Get a window seat
Dina Bajric, a Toronto-based food photographer and stylist, recommends setting up by a window as natural light is always the best option for a great food shot. But knowing how to work with the light is key. “Never shoot in the direction of the light. For the best images, shoot with the light coming from an angle – from either side or the back.”
Know your angles
Speaking of angles: Certain ones work better for certain foods. Shooting from above works well for flat foods such as a pizza. Shooting straight-on is great for items that are stacked or raised, such as a hamburger. For plates that aren’t too high, such as nachos, a 45 degree angle will allow you to add some texture to your photos and capture more of the background.
Layers create texture and make for a more interesting image. If you’re taking a picture of a bowl of soup, try putting it on a plate and putting a spoon in the bowl. “The general rule is to use at least four layers,” says Bajric, who often uses this trick for images posted to her Instagram account @forked.food.art.
Everything on your table is a potential prop. A bottle of ketchup. The salt shaker. The utensils. Get creative with whatever you have handy and look for items that can add texture or colour to an otherwise ho-hum scene.
Keep it simple
But at the same time, you don’t want your photo to be too busy. “It takes away from the star of the show – the food,” Bajric says. Simple and clean is always best so don’t get carried away. Remember: You can always take more than one snap if the meal is particularly photo-worthy.