10 Easy Tips for Basic Food Shoots

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Here are lessons I learned during the recent food shoot I had. I divided it into photography and styling as I did a little bit of both. Hopefully it will give you an insight on how you should take on your first stint.

For photography:

  1. Invest on the base and background. Make it apt for the theme and make it wide enough or tall enough for more versatile shooting.
  2. Have two different heights for your setup one for the 45-degree angle and another one for the top view shot. It just makes your life simpler. Unless you are planning to shoot only one angle.
  3. If you do not have a freestanding reflector or clamps to hold it in place, make sure you have an assistant to do it for you.
  4. Define where to focus for every shot you take or do all shots possible in one setup so you can choose.
  5. For beginners like me, double check for underexposed/overexposed shots especially if you are shooting something light (like rice or cream) or something dark (like chocolate or char-grilled meat).
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For food styling:
  1. Play with color. Make use of colorful food items. If there is none, use spices, plates, props and others to enliven the picture.
  2. Use fresh vegetables and cut it the last minute to avoid discolorations and sogginess.
  3. Have a napkin/small dusting brush ready for wiping dishes for any displaced crumbs or sauce unless of course it is intentional.
  4. The food should be arranged depending on the orientation of the planned pictures. For example, an arrangement for a 45-degree shot will not necessarily look good from the top view.
  5. Stick to smaller portions, simpler arrangements and plain base and background if you are a beginner like me.

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Please do check out the post before this for my top picks during the shoot!

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