Friday, April 16, 2010

Some Tips on How to Take Photos of Food

An article that i found in NYtimes on how to take good photos of food.  Read the full article below. 
A few of the tips i find are really useful. Pay attention to point 1 and 2. Those are the easiest to achieve in any typical restaurant setting. 

Point 4 seems a bit technical to non photo enthusiast. It is basically saying not to shine direct light onto the food. Best that the light source has a translucent white paper covering it.

For point 5, ask the waitress for the brightest table and seat that the restaurant has. This is a must. 

I will post more of Andrew's tips in the next few updates. Remember to come back if you want to improve your food photo taking skills. 

The 1st part of his Q&A can be found here.

Andrew Scrivani, a freelance photographer and food stylist for The New York Times, is taking questions on how to photograph food. Andrew writes the food and photography blog Making Sunday Sauce. Post your question in the comments below and he will respond throughout the week. In the meantime, here are five basic tips on creating a successful food portrait.

Making Food Pretty
1. Shoot in natural light whenever possible. Use window light, shoot outdoors. Flash photography is possible but not preferable and takes some gear and instruction to execute well. The flash in most point-and-shoot cameras is your worst enemy for shooting food. Your photos will always look dull and flat from this type of flash. Turn it off. Ideally you want your food to be back lit or side lit.

2. Fill your frame with the food. You don’t want to have a lot of empty space, meaning it shouldn’t be so far away from the plate that you don’t capture what’s on the plate.
3. Set up your plate with the same care you might apply to dressing yourself for a night out — classic, coordinated and elegant. Every imperfection is magnified under the camera. Don’t overfill the plate. Smaller is better. Larger plates, bowls and pots are much more difficult to frame. Keep your plates below 10 inches wide.

4. For bright and sunny days, where there is direct light, use a white card or paper, placing the food between the light source and the card, which will allow the light to bounce off the card, ultimately softening the level of brightness. And you can also use scrims, filters and gel frosts (available at any camera shop) to cover the window and allow the daylight to filter through. Cloudy days or indirect sunlight often don’t need filtering. Also, wearing neutral colors like white or tan will help reflect light back onto your subject.

5. When shooting in low light, move the food to the brightest part of the room. Turn up your lamps and other light sources. For a point-and-shoot, turn off your flash and employ a tripod or a flat surface to keep the camera steady. Hand holding the camera in low light will often produce blurry images.

The link to the article can be found here.


  1. Great tips. I've been learning how to take pretty pictures of my food for months now. I think I either need a new camera or I need to read the manual to my old one,lol.

  2. Great tips for point and shooters :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. @Belinda: you are welcome. Hope you find the tips useful

    @Bibi: Hope you find the tips useful. There is nothing really like a DSLR i would like to say but some of the PNS cams take great photos too.

    @denise: Welcome. Hope you find it useful.


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