSLRs when we’re getting snap-happy. You might look a fool for a brief moment, but that’s better than a shitty burger pic staining your feeds for years to come.
4. Don’t Do What Martha Stewart Does…
…ever. Enough said.
5. The First Bite is Best
Why do people take shots of their half-masticated plates? We don’t want to see the progression of your edible assault, just like we wouldn’t want to be served leftovers at a restaurant. Show us a pic of dish in its entirety or don’t show it to us at all.
6. Angles are Angels
Purposely taking your photos with a focus on drastic or unique angles can lead to some of the best food photos you’ll ever take. But don’t try to pawn off your inability to center a dish or use a mental level as “art.” We can tell when that shit is intentional and we can tell when it isn’t, too.
7. Composition is King
Composition is errythang when it comes to taking a beautiful food photo. What’s in the background? Showing the setting, say, a restaurant’s dining room, blurred in the background can be a great way of contextualizing your photo, but having your friends’ phones, keys, torn wrappers, etc. dirtying up your frame is basically pixel littering. Also think about trying overhead food shots, and how you’re going to assemble your own makeshift place-settings, or having other dishes and sides half-cropped near the edge of your picture. Think about your photos like a canvas, and approach any shutter-worthy situation from an artist’s perspective.
What are some of your tips for taking better food photos? Comment below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe!