Freshly baked for you:
Quality food photography can make or break a food blog. There's plenty of amazing food blogs on the web that don't get anywhere near the traffic they deserve simply because the quality of their photos doesn't match the quality of their recipes. So how can you upgrade your food photography skills without breaking the bank on camera equipment? We'll give you a few super helpful pointers you can implement right now.
Natural sunlight is the best, simple as that. There have been plenty of lighting companies who have tried to mimic sunlight, and so far no one has really captured the true magic that natural sunlight has on photos, so the first insanely simple thing you can do to improve your food photos is take them in the sun! Set up a table in front of a window that gets lots of natural light, and let that light shine on your food. The warmth and realism you get from using natural light in your food photos can not be beat.
Straight overhead photos of plates of food lack character, mostly because they lack the diversity and intrigue of angles which help to showcase the texture of what it is you've cooked. Try taking photos which help showcase the many textures of your food by using angles, this way you not only capture the dish you've prepared, but also some of the background and elements which help the photo come to life.
A simple technique to draw attention to your main dish is to take photos where only the main element is crisp and in focus, and your background elements are out of focus. Most cameras have a setting to help you with this, or if you're going bare bones and using a camera phone, getting up close to this one element will usually net you the results you're looking for.
Apart from just having pretty plates of food, your photos need other elements which help bring the whole composition together. Think about what you may use to serve the food with, or what you might use to garnish the dish, and try adding those items into the photos in a way that compliments the dish but doesn't draw too much attention away from it. Adding in a couple utensils, a drink, what you used to cook the dish, or even some unused ingredients in the background of the photo will really bring a new level of intrigue to your photos.
If you have some more tips you'd like to share, or questions about how to really let your food photos shine, let us know in the comments!