Here are some tips we've learned for taking appetizing photographs of food for your blog.
1. Never use a flash. This seems obvious but most tutorials involve dinner food/planning which one typically prepares in the evening. But a flash instantly makes food look insane - like those wax crepes outside your favorite creperie. (There is nothing less appetizing than fake food covered with dust. Or worse! Food that's ten hours old trying its damndest to tempt customers with its hardened sauce and flies.) So, stay away from flash photography, prepare your food in the late afternoon or early evening, when natural light is plentiful.
Do: Vegetarian Thanksgiving + natural light
Don't: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers + flash photography
2. Never shoot into steam. This also seems obvious but my mom and I have both made the mistake, now, several times. Action shots tend to call for pouring steaming hot water into a colander, or ingredients into steaming hot concoction - be sure to stand back, use your zoom as not to muddy the shot. Or just bypass the "pour" shot entirely.
Do: Orecchiette with mushrooms + no steam
Don't: Quinoa + steam
3. Try not to shoot alone. Many times I was able to take photographs of my mom in the kitchen but mainly my dad fills in. My mom cooks on the weekends for the posts (in the afternoons for good light!) so when necessary my dad can stand in to take photos. Aw.
4. Add a side dish or garnish to course. Adding a pop of color is a must, especially when your tutorial involves a main course (most of which aren't as photogenic as say, a salad or some fresh fruit). Also, a side dish is key to distract from foods that although delicious, aren't particularly beautiful to look at. ED: Some foods cannot be helped.
5. Shoot on WHITE PLATES ONLY. This is probably the most important tip I have to offer today. Because it makes ALL the difference. My mom has these beautiful floral plates and every time she sends me a photo using them, I'm like, "NOOOOOO!!!!" because simply put, they look amateurish. They take away from the food. Show me a gorgeous food blog and you will see solid plates, mainly of the white or black variety. This way the food stands on its own, as it should in a
foodie photograph foodograph.
Do: polenta with greens on white plate
Don't: Gluten Free Matzo Balls on decorative plates
6. Up the contrast and saturation (ever so slightly!) in post - This way your colors will sing and your food will appear more textured, colorful and yes, prettier.
7. Crop Responsibly. An a-symmetrical crop job can make a bland photo more interesting, so long as it doesn't distract from your subject.
What about you guys? Questions? Concerns? Anything you'd like to add? Food blog that you adore? First six commenters (once again) will win code for a free 8x8 Shutterfly Custom Path photo book, so you can build your own photo adventure! (Cook book, perhaps?)
Don't forget to include your contact information and... GO!