Take Better Food Photos

I commonly get requests for advice on how to take better photos of plated food. Believe me, it's not as easy as it looks! I'd like to use this page to periodically share some of my favorite tips and tricks. Please let me know if these are useful to you and feel free to share some of your own!

1. Plan Your Shot
Once food is cooked and plated, the clock has started! You've got to move fast to capture the dish at its peak moment of beauty and freshness. Wait too long, and that "magic moment" will pass. It's important to get all of your props in place, your composition well-considered, and your set-up stable before the plate arrives. Plan your shot before the hot food arrives!

2. Get Closer, Open Up Your Lens Aperture
If possible, fill the entire frame with your subject and use a wider aperture setting. The resulting shallow depth-of-field will throw everything but a few inches of your plate out of focus, blurring the background and highlighting the texture of your food item. Use focus to carefully showcase the most important ingredients. Trust your instincts and have fun!

3. Watch the Color of Your Lighting
Your job is to make a dish look as yummy and appealing as possible. Certain light sources have a color cast that will work against you. (Fluorescent lighting, for example, will tint an image an unsightly shade of green.) Use your camera's built-in white balance settings to compensate for less-than-optimal lighting sources.


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