Create Better Food Photography With Your Phone
Taking photos on the go with a mobile phone can be fun and an easy way to keep a social media profile looking busy and interesting. While food photography is very popular, getting pictures of food to look good can be tricky. These three easy tips will help you to improve your food photography with your phone.
As with most photography, good lighting is key. Take the food near to a window. Natural light is the easiest way to take better food photos. Turn off any ambient lights if possible as this can create a yellow cast. Watch out for very bright sunny days and direct sunlight. This will create ugly harsh shadows. Either move the food further away from the window to a place where there is still natural light but it is less direct or diffuse the window light with a semi-transparent white cloth or diffuser.
Food looks best when lit from the side or towards the back. It enhances the shape of the food. Check out this post on Food Photography Using Natural Light
Try a few different angles. Overhead is nice for flatter shapes like pizza, while an ice cream sundae is more likely to shine shot at roughly 45 degree angle or slightly lower. The height and the layers of the dessert will be more visible from this angle. Turn the dish to find a pleasing presentation that lets the key elements grab they eye. Check out this post: Food Photographer Guide To Choosing The Right Camera Angle
Adding additional elements into the background can make things more interesting. Napkin, cutlery, a flower, salt and pepper shakers etc Be careful not to overdo it or the shot will look cluttered. The background elements should be related to the story of the food or the place where it is being served. It should have purpose and reason.
Try moving in closer or cropping part of the dish off. It can create a pleasing effect.
Number one thing to do, turn off the flash! This will make the food look terrible.
If the aim is to put the image on Instagram change the aspect ratio on the phone to a square shape 1×1 dimension. Twitter and Facebook display landscape photos best showing the whole image in the feed. Try turning the phone into a landscape position rather than holding it upright.
I usually have auto HDR set up on my phone to let it work out the best light balance. If it’s not looking good try turning that off. Usually it works best with it on.
Sometimes light levels can be low so leaning on something to get a steady shot with no camera shake will help. There are also mini tripods for phone cameras available which could be useful if this is something you do a lot.
Lose the filters. Sometimes filters can enhance photos and create interesting effects, for food photography the natural look works best. Manually tweak the brightness, contrast and saturations levels to create an image that is well balanced and really pops.