Author: Anthea Cheng
With so much beautiful food on Instagram, users are constantly lifting their game to capture viewers’ attention. Not only do we first eat with our eyes, but so does everyone else. That is why if our food does not look as good as it tastes, we are one step behind. The good news is that the lovely Anthea, from Rainbow Nourishments, came on board to kindly share some of her top tips for food styling.
One of my most frequently asked questions is: How did you learn to photograph and style food? After learning how on earth to use my DSLR camera, I spent (and still spend) countless hours of scrolling through social media, food blogs and magazines to teach myself how to style and photograph food. It just goes to show that anyone can style and photograph food with a little practice. Over the years, I have picked up a few tips and it’s my pleasure to share them with you.
1. Tell a story with props
As cliche as it sounds, a picture is worth a thousand words so use it to your advantage. When taking pictures of food, I try to put relevant ingredients in the background to tell a bit more about the dish that I have made. I love creating serving suggestions in my photos to invite the viewer to enjoy the food with me! Wouldn’t that be fun?
In the picture above, you can see ingredients that I used to decorate the banana bread including a frosting and a sieve to dust cinnamon on the frosting. There is a slice of banana bread ready to be eaten… and it would be paired perfectly with a cup of tea which is presented in the corner of the image.
2. Create a mood with light or dark colours
I normally love dark photography but there are some items that call for a lighter background. This baked passion fruit cheesecake is reminiscent of summer so a light background helps create a fun and airy mood suited to the cheesecake.
3. Make the food look delicious through light, texture and color
In the photo below, I used natural light to encourage viewers to focus on the slice that’s being lifted away from the tart. You can see the smooth texture of the slice, juicy berries and dark rich crust. It makes you want to reach through your phone and have a bite!
4. Capture your food in an angle that’s most flattering
Different angles compliment different types of food. This cheesecake has a lot of detail on top but is quite thin so looks better from a bird’s eye view. However, items like tall cakes, burgers and drinks often photograph better from a 45° angle. Play around with your camera until you find the angle where your food looks the most delicious and is flattering. You’ll never know what angle might be best if you don’t try!
5. Use beautiful serving ware like Coconut Bowls and their earthy crockery
I love rustic food photography and Coconut Bowls really compliments this style. In this photo, the Coconut Bowls are the darkest objects which makes you focus on it and the contents. In addition, the earthy tones of the bowls matches the yellow and orange hues of the food and background.
6. Create movement in your photo to engage and excite the viewers
The photo below was captured in the midst of eating the almond and blueberry slice, maybe because I was hungry or maybe because it makes the food look moreish. Regardless, it allows you to see the soft texture of the almond mousse – yum! It also invites you to the table as if you’re enjoying this slice.
These are my top six tips for styling your next food photoshoot. I hope you are able to keep these food styling tips in mind when you take your next photo. Sometimes it comes together easily and on other occasions, it will take more practice. Either way, have a go, gather experience and you’ll shoot like a pro in no time.
For more information about Anthea: Rainbow Nourishments