Working in a restaurant has gotten me champing at the bit to get a camera again. Give me a 70D with a 100mm macro lens, and I would be in heaven. Of course, I would have to take all evening to just enjoy photographing food, and I can’t do that anyway, but with the extra cash I save up from this job, I can’t wait to actually get a camera again and taking photos of the incredible food that is being served up at the Bistro.
Food photography is tricky. Most people just snap a photo of what looks appetizing in real life, but the end result of the photo is usually a snapshot of greasy food. Appealing, not.
One of the biggest tricks when taking food shots is to use lots and lots and LOTS of natural light. It can be hard in most dimly lit restaurants to get enough light to actually take a good photo (as the guest). Find a window, and have the light be to the side or coming in from behind or above you. use some white poster board to bounce light back onto the food by facing the poster board towards your light source. Sometimes it’s also fun to place a vibrantly colored poster board directly behind the food to add a splash of color, too!
Food shots are also best done with a camera that can achieve the “bokeh” effect — where one part of the food is in focus and the rest is blurry — this is best done with a DSLR and a lens that has an aperture as big as f/2.8. A T3 Rebel Canon body and 50mm macro lens can achieve that if you are on a lower budget for camera equipment. I want a camera body that can handle lower light situations, so I am going to save up for the 70D.
One last tip is: try different angles. Get up high, get down low, get up close. Food rarely looks good when you take in the whole plate at standing eye level. Be creative with your angles, and I mean that in reference to photography ;-).
Anyway, enough talk. Here are some of my favorite food shots from over the years of being a photographer. Hope they give you some insight into the world of food photography, and they make your mouth water, too!