March 20, 2020
What are the three essential ingredients for a food blogger? Great recipe, great photos, and great writing. It is when you combine the three in the right quantity that you cook up more followers.
As people who are only masters of making Maggie, we can do zilch for the recipe. For the other two ingredients, we dove into our community and came up with a few hacks.
If you need food blogging writing tips, swing by the linked post. If you’re looking for food styling and photography tricks, then read on.
How To Take Good Food Photos With Better Styling?
Gone are the days when you could quickly whip-up gingerbread cookies, click a picture, and have every follower begging for a taste. Today, a blogger needs to develop food styling skills to snap photos that make the stomach rumble and soul crave.
Given that not everyone is born with an innate sense of composition and lighting, here are some food styling tricks.
First, get the props right.
A painter is nothing without their brushes, canvas, and colours and a food blogger is useless without their tools. So, before you can style your heavenly creations, you need to have the right arsenal. While there are too many tools a creator can use, these are the essentials:
Fingers are never accurate enough. When you want to strategically place a garnish or nudge a seed in the right location, tweezers are what you need.
Drips, stains and marks. All are blemishes that spoil a food photo. Cotton swabs are your saviours. One quick wipe is better than spending hours on photoshop removing them.
Paintbrushes are your best friend. From removing that one crumb to brushing olive oil, keep a whole set of them at the ready to style the food just right.
You know that pristine look props have on food photos? Bowls, plates and forks with nary a smear of grease? It’s thanks to glass cleaners. Before you plate, wipe everything down using a tea towel and cleaner.
From small spoons to the mounting trays, food styling can use myriads of tools. If you’re just starting your food blogging journey source what you can and make do for the rest.
Then, get the shot straight.
There are endless ways to photograph food. You can stand up, duck down, meet the plate at a 30-degree or go for the rule of thirds. An interesting food blogger will include them all in their oeuvre. So, the advice is to practice everything but begin with these three:
Photos taken from a bird’s eye view are always aesthetically pleasing and they are easy to create. So, fold that serviette, cut those berries and put that red-velvet cupcake in the middle and get to clicking. The trick is to stand up and get an overhead shot like this:
Some recipes call for an angled arrangement. Instead of an overhead shot, bend low and put the camera on 30-degree or 45-degree angle like this:
When all food styling ideas fail, go symmetrical. Perfectly aligned and proportional food photos are effortless to produce. Plus, they give a very satisfying composition like this:
Finally, make the setting great.
A baker and food blogger in the DYT community says that cooking is experimenting. You can customise the same old recipe to make dozens of new treats. The art of food styling is similar. There is no dearth of tips and ideas you can incorporate.
But to beginners, the advice is to make the most of your setting. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, amplify what you do with these tricks:
The best food photos have small portions. Instead of plating the entirety of your dish, use only a tiny part. The images will come out more elegant. Besides, huge helpings are harder to photograph as they disbalance the proportions and appear clumsy.
Most recipes and dishes are a melody of colours. Play on those hues. Pick the most predominant shade in the food and then work outwards. For instance, an orange will look better on a white plate rather than orange.
Utilise tones that put the attention on the food. If you feel the image is too bland, use a vibrant tablecloth or add a jazzy prop.
Just like with every other photography, natural light is pivotal to food pictures. Throw those shades back and pull the doors wide open to let the sunlight stream in. If you’re using a table setting, get it as close to a window as possible. You’ll get the clearest and crispest photos ever.
Pick an Angle
We spoke of clicking an angled arrangement of the food. We now tell you why. While most cuisine is ideal for overhead images (think salads), some delicacies require a different perspective.
Think of a burger. What happens when you snap it from the top? All you get is a bun shot. Not too appetising. But clicking it from an angle will make all the mouth-watering layers visible. Moreover, you won’t need any additional props to get an Instagram-worthy picture.
A plain glass of water or a frosty glass of water beading with moisture. Which sounds more refreshing? The obvious second. Condensation is one element that you can easily add to your food. Keep a spray bottle handy and spritz a bit right before you press the shutter. The small touch will take your image from bland to scrumptious within 3 seconds.
If you’re blogging about something hot instead of cold, add a touch of mist. A steaming cup of tea or coffee makes any photo more appealing. The trick to capturing steam on camera is to find a dark background and then place the cup or dish in front of it.
Keepin’ It Real With Food Styling
A food blogger has to do it all, especially if you cook too. From plating to styling to photography, you juggle a lot of balls. In the endeavour to get it every aspect right, you can sometimes forget to enjoy the epicurean delights.
The final low-down on food styling is to keep it real. Dig into the food first and then think about blogging it. By savouring the delicacy, you’ll not only write better but also stumble upon styling gold – realistic and messy images.