Our food team have run many varied shoots for our clients over the 18 years. Throughout this time they have picked up some tips and hard rules that they always incorporate into food shoots, happily shared below:
Social media is now one of the most important channels for brands to stay connected with their audiences. It is a shop window, if you will, into that brand’s products, personality and ethos. Smartphones make it easy to take the perfect photo in any location and while they may not have the same quality as professional photography, their cameras are getting more powerful year on year, with the newest Samsung Galaxy phone having 40 megapixels on its front-facing camera. This brings us to our first tip from the Liquid food team for taking the perfect shot for social media:
Always use the out-facing camera
Despite the power of some of these modern front-facing cameras, the main, out-facing camera on your phone will always produce a higher quality image. Even if you want to capture a selfie, or picture of yourself with a dish, use the timer setting on your camera. This way you can set up your background and will then have 10 seconds to get into shot. Also, this may create some great ‘blooper’ content if you don’t quite make it in time.
Lighting is everything
You may have heard of the famous ‘golden hour’ – this is the ultimate setting for the perfect shot. You want to take advantage of natural light as much as possible to give your images a natural hue. The first hour after sunrise and the last hour of light before sunset are ideal in terms of lighting, providing clouds and weather don’t get in your way.
Remember, flash is not your friend. You are much better off using a ring light, most ring lights have a number of white to warm light settings to ensure excellent lighting no matter the time of day.
Don’t zoom in
It may sound obvious, but this is a common mistake that many people make when using their smartphones to take images. The quality of the image diminishes drastically when you zoom in.
Instead, physically move your camera closer. Or, if you don’t want to get too close, you could create a standout background that doesn’t distract you from the main dish but gives another element for the eye to enjoy.
Less is more
… especially when photographing food. You want your dish or star ingredient to shine and not be distracted from, which is why many food photographers opt for plain, light backgrounds. You also don’t want an image to be cluttered with unnecessary props or garnishes, if it doesn’t add to the image, get rid of it.
We hope you have found these tips helpful and remember them the next time you take an image for social media.