The ability to take beautiful pictures of food can be useful to photographers as well as anyone who just wants to make similar content for a blog or online store. And you don’t even need a professional camera for this, because modern smartphones have excellent photo shooting characteristics. However, you still have to learn some rules to get an attractive result.
Many novices underrate the complexity of the upcoming shoot, considering that taking pictures of an inanimate object such as an apple or canned food is easy. It’s worth saying that such photo sessions require originality and resourcefulness, especially when we talk about using a smartphone camera. Here are some practical tips from experienced food photographers.
Use a tripod
When photographing static small objects, a tripod is a necessary element of the process. It will allow you to choose the correct height and angle of inclination and also fix the smartphone in its best position. This will make your product photos attractive and professional. Besides, the tripod helps to shoot with a weak light source without blur. It prevents camera shake, maintains stability, and sharpens images.
If this is your first shot, it’s not necessary to buy the most expensive and professional tripod. You can even experiment with what you have at home because the main thing is to find a sturdy construction with the ability to fix a smartphone. For example, it could be a table and chair along with several books.
Set white background
Remember that the background should not suppress the main object. Therefore, it’s recommended to use plain colors and simple backgrounds. For small stuff, even an ordinary white piece of paper is appropriate, but you still need to consider acquiring a photo backdrop, if you plan to shoot constantly and not minor objects only. You can buy not only a white background but also of other colors too.
When it comes to lifestyle scenes, you are able to use any background that matches your own artistic imagination. For a “country style,” you can use wooden boards with a well-textured surface. If you need something more elegant, you can give a chance to marble.
Adjusting a smartphone camera
Basically, shooting with a phone is like operating with a photo camera. ISO parameters change the sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO setting, the more light enters, and the more noise is in the image. For optimal results, in most cases, it’s recommended to focus on ISO 100. Next, it’s important for a food-photographer to determine whether the photo looks better when it is square or rectangle.
Finally, be sure to use autofocus to have all images sharp. Just click the part of your phone screen where the object is located, and it will adjust the lens on its own.
Use a macro lens for zoomed pics
The phone’s lens can take clear photos at a specific distance. If you are too close to the object, the image will be unclear. You have to try a macro lens to fix this issue. All that is needed is to mount it to the smartphone’s camera lens and start shooting. When attaching a macro lens, check that it doesn’t cover the phone’s lens. By the way, this is a very useful tool that will come in handy for you to take other types of photos too.
If you are using a dual-lens phone, turned off portrait mode to disable the second lens. Then look which one remains working and place a macro lens on it. Also, remember that such a shot involves you to be a few inches from the main object on the scene, so regulate the distance to meet this criterion.
Custom windows and table lamps as a light source
Expensive lighting equipment is not always necessary for shooting using a smartphone. Use the window as it appears a giant softbox. They give lightning, creating a stable exposure and soft shadows. This will help you to generate the typical studio look that most food images have.
Also, you can custom table lamps to be a source of artificial lighting. Several ones with adjustable legs are desirable so that you can transfer them and move the light direction. When working with two or more sources, check their light color to match each other. Move the lamp to determine which angle is right for your product. In most cases, 45 degrees above the 0bject is the best position, but feel free to try other options.
Retouching food photos
Many people think that food photos don’t require editing because they look simple. However, all images must go through superimposing filters and effects to make a shoot better. Professional photographers use sophisticated programs such as Photoshop. If you are a beginner, it may take several weeks or a month to understand the essence of photo editing. Fortunately, all study materials are available online.
But there is a much simpler method. To do invisibly touched up pictures you can use the services for quick image editing. For example, Retouchme https://retouchme.com/ is a fast-growing reshape photo editor. The reason for its popularity is a large number of functions as well as a simple interface and settings. This is a great option for both a beginner and a professional.
A smartphone, a white background and a lot of enthusiasm is a starter kit to become a food photographer. Use creativity to make up for the lack of professional equipment and look for your unique shooting style. Also, don’t forget about the importance of image editing because it’s 50% of success.