We've spent countless hours devouring over pictures of greasy burgers and chocolate sandwiches on Instagram. Sauces shine, breads boast of great texture and contrasting colours hit the right note. Each picture sends us running to the kitchen and looks as crafty as the pictures from glossy food magazines.Rule of thumb: Do not use flash!
Our social feeds are populated with donuts laced in cherry icing, cheesy burritos and freshly baked pizzas. On Instagram, if you search #food, you get 125,839,140 posts. If you look for #foodphotography you see 1,242,134 posts and #foodporn, the new favourite, gives about 35,190,633 results. It's not certain what's fuelling this trend, but something seems to have set the ball rolling!
Food photography doesn't just reflect a dining experience, it's a story waiting to be told. It's about capturing the right flavour, magic, colour and taste of food without actually tasting it. With every click, a plate of food gets stamped in history and becomes a work of art. For those looking to spice up their Instagram or Pinterest account with spunky food pictures, we've got something wonderful. Here are five simple tips that will help you capture every small or big detail that make an interesting and share-worthy food shot.
Natural light can make a world of difference to your pictures. It can brighten up a dull day as well as your meal. Sit by a window or in a well-lit place and work your camera. If you're clicking in the middle of the day, move away from direct sunlight or use an app to diffuse the extra light. You could also sit with your back to the light and let it reflect over your shoulders (preferably over one of your shoulders).
2. Take the top down approach or shoot from multiple angles
Deciding which approach to take depends on what's in front of you. If you're clicking something like a pizza which has more going on at the top, take the top down approach and get the entire thing in the frame. On the other hand, if you're clicking food placed in elegant bowls, like Indian food which comes in gorgeous copper utensils, then make sure to try front angles which capture more of the cutlery.
3. Don't be afraid to get close
The devil's is in the details. So don't be afraid to get really close and capture the texture, colour and everything else, right down to the last grain. Like this bright yellow, runny yolk that's making you drool.
4. Keep the phone steady
Keep your hands extremely steady and hold the frame till auto-focus works (the frame that appears when you start your camera). This will let you capture the right textures of every element on the plate.
5. Use props when possible
Props are very important when clicking a good food picture. Play around with cutlery, table mats, condiments and flower arrangements to make the frame come alive. The contrasting colours make the dish stand out. For example, the white paper liner and the bouquet in the background is what's making this frame look complete.
If you want to click pictures that can get someone's heart racing, then don't be afraid to experiment. Hold your food high up against a gorgeous backdrop, or set it down on a bold table cover, but keep trying till you get the perfect shot. If you've got any more tips and tricks you'd like to share with us and many other budding (amateur) food photographers, then put them in the comments below.