24 August 2011

Food Photography: Part 1-How to Capture Your Best Meal for Family & Friends

I'm new to food photography, and food blogging. But I'm not new to wanting and trying to capture that great family meal or holiday dinner to look back on it with pride (and yes "awe" sometimes). In the short time that I've been writing this blog,  I've learned a couple of major things that can help you capture your next great meal. Here is the biggest thing I have learned.

Light is a novice food photographer's best friend, natural light that is. Florescent, dull overhead or flash are not friendly to a novice (like you and me). We don't have the experience yet to know how to manipulate this type of lighting to take a good picture.

The above picture of my husband's homemade salsa with chips is completely unedited. I believe the food looks good for myraid of reasons. However the main reason is
because I captured this shot during the day in our dining room which receives a lot of natural light. Now below is a picture of a dish I took in the evening using our dining room light. This is also unedited.

These roasted potatoes were great, especially when I added the Feta, but they don't look great. My main source of light was overhead, and I clearly had a lot of shadow. And the artificial light of the dinning room doesn't have the same illuminating effect that the natural light in the first picture does. In a nut shell this is what I would suggest as a foundation for taking pictures of food for the novice.
  • Take your pictures in natural light. If you need more light take the dish outside, or hold it near a window. But get a much light as you can. This might entail cooking during the day, or waiting to snap your shots the following day as leftovers (but no one has to know). 

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