DON'T SPOIL YOUR DINNER
Photographing food is definitely harder then it sounds. A lot of people think taking photos of people or animals would be easier. Well think of it like this ─ People move around and food stays in its place. You have to go lengths sometimes to setup a food scene and have it look extremely appetizing. If you have been photographing people over the last 10 years don't panic. With some simple guidelines you will be on your way to shooting tasty food photography.
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1. USE THE RIGHT PROPS
Take a moment and create a scene for your food subject. If your using a juicy steak as your main focus try adding a vegetable like asparagus on the plate behind the steak. You want to use something that would complement your subject. Many photographers use plates in every shape and color. Don't be afraid to add measuring cups as well as utensils like a fork. My personal favorite is a standard wood cutting board.
2. SAVE YOUR INGREDIENTS
Use some of the ingredients in the background of the photo. For example, if your photographing a plate of spaghetti, use some of the leftover tomatoes used for the sauce in the background. This will add some visual interest and give a hint to what is in the food.
3. FOCUS ON THE DETAILS
You can use a wide aperture to focus on the part of interest. Use a lens like the Canon 1.8 50mm to get a nice sharp focus on the food and blur the background. This works great when you have more then one food item set up in a row. It will help draw your eye to what you are trying to show.
4. SHOOT FROM ALL ANGLES
Take photos from all around the subject. You would be surprised how many times you might impress yourself. Shoot close, far away, high and low. You never know what might produce the best photo.
5. USE A FLASH
Using flash could be the closer for your food photography. Without it you could have shadows that go unnoticed to the naked eye during setup. It will also help draw attention and interest by making the colors of the food brighter and look fresh.
If interested in learning more about food photography. There is a great book written by Nicole S. Young you should read called From Snapshots To Great Shots.