It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of props, composition and shot styling and overcomplicate things. Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics and shoot up REALLY close and ELIMINATE most props. It’s also great practice to style the actual food. This style of shooting is FAST to set up and you are guaranteed that your food is the STAR which can really make your photo STAND OUT on social media.
Here are my tips:
1. Focus on the FOOD looking yum. Use bare minimum props!
2. Move in close to the food. Real close! I was around 1 foot / 30cm away
3. Use a fairly low aperture but not crazy low! No need cause you don’t have props that need blurring in the background in order to keep the focus on the food. I used f/2.8 for the drumsticks, f/3.5 for the stir fry (below) and f/2.8 for the Chinese pork (below).
4. My rule of thumb is for the actual food itself to only occupy up to 50% of the photo. Anymore, and I feel claustrophobic!
5. Use minimum plain props
6. This looks especially great for food with shiny surfaces, lots of texture (think crumbed things) and little bites (like crostinis). It DOES NOT work so well (harder!) for things like stews and “brown” foods.
PS This is the style of photography of The Spice Train by Nicole Branan who is a professional photographer. Her blog is worth following if you are interested in photography because she shares tips in every post she does!