Today, we have part two of a two-part guest post from creative photographer, Samantha Higgs
To continue…. [part 1 is here]
3. Arranging the food
It may sound obvious, but try to arrange the food in a pleasant and interesting fashion. If it’s a single large item, set it at an angle rather than straight on to the camera. For a collection of small items, such as the pieces of fudge that I’ve used here, piling them up can work well.
Turning the flash off and lighting from the right hand side with an ordinary table lamp brings out the richness of the colours in the fudge.
If you’re shooting a cake, try carefully cutting a slice and laying it next to the rest of the cake: cakes often look even more delicious when you can see what’s inside them.
4. Choosing your background
Keep your background is as plain as possible. A good way of achieving this is to place a good sized box or similar item on a table, then cover the table and box with a plain table cloth, so the tablecloth forms a gentle incline up from the table top over the box. Then place the food on the flat area of table cloth in front of the box. Framing your shots so that their entire background is filled with table cloth will result in a single, continuous-colour background.
Here I placed a dark tablecloth on the table, piled the fudge on it and propped the cloth up on a box behind the fudge, giving solid single colour background. I leant the table lamp on some shoes on a higher table to one side to point it down at the fudge. I then set the camera to ‘macro’ and got right down to the fudge’s level, resting the camera on the table just a few inches away from the fudge – as close as I could get to it with the fudge in focus. The result is a lovely, rich looking picture that really does look almost as good as the fudge tastes, achieved without any special equipment at all.
5. Getting up close and personal
Even most compact cameras have a some sort of macro function these days. Get the camera as close to the food as you can with the food still in focus. This can be a big help in making the food look really appetising. Get down to the same level as the food or just a little higher. This almost always results in better pictures than looking straight down on it.
Finally, have fun and experiment: take lots of shots. Try different angles and different backgrounds. Experiment with putting the food on different plates, bowls and chopping boards. Pile small items in different ways. Try different lights. The more pictures you take the more likely you are to find one you really like. When you’re done (or when you think you’re done!) upload your pictures to your computer to review them. The little screen on the back of your camera just isn’t big enough.
[Note from Fairycakemother – the fudge is from Burnt Sugar. It’s their stem ginger fudge. Yummy!]