One of the top things to do when travelling through a foreign country is to enjoy the delicious local dishes. While you can describe all the tastes and flavours you experienced when you’re back home, it’s even better when you can show your friends and family pictures of your favourite meals. Get their appetites going with these wonderful tips for how to take photos of food on a holiday!
Use natural light
Light is an important part when it comes to creating gorgeous still life photos. Natural light will reveal your food’s actual colours as opposed to artificial lights like indoor lights and lamps, which might give your meal a yellowish hue. You definitely won’t want your friends to get the wrong idea about the food in India (that you’re into weirdly coloured food!).
Try taking your pictures of your dish outside during the day with warmer conditions, but pick a time when there’s more cloud cover. The bright sun can cause problems for exposure and cast harsh shadows, which might take away the focus from your subject. Taking pictures on a cloudy day is the best option, since the clouds will help to soften the light and give your meal gentler shadows. If you’d rather keep it indoors, place the dish near a window.
Use a background that won’t steal the spotlight
When picking where to take your picture, make sure it’s a neutral background that won’t distract viewers from the real subject. Say you’re in Mexico, and you have a scrumptious chicken quesadilla with a stunning landscape that includes majestic mountains and a vast river. It would definitely impress you, but would you be able to tell what the focus of the image is? The food or the view?
Keep the background simple. It doesn’t need to be plain, but any elements in it should complement your subject. A cup of coffee with coffee beans on a wooden table is one fine example.
What kind of colour do you want?
Some of the dishes you tried in Italy might have only a little variation in colour. Think of chicken, bread or pasta. To solve this, add colourful elements, like bright plates, glassware, garnishes and serviettes. Pick anything that will complement your meal but avoid items that might distract the viewer from the main subject.
Choose the right angle
Different dishes look good at different angles. Experiment with your food to decide what its best side is. If you’re in a busy restaurant in Canada and there’s too much going on around you, take a picture from above your dish, especially if the food is in a bowl or plate. This will allow you to focus purely on your meal and make it the main subject.
If it’s drink or a cake, however, with many different layers, shooting from the side will work better.
Make your food presentable
Think carefully how you want your meal to appear. If it consists of several entrees, set them on the table and then stand on a chair to look down on them and then decide for yourself. Rearrange as you see fit.
For another adventure into the food scene, make sure to look up It’s Foodoo! Check out this blog where you can find out about everything going on in the food world in Pretoria!
For more of the photography scene in South Africa, follow Anthea Adams, the Cape Town Fashion Photographer! She specialises in fashion editorials, lookbooks, portraits, and model portfolio photoshoots.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a masterpiece! Do you have your own tips on how to take photos of food on a holiday? If you do, comment below!