Food photography is probably one of the most challenging, mainly when it’s meant to be displayed over the internet. Restaurant managers/owners and bloggers project high-quality food photographs, and these most times have been worked upon by professional food photographers and photo stylists. These guys are highly knowledgeable on dozens of tricks. In real life, your food won’t look anything close to what is displayed.
For instance, if you have noticed, sandwiches and hamburgers are profoundly tricky for photographers to capture. To keep everything in place, the many-layered sandwiches you see aren’t that realistic as stylists use pins and toothpicks to put the layers together.
Starting yourself by using your phone without these professionals mentioned above can be frustrating. Every piece of these photos is based on the decision and are ideally placed by the photographer or you. One fascinating thing nowadays is how mobile phones are changing the food-photography lifestyle.
By now, you may probably be thinking if you don’t own an expensive phone with a quality camera, there’s no need to take better photos. However, It’s not only about having a great phone; besides, by making simple changes, anyone can take food photography.
Before we look into the tips to take great food photography, let’s take a look at the limitations to deal with
One of the challenges faced by restaurant managers and owners of the phone was shooting food in the dark without flash. This is because many phones cannot be used to trigger flashes and studio lights. Also, the phone camera throws off the exposure of the photo on white plates. It is advised to always take pictures during the day, especially near a window by avoiding direct sunlight on either food or dishes.
Let’s look at food photography tricks you can apply when using your phone.
1. Natural and Artificial Light
If you are constant with photography, you’ll know that light, quality, timing, style, perspective, and more collectively make a great photo. These are not different when taking pictures with a camera phone.
Light, either natural or artificial is essential in food photography. It is highly necessary for any environment to be used for reproduction. It doesn’t matter if you are using a high-end DSLR or an iPhone. The right amount of light will naturally produce a great and decent shot. One can always locate a beautiful spot close to a window to add quality to bring out the texture of food. People who love natural light for their food photography should always make sure that their light source is diffused adequately with no harshness.
On the opposite, a light reflector can be placed at the side of the window where the natural light is coming from. However, an alternative plan, especially during the dark winter season, should be readily available. At times, when natural daylight is not possible to locate, creating your artificial light will be required. Some of the latest iPhones can blur background because they have a portrait mode. This usually produces excellent effects in food photography.
Editing photos on a phone camera can be different as we have various phones with diverse functionality. For instance, if you are using an iPhone, there is a nifty app called VSCO (formerly VSCO Cam). This app is fantastic for photo editing, almost like a film editing tool. This allows you to have access to lots of options to choose from and have a great editing process is easy. The settings can fix various photography saturation, blur background, exposure, white balance, etc.
This especially is a highly important factor when you are adjusting the elements of photos. Probably you had challenges with any detail, lighting; for instance, the image does not turn out up to the mark.
It is not a bad idea using your phone to take photos because you can make fresh photos for your own needs. Phones significant issues are that they will not bring out the professional-quality. The reason is phones have wide-angle lenses that cause full angle distortion. Food photography taken with moderate mobile phone lens look better when taken.
The quality and look of your food photography can be significantly improved when you invest in a mirrorless system or DSLR with an APS-c sensor.
3. Styling and Perspective
In food photography, many people are aware styling food is based on personality. The way you would want to do it may be different from anyone else. So, anyone may not be able to guide you on a mobile device. One thing we will advice is to practice, practice, and practice to know what makes food appealing in a certain way. If you wouldn’t take anything away from this, any food styling should possess good lightening, a good background, color coordination, and a host of others you will come across here.
On background, any fabrics and frames can be used. Have you noticed that frames classy wooden works well in food photography?
Using your phone will make you miss the three-dimensional look, you will notice that a lot while photographing with your camera phone. Get mentally ready for two dimensional; your phones will surely not produce what your DSLR will do.
4. Angles and Quality
When it comes to working with aspects and quality, It mostly depends on your creativity. Though appealing and good looking food may depend on how photogenic it is. But not that alone, you have to be familiar with the functionality of your phone.
If you are familiar with Instagram, you will notice that top-down photos are popular, the reason is that the cameras of smartphone lenses are usually extensive. Having your shot from the side vs. above makes the subject look more distorted.
Part of quality is editing, and we have talked about above, it’s the final look, I can bet you a bit of adjustment makes it more professional and appealing. There a lot of Apps (Instagram, VSCO, Afterlight) out there to help you adjust your photos.
The following will surely improve quality; wooden photo board, Unique Cutting Boards, marble slab, Parchment Paper, white & neutral cloth napkins, a variety of bowls and plates, a variety of utensils, colorful cloth napkins-take note.