5 Tips for Better Food Photography #MyPlatinum #Sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

food photgraphy tips

Cascade has partnered with Gail Simmons to help people improve their food presentation. I’m sure many of you get meal ideas from Pinterest and blogs and know that the prettier the food looks, the more attention it gets. Well presented, good-looking food doesn’t necessarily taste better, but it sure is a joy to behold!! I have been working to improve my own food photography pictures and have a few tricks to share with you today. I still have room for a lot of for improvement, but the following steps help me a lot!

5 Tips for Better Food Photography

1. Take Many, Many Pictures ~ I have found that it takes a lot of time to prepare not only the food, but also the staging for the pictures. I hate it when I take a few pictures, clean up the area, and then find I have ZERO good shots. I have to take picture after picture to find one good one. Taking many, many pictures from every conceivable angle is a great way to get two or three good shots. Overhead, straight on, at an angle, from the left, from the right. Get creative with the way you approach your food! Make small changes the staging and take more pictures. It’s easier to delete pictures than to set up the area and start over again.

photo light box

2. Use Proper Lighting ~ Lighting is the biggest challenge I have. Underexposed, overexposed, washed out, unappealing – all of these are problems poor lighting can have on your food photography. The best type of light is soft, natural light. Picking a shady outdoor location or setting up a stage near a south-facing window with diffused light can drastically improve food shots. I recently bought a cheap photo light box from Tanga as lighting is a real problem in my dark house. I have read mixed results about light boxes, but it’s fun to play around with it and see what I get! Just remember: turn off your flash and figure out how to get the light you need from more natural sources whenever possible.

3. Learn to use the Aperture Mode on your Camera ~ My favorite type of food photography has a shallow depth of field (DOF) which is accomplished by using a small aperture. Lower aperture numbers blur the background and make really pretty pictures. I’m slowly learning how to use my new 50 mm lens and photograph with low apertures. I love the shallow depth of field I get with these numbers and my new lens. Rachel at Bubbly Nature Creation does a much better job explaining aperture and DOF on her blog, if you’d like more information. I always wondered how to get those pretty blurry pictures until Rachel taught me that my 35mm lens just wasn’t capable of producing that effect because it didn’t have a small enough aperture.

4. Careful Staging ~ Careful staging requires careful planning. A clean, empty background, nice dishes, and fun accent pieces make pictures prettier. I’m always on the lookout for nice jars, pieces of cloth, and dishes at thrift stores because used properly, a well set stage makes the picture! I also love food pictures that accent with herbs and ingredients they used in the dish they photograph. To make staging easier, I bought a couple of Elmer’s 3 sided project boards. I can set them up outside or on my counter and block out all the mess if I need to!

cascade platinum

5. Use Sparkling Clean Dishes ~ Sparkly clean dishes are a must have for delicious food pictures! I make a lot of my own cleaning products, but dishwasher detergent is one thing I have never been able to do a good job on. Nothing is more frustrating than pulling a dingy and spotted glass {like the one in my picture of my new light box} out of the cupboard for a photo shoot and having to re-clean everything before I can even begin taking pictures. I frequently have problems with my glasses and my measuring cups, for some reason. But I’m really impressed with Cascade Platinum Dishwashing Detergent as it is doing a great job on everything, including my glasses and measuring cups. According to its fact sheet, Cascade Platinum:

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  1. Great tips! Styling is always a huge problem for me. I have great light in my sunroom and the husband has taught me about aperture. Smudges, I sometimes cheat and fix in post-production. :) Thank goodness for Photo Elements! But it sure helps to start with clean dishes. :)
    • You've learned, well, MJ. Your food pictures are some of my very favorite! I cheat, too, mostly in Pic Monkey. It sure helps to play with exposure and sharpness. :-)

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