Because creating excellent promotional images of food requires experience and expertise, you should always use a professional commercial photographer. Skimping on costs by looking for cheap food photography is a false economy: it’s much better to invest in high-quality photography that will show your food products to their best advantage.
- Use a kitchen setting
Any commercial photographers who take a professional approach to food photography will have a kitchen on site. Having installed a fully functioning, permanent kitchen at the 2020 studios, we can prepare your food on the premises so that it looks as fresh as possible on the final image.
It also means that there’s a ready-made setting for the shot, so if you’re looking for lifestyle photography this can be accommodated and we can also source models when required. Along with the room sets that we often build to showcase our clients’ furniture, flooring and décor, it means we can recreate any room in a house.
- Hire a good food technician
Using a food technician or food stylist will vastly improve your food photography. Whatever the product, they have the expertise to make it look as good as it possibly can – or even better than it is!
Using fresh food for your shoot will result in a better quality image and a food technician can help to keep the food looking fresh for the duration of the session. At 2020, we have a food technician who works with us to achieve the best images of your food.
- Get the setting right
In food photography, the food is the star but the background and setting are also important. At 2020, we believe that preparation is key for any shoot.
Food photography may require clean, bright close-up shots with a soft focus background, or images that show the product in a particular setting. Whatever the product, a good photographer will spend time preparing the setting before starting the shoot.
This warming winter soup is perfectly complimented by the rustic loaf and appropriate crockery. The use of the garnish surrounding the bowl helps to continue the comforting feel and give the food a setting and situation.
- Add garnishes and props
With a little thought and care, additional items such as garnishes and props can dramatically improve your food photography. Table dressings and crockery, along with food and drink items associated with the product being shot, can make a big difference to the feel of the image and can be chosen to complement the food.
Depending on the product, the props and garnishes may fit into several categories, such as rustic, classic, contemporary or ultra-modern. A rustic loaf of bread, for example, could be shown on a solid oak table next to a carafe of wine, rather than a bottle. A new dessert being launched in contemporary packaging could be shown on a slate plate with a simple stylish table setting.
This more contemporary shot makes use of soft focus in the background to highlight the Salmon roll, which is the focus of the piece. It’s well lit and clean, which mirrors the style and presentation of the food.
5. Lighting the shot
Whenever possible, natural daylight is usually the best option for photographing food. Otherwise, you will need to work with a commercial studio that has the expertise to create a close representation of daylight.
A good commercial photographer will also know how to create a mood using light and how to ensure there are no unwanted shadows or reflections on the final image.
Fast food is a perfect example of the difference using a food technician and a professional photography team can make to your regular food photography. This video made by the kings of fast food McDonalds shows exactly how they get what you see on the menu display looking so different from what you end up eating in the box.