How to Photograph Food at Weddings – The Bare Essentials

We live in a society that seems to be more obsessed with food than ever before. Not only has the cultural trope of the foodie risen to mainstream media prominence, but the endless streams of Instagram hashtags that revolve around food confirms this obsession. In such a food-centric day and age, the question of how to photograph food at weddings may seem simpler to answer than ever before. After all, if your smartphone touting 15 year-old cousin can do it, so can you – a seasoned professional of this visual art we call photography. Right?

Things are obviously not that simple, of course. In order to truly photograph food at events like a professional, you still need to bear a few essential tips and tricks in mind. So, here they are, for your convenience, dispensed in numbered list form.

1. Bounce those whites


There are few things likely to make meals look more unappealing than harsh shadows, the kind caused by natural light in mid-day, for instance. As such, one way to fill in those shadows is to bounce the whites and silver highlights in a picture with the aid of some easy-to-carry bounce cards. Not only will these simple aides make your images look better, they will also restore the level of detail you’re looking for, which you’d otherwise lose to deep shadows.

Such shadows are often unavoidable, especially at indoor events such as wedding parties. If you were shooting in direct sunlight, the situation would probably be different, in terms of contrast, colors and texturing. However, since you’re often stuck photographing courses in light mediated by windows, it’s important to keep things looking soft and delicate. So, if you’re wondering how to photograph food at weddings, one simple answer is to try and soften that harsh window lighting.

2. How to photograph food at weddings? Just focus on the food!


Sounds commonsensical enough, right? When photographing food, you should be focusing on the dish itself, not the props, or other decorative elements in the shot. As such, one good tip is to focus as close to the front edge of the food as possible. You’re aiming for shallow depth of field, which means your aperture needs to be as open as possible. One strategy is to find that one detail of the food shot that stands out most prominently. It can be a sprig of rosemary, a drip of whipped cream, a beautiful slice of fruit – or whatever looks most appetizing to you. Chances are it’s also going to look scrumptious to the onlooker as well. Not to mention you’ll be achieving great bokeh.

3. A bird’s eye view always helps


When the above tip on how to photograph food at weddings doesn’t seem to be working, as there’s no wonderful detail to focus on, you can always shoot straight from above. This way, you can add props and other interesting details – while also avoiding that common pitfall, shooting food that looks like it’s about to fall off the plate. This trick is especially useful for flat dishes, such as pizza, platters, or soup. If you’re working with a taller dish, like, say, a beverage, a layered cake, or a sandwich, you are probably better off shooting from an angle. This will help you reveal all the multiple interesting layers. But overhead photos also allow you to include the cutlery, the way the table is set, and the dishes, too. for weddings and other special events, this is a particularly good strategy, since it allows you to create visually interesting images with no more than a single click.

Got other tips on how to photograph food at weddings? Let us know in the comment section below!

Is Food Photography The Next Biggest Wave?

“Why would I want to use Twitter? Who cares what people are having for lunch?”

Since Twitters inception, that’s been the general consensus among business owners. And as it turns out, there may be some truth to the “Twitter – its what’s for lunch” concept.

People aren’t just talking about what they had for lunch; they’re photographing it too.

According to 360i, by the end of 2010, more than 80 billion photographs were uploaded across a variety of social picture platforms. And at least once a month, 52 percent of mobile users take photos with their phones, and 19 percent upload their photos to the web.

And what is even more fascinating is that people are almost never in these photographs – only 10 percent of the photographs 360i analyzed had people in them.

So what are people taking photos of? In many cases, its food. Check out this infographic 360i did for Mashable.

With that many people taking photos of food, is there a future in food photography?

Even though were weathering a tough economy, we may be forgoing vacations, and passing on pricey cars, there is one thing we’re not willing to part with – cookbooks. While the book industry as a whole is falling, and booksellers are filing for bankruptcy, cookbook sales are up 9 percent last year, according to Nielsen statistics. And with cookbooks come photography, blogs, and a whole new reason to start photographing what you eat.

And while most people think of professional chefs and bakers when they think cookbooks, some of the highest growth in cookbooks aren’t’ coming from professionals, they are coming from bloggers.

Mom blogger The Pioneer Woman started out years ago describing her life on the ranch with her cowboy husband and four children. Now she has multiple books, including a cookbook, and is about to head into a whole new venture with her cooking show on the Food Network.

And if you’re a fan of Tim Ferriss from the 4 Hour Work Week, he’s just announced his new venture – The 4 Hour Chef.

So I guess the only question now is “how can you turn your love of food and photography into a business?”

How To Take Better Food Photographs

What does our world revolve around? Food of course. We eat all the time. And while sometimes it may have to be through the drive-through, sometimes we have fun with it.

Like having a group of friends over for a gourmet meal, complete with wines from around the world.

In any case, food ends up being a natural subject matter in a variety of photographs. Foodie blogs are booming at the moment. Cooking magazines are everywhere. And have you ever seen those glorious food photos on the walls at your favorite quick casual restaurant? They make you hungry while waiting in line.

Want to start your own foodie blog, or sell your recipes and photographs to a cooking magazine? Or maybe work with companies to produce great food images for their products and advertising? Start out with better food photographs.

1. Think presentation, not eating

What do you want the final photograph to look like? Do you want a table scene blurred in the background? How about place settings? Are you focusing on the texture of the foods? Play around with the look of the final image, not the way it will taste when you finally eat it. You might have to stack things to get a better view, or combine items to make it more appealing. [Read more…]