I was very lucky to attend a food photography tips workshop with photographer Howard Shooter and SmugMug the photo sharing and image hosting site.

Cloud meringue treeImage [Howard Shooter]

I admit to spending rather a lot of time looking at photos of food, and often stare enviously at the cleverness of the photography and styling. So, a chance to pick up some tips from Howard who takes amazing photos of food was one opportunity I didn’t want to miss.

Spoons witth SpicesImage [Howard Shooter]

SmugMug have also shared the following food photography tips:

  1. Explore your surroundings – Part of the enjoyment of food photography is being out and about at restaurants, pubs, street food vendors and friends’ dinner parties. Tasting is everything, once you’ve documented your delicious dish of course.
  1. Get in position – Find out where you should shoot from to get the best results. Working out where the natural light falls on the plate will ensure you’re in the right place at the right time to highlight your grandiose grub. Then move closer or further away. Proximity will make the posh nosh strike you in a different way.
  1. The Rule of Thirds – you could try using the ‘rule of thirds’. Simply divide your frame into imaginary thirds on both the horizontal and vertical axis. Now simply place areas of interest at the points at which the lines intersect, or along one of the lines. This will give the composition of your shot more tension, energy and interest than simply centring the subject would.
  1. Scale – When your subject is of unspecified size. For example; an ice cream cone or a burrito. Add a sense of scale by including something of known size. This will help the viewer understand what they’re looking at.
  1. Layer up for interest – Add several layers to your composition beyond the main dish, such as condiments or cutlery in the foreground and background elements to create interest, depth and texture. Add plates for height or background wallpaper for texture and colour contrast.

If only I had all the time in the world to practise and implement these tips all the time but I have definitely been thinking more about my photos. The most fascinating thing that Howard said was that he hardly ever edits his photos after he takes them…just wow.

I took these tips from Howard:

  • I need a tripod
  • black or white card can make great effects with the lighting
  • 130 degrees, 3/4 backlight make very interesting highlights to photos.

food photography tipsTaken by me but set up by Howard

 SmugMug means that I can store my photos safely online.

They are used by professional photographers to showcase their work and by individuals and families to store their photography securely online, with unlimited storage.

Not only that, I have been able to set up a site where I can share my photos if I so wish, and even sell them. The photos can be organised, water marked, edited, shared privately to specific people such as clients or family, or publicly to anyone you want to impress with your photography skills.

Here is a screen shot of how I have set up my site, although there are a lot of site design options

food photography tips

And another one:

food photography tips

For more information about SmugMug check out their site, or find them on Twitter.

Thank you to everyone involved for making me feel so welcome and for hosting such a fab informative workshop.

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2 thoughts on “Food Photography Tips

  1. Great post with good tips, have shared with my blog friends on facebook!

    Posted on April 16, 2015 at 12:29 pm
    1. Thanks so much. Really kind of you.

      Posted on April 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm