Easy Tips for Photographing Food


“Easy Weekend Pancakes”
© Copyright VeganYumYum

As with most things in life, there are easy ways to do things and hard ways to do things. LIke most people, I prefer to pick the easy ways. When things seem harder to do than they should, we usually think “There must be a better way!”

We’ve written about food photography many times before in the Photobird Daily, and I list those articles at the end of this article. In many of those articles, food photography seems too complicated, with special lights, reflectors, diffusers, and all sorts of stuff we really don’t want to get into. All we want to do is take great pictures of our food. There must be a better way!

Lolo has been photographing food for over 2 years for her award-winning blog, VeganYumYum. She’s even been featured on the Martha Stewart Show for her famous Knit Night Cupcakes, so she’s definitely doing all the right things.

Lolo is not a professional photographer, but she does need to wear a lot of hats for her job as a food blogger. (My guess is that the chef hat is more fun than the dishwasher hat.) She explains in her article on her blog that it’s possible to make your own high-quality food photos at home even without professional lighting equipment and food stylists.

She says that there’s a lot that happens before and after she clicks the shutter button that contributes to the final photo. Some of her easy tips are listed below, and I highly recommend you check out her article for more details on her photography. Also check out her recipe for Easy Weekend Pancakes, shown above. Looks like there’s a better way to make pancakes too!

Dishes – The right dish really sets the overall look for the photo. Smaller dishes are better. Small dishes are easier to fill up with food, which prevents the dish from looking bare.

Plan ahead – Do as much as you can before you start cooking. Food should be photographed as soon as possible after preparing, so the countertops need to be cleared, dishes selected, camera setup, background chosen, and more — all before you start cooking.

Mise en place – Preparing and neatly organizing all of your ingredients will keep your kitchen more organized, cut down on cooking time, and help you focus. Mise en place photos make for great food photos too!

Starting out – When Lolo started photographing food for her blog, she just used a Sony point-and-shoot camera without a tripod and her photos came out fine, even with just a kitchen light. If possible, take your photos during the day with natural light so the colors will be much more true to life. She says, “Using natural light is probably the number one thing you can do to improve your photos.”

Next step – If you’re interested in improving your equipment as well as your photos, Lolo highly recommends getting a digital SLR camera and a lens or two. Entry-level digital SLR cameras don’t cost that much and they allow you to use different lenses, change your aperture and shutter speed, set your white balance, shoot RAW, and do everything you need to take your food photography to the next level.

Read Lolo’s article at VeganYumYum for more details and many more tips.

Here’s more food photography articles we’ve written about before:


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