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Guest post: How to shoot food photography, part 1

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Today, we have part one of a two-part post from creative photographer, Samantha Higgs.

Food photography. It’s an established myth that you can only get half-decent results if you have a full studio bedecked with the latest, greatest equipment. The truth, happily, is rather more encouraging, and I speak as a professional.

1. Lighting your shot

Whenever possible, daylight is the best option: use the light from a window or door to one side of the food. If this isn’t possible, try a desk lamp or anther small light, placed it to one side of the food. For this blog I used an old kids’ table lamp resting on its side.

How not to do it. Shooting straight down, using flash, with the fudge on a patterned plate. The angle and flash make the picture flat and uninteresting, the fudge isn’t arranged nicely and the pattern on the plate is distracting.

2. Keeping it crisp

To minimise the danger of camera shake and resultant blurring of your pictures, place the camera on a tripod, or if you don’t have one, on a solid, stable surface – the table you’ve set your shot up on or a small box sitting on it, for example.

Using a plain plate and arranging the fudge nicely helps, as does having the camera at a lower angle, but the camera flash is still bleaching parts of the picture out.

Come back next week for the final 3 tips.

[Note from Fairycakemother – the fudge is from Burnt Sugar. It’s their stem ginger fudge. Yummy!]

Samantha Higgs is a professional creative photographer. If you enjoyed her post, Like her Facebook page here.

If you enjoyed this post, why not Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and share Fairycakemother with your friends?


About Fairycakemother

Rescuing people from cake emergencies everywhere.


3 thoughts on “Guest post: How to shoot food photography, part 1

  1. Hi – thanks for advice. I think there is a happy balance between food photography which looks too perfect (as in food magazines) and snaphots that does nothing for the food.

    I think your tips are reaching that happy balance.

    I agree daylight is best. Failing that a strong light (I sometimes use an anglepoise). I do however point my camera (actually my iPhone camera) directly over the food and shoot downwards.

    I take a kind of perverse pride in my amateurishness a) I have no choice b) at least people know the food is real!

    Posted by Elisabeth Winkler | March 21, 2011, 11:57 am
    • Hi Elizabeth,
      the angle poise is ideal, try getting level with the food and also shooting some as close as the iPhone will allow, I’m sure the results will look really delicious!

      Posted by Samantha Higgs | March 21, 2011, 12:46 pm
    • My view is that with anything, think of what you are needing the shot for. Most food blogs need a professional enough looking shot to be successful. The good enough rather than perfect school of thought.

      I use a combination of my phone camera, which is terrible quality but the only option a lot of the time, and gradually learning to use an SLR.

      As you say, it’s important the food looks real and I want to combine a professional food feel with ‘this is done by a real person’ feel. That’s why I asked Samantha to guest post. As a creative photographer she has a good eye, she’s also a great teacher, and she doesn’t have any professional kit other than an SLR camera.

      Posted by Fairycakemother | March 21, 2011, 12:54 pm

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