By Scott Umstattd
Food Photography Tips and Tutorials: If you've ever created a gourmet meal you know how much attention goes into every detail. You've got to combine the right food with the right sauces and spices then cook them at just the precise temperature to make a meal that will be remembered.
The same is true for photographers who take pictures of food. You have to combine the right lighting with the right composition and style the food so that every tasty morsel pops off the page. Let's call it gourmet photography.
If you want to learn more about food photography, I've written a companion article that goes into detail on lighting, composition, food plating and what lenses you need to have to cook up some amazing food photography.
Here, I've gathered a collection of seven videos to help you understand what you need to do to create better food photography.
Composition is a part of photography that can be difficult to explain. Oftentimes, its easier to understand by watching. I could ramble on about balancing color and weight, positive and negative space or I could just stop rambling and let you see how the folks at Learn My Shot explain food composition through the amazing powers of video.
Chris Marquardt shows us that you do not need a studio and thousands of dollars worth of lighting to pull of some amazing food photography. Chris spends time in a restaurant and uses only the materials he has available around him to work through this food photography shoot.
While this next video doesn't tell you one thing about how to take pictures of food, it does give you an equally important lesson: how to plate your food. Before you can take the picture, you have to prepare and then place your food on a plate.
As chef Helen Rennie will demonstrate, you don't just slap food on a plate if you want to impress people. Sure, slapped on food tastes the same as well-plated food, but something happens to our senses when we see food that looks good because we first eat with our eyes then our taste buds jump in to seal the deal.
Photographer Mike Browne walks and talks his way through a food photo shoot in a restaurant. Watch and learn how much preparation and attention to detail, especially the atmosphere, is given prior to and during shooting. As Mike will explain, you don't just put food on a plate and take a picture. You've got to do some serious thinking and preparation first.
Ok, I have to admit as I was researching videos to share with you about food photography I became more and more interested in how to present food. After all, if you have an ugly mash of food no amount of lighting will fix that.
Plating food is part of what food photographers must master. Unless of course you have a food stylist working with you. Then you can get back to focusing on your focusing, lighting and camera angles.
This is a short video from CareerQuiz that gets right to the point and shows you how to literally paint your plate with food.
Chris Ryan hits 6 basic points to consider as you learn how to take pictures of food. And he does it in just over a minute.
And finally, photographer, cook and food stylist Frank Tanaka does it all. He cooks the food. Prepares the plate. Sets the food. Sets up his in-home studio using two strobe lights. Creates a nice atmosphere/background for his subject. And takes the pictures. Then eats his subject. Don't worry, you don't have to watch him cook and eat.