Food and drinks photography requires a number of specialist skills – lighting, composition and styling are all very important.  

However, being able to visualise the images beforehand is imperative to making sure you have a clear and decisive brief. This is paramount to understanding the clients needs, always think creatively, and don’t be afraid to keep an open mind. These attributes can come in handy when problem solving and developing your style as a photographer.

We would like to share five inside tips we’ve learned along the way…

1. Show human interaction in the photographs

Adding a human element into photographs can instantly make it more relatable to the viewers. It adds character and creates a story, which in turn makes it look more real. By this we mean showing some food being cut with a knife, a hand holding a drink, or some sauce getting poured from a jug.

2. Don’t crop the images too tightly

We always make sure to have options where there is plenty of background image in the photograph, meaning we haven’t cropped into the subject matter too tightly. This gives us plenty of room to play with when it comes to editing and we can leave cropping it until the post production stage. It also means that if the photograph was to be used in any promotional material, the design won’t be restricted by the crop of the photograph.

3. Choose the right angle

Before taking a photograph, we think of the product – its size, shape, height and what is unique about it. We then use this information to select the right angle for the shot and how best to highlight its assets. Some dishes look great when you shoot from a 45 degree angle, and others are best suited from overhead, looking straight down onto the plate. For example the above photo really shows off the pattern, texture, colour and detail of the food which would be lost from a side position. 

4. Know your food

Although we know good photography shouldn’t be rushed, we also know that the longer food is left out, the more it starts to look tired and un-appetizing. Food like meat begins to dry out quickly and so in order to get the very best from it we need to work quickly and efficiently. We recommend researching the food your going to photograph before the photo-shoot, know the cooking times and always have your camera ready.

5. Don’t make it too perfect

It can be very tempting to wipe away every spillage or crumb that happens when you cut into the food. However often it is these small details that really contribute to making a fantastic and believable photograph. So our advice is to rejoice any “happy accidents” that happen during a photo shoot, whether it’s a cookie crumbling or juices flowing out from a meal.

Thanks for reading and make sure you follow us on social media to learn more about food and drinks photography.