20 April 2015

Five Tips for Taking a Great Food Photo

Increase Your Chances of Winning Food Recipe Contests

Five Tips for Taking a Great Food Photo

A couple times per year we run a contest, such as our Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest, that requires a photo along with a recipe in order to qualify.  Taking a great food photo can be fun and increase your chances of winning a food recipe contest.

Here are some tips that we hope will help you feel more comfortable submitting an entry to our contests or other contests that require a food photo.


# 1 Natural Light

The single most important tip to taking a great food photo is to always take your photo using natural light.  Don't feel restricted to your kitchen.  Feel free to move around and explore other areas of your home.  Why not try outside? Or near a window or even under a skylight. In most cases it's best to avoid using flash.

# 2 Different Angles

Try different angles.  How does it look from above?  How about from the side?  Maybe it looks best at a 45 degree angle. For example, are you taking a photo of an open face taco?  A photo from above woud probably work best.  If you are taking a photo of a grilled cheese sandwich, a photo form the side might be best in order to show the layers of ingredients.

# 3 Color

Is your photo looking kind of drab because there is a lack of color?  Try adding a colorful background such as a tablecloth, napkin or plate.  Show the ingredients that went into making the dish before it was cooked.  Have you noticed most vegetables look more colorful before they are cooked? By adding an array of color your food photo will look much more appetizing.

# 4 Timing

Make sure you have your props set up ahead of time and have tested your lighting before you take the actual photo.  Most food looks best when it is fresh off the grill, out of the oven, or when you first put it on a plate.  We suggest using a stand-in dish ahead of time and then replace it with the actual dish.  You can also take photos along the way of all the steps involved in making the recipe. Sometimes a dish, such as a stir-fry, looks best while it is cooking. 

# 5 Have Fun!

Now that we live in the digital age it is much easier to shoot, shoot, shoot until you get that perfect photo.  We recommend that you have fun with your photo shoot.  Try making your dish a couple times, test different lighting situations, times of day, angles and props.  

For more tips on taking a great food photo we recommend visiting theses blogs:

Nikon USA
BBC Good Food
Digital Photography School

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