Essential Tips For Social Media Food Photography

If you are a chef, restauranteur or social media influencer, your livelihood may depend on having high quality photos of your food to share on social media. High-quality images of the food you create make it easier to generate ‘social media buzz’ which generates new customers and more social media followers.  

Unfortunately, food photography can be challenging. Capturing a beautiful image requires the right combination of lighting, backdrop, and composition. It can be difficult to capture the precise shots you need if you are not a professional photographer. 

To help you improve your photos, this article will share several essential tips for social media food photography. I will also explain why hiring a food photographer in London can deliver better results while saving you time and money.

Social Media Food Photography Tips

#1 – Use or Emulate Natural Light

When working with food, it’s important to make your photographs look as realistic as possible. Realism makes it easier for the viewer’s brain to process the image and understand that it is looking at edible, delicious, and desirable food.

Using natural lighting, or artificial lighting that emulates natural lighting, will help you accurately capture the colour, texture, and reflectivity of the food you are photographing.

Avoid using a bright source of artificial light, like a flash. It will create harsh shadows and reflections which make the food look artificial. It you do use artificial lights, opt for a flash diffuser or have the flash bounce off a reflector. Soften out harsh shadows and do your best to emulate the colour balance of natural sunlight.

#2 – Use A Tripod

Food photos need to be incredibly sharp and precise. The viewer needs to see every salivation-inducing part of the dish in front of them in high definition. The best way to ensure your images are crystal clear is to use a tripod. This will remove the risk of image blurring from accidental hand movement. Tripods are relatively affordable are even available for smart phones and tablets.

#3 – Pick the right background

The background will ‘set the scene’ for your photograph. Here are a few tips for choosing a background:

  • Avoid shiny or reflective materials which may steal the viewer’s attention
  • Try using neutral colours to avoid distracting the viewer 
  • Try cool toned backgrounds if your food is a warm tone
  • Use rustic backdrops for comfort foods (recycled wood works well)
  • Use accessories that makes the food “ready to eat” like knives and plates
  • Give the food plenty of room (don’t cram too many objects into the background)
  • Set a ‘scene’ by using objects which make the viewer think the food is in a real location, like party decorations for sweets or mixing tools for a cake

It’s often worth experimenting with different types of backgrounds to see what effect they have on the image. Some interesting choices include recycled timber, concrete, tiles, painted timber, single colour surfaces, fabrics (tablecloths), painted canvas, chopping boards, paper, and metal baking sheets.

#4 – Try different angles for different foods

The angle you shoot your food from can have a dramatic impact on the impact of the image. If you have a layered food like a lasagne, hamburger, layered cake or sandwich, try using a straight on angle so you can see all of the ingredients. If a plate is garnished with an incredible array of foods and condiments, try a top down shot. Remember that you can also play around with the angle of the food, stacking your hamburger on a 45 degree angle to capture it delicious fillings and make it look ready to eat. 

#5 – Try adding a human element 

Food photography is sometimes more compelling when there is also a person in the image. It can present the viewer with a more compelling story to go with the plate of food they are viewing. You don’t need to have the person’s face in the image, a shot of someone holding a fork or presenting the food to the camera is often enough to elicit a stronger emotional response from the viewer. 

Hiring A Professional Food Photographer In London

If you don’t have the equipment or skills necessary to capture great images of your dishes, consider hiring a food photographer in London. They will have the technical knowledge and gear necessary to take world class images. 

Most food photographers in London will also have access to a purpose built food photography studio. This studio will contain a full sized kitchen, along with all of the lights, backdrops, surfaces and decor necessary to capture incredible shots.

You can either prepare dishes in your own kitchen and transport them to the studio, or work in the studio’s kitchen. Once you have completed your culinary masterpiece, the photographer can and capture it in its full glory.

To learn more about social media food photography, give 69 drops studios a call on 020 7426 0736.