The Beginner’s Guide to Food Photography

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  1. Choose the best background.

In order for the subject of your photo – i.e., the food – to be the focus, you will want a 

background that is clean, free of distractions, and with a little bit of character. Here at WoodSpoon, we love rustic options (such as reclaimed wood or plank boards) that reflect the homemade quality of our food.

Other beautiful options include linens, marble countertops, baking sheets, wooden cutting boards, paper grocery bags, and craft paper (with a subtle pattern or without any pattern at all).

Whatever you choose, you should make sure that it reflects light evenly and that there are no major glares.

  1. Shoot in natural light.

Natural sunlight is much more flattering than artificial light, which can distort colors and 

lessen the overall quality of your photos. We suggest shooting next to a window during 

peak sunlight hours for the best results.

Pay close attention to both the position of your subject, as well as the position of yourself 

as the photographer when shooting your subject. Shadows play a huge role in the look

of a photo, so you will want to take the time to perfect your setup before you shoot.

  1. Use a white napkin or piece of paper to deflect light.

A simple change that makes a huge difference in the lighting of your photos! You don’t need professional tools for high-quality results.

Strategically placing a white napkin as a prop in your photo will diffuse the intensity of light in your photos.

  1. Don’t zoom in. (Move closer.)

Using the zoom feature on your smartphone lessens the photo quality, so it is best to 

avoid it whenever possible. It may seem obvious, but we definitely recommend taking a few steps closer to your subject or extending your arm forward instead of zooming.

  1. Incorporate a human element if you can.

Even the most delicious-looking, perfectly plated dishes can look two dimensional on 

their own. An easy way to make your shots more eye-catching is to include a human element in the frame. You can’t go wrong by showing a hand holding a fork alongside your dish, or – even better – about to dig into the dish.

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