A picture tells a thousand words, and it does so instantaneously. If you’re a food blogger, an eye blink is all the time you have to entice readers to check out your recipe. They’ll glance at your photo, and if it doesn’t make them drool – they’ll move on.
My blog food photos haven’t enticed anyone to try my recipes, so I decided to take a photography class. Since there were no food photography classes in my area, I took an individual class with professional photographer, Nadyne McClurg.
I was nervous about the class because not only do I know nothing about photography, but I’d just purchased a Canon camera that I wasn’t even used to using. When Nadyne arrived, however; her warm personality immediately put me at ease and I had a good feeling about how things would go.
My gut feeling was correct – the class was fabulous! Two hours of training obviously didn’t transform me from a novice to a professional, but it made a difference! Let me show you.
Here is a photo I took before the class:
Here are some photos I took during the class:
I loved that Nadyne came to my house for the class, because she showed me how to use things I already have to create pleasing compositions. In the cookie photo above, we took a painting off the wall to use as a background and the photo of the glass was taken on my fireplace mantle.
I learned a lot from this class, and I want to pass this info on to you. Here’s what I learned:
7 Simple Food Photography Tips
- The kind of camera you use matters. Nadyne recommended that I purchase a Canon – EOS Rebel T5i 18.0-MP Digital SLR camera. At $900, this was too pricy for me. I ended up getting an earlier model of this camera at Radio Shack for $700. Still pricy, but it takes fabulous photos.
- Light makes ALL the difference! Diffused natural light is best, so take photos near a window but not in direct sunlight. You can also take photos outside, but do so in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- Never put anything in the middle of the frame! Novice photographers (ahem, like me) try to center their subject. Centered photos, however; aren’t dynamic or interesting. It is better to frame a photograph using the rule of thirds. To do this, divide your frame up like a tic-tac-toe board and place your subject at any of the intersecting lines.
- Tilt your camera. Instead of holding your camera parallel to the floor, tilt it so that one side of your camera is higher than the other side. This really made a difference!
- Don’t photograph the whole bowl or plate. When photographing food, experiment with leaving a part of the plate or bowl out of the shot to create interest.
- Grow viola’s and nasturtiums. Viola’s and nasturtiums are often placed on food to be photographed because they are not only beautiful, but they’re edible. If you grow them, they’ll always be available to you.
- Edit, edit, edit! Use a program like Photoshop Elements to sharpen, crop and resize your photos as well as to correct any color and lighting issues. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to do these tricks, and they can really take your photos to the next level.
I’m still learning about food photography, and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got other tips you want to share.
Photo of tomatoes courtesy of Cook & Be Merry.
Photo of mini cheesecakes with violas courtesy of Marabous.
Photo of cupcakes with nasturtiums courtesy of Cupcakes Take the Cake.