Every food photographer out there knows that taking the best pictures of food does not necessarily come with the most complicated of setups. As a matter of fact, simplicity is just the thing that will get to make the food stand out the most. When there isn’t a lot of other things going on in the background, the sole focus of the attention of the audience will be on the food, and that’s a good thing.
As a food photographer, your attention should always be on the food more than anything else.
There will be a lot of times wherein you will be tempted to spruce things up a bit, especially when you are shooting gourmet food. It usually comes with all of the embellishments in the plating. Don’t add on to this and shoot it as is. Adding anything on top of what is actually on the plate can turn out to be confusing and distracting and it might divert the attention away from the main star of the photo which should only be the dish. Keep your backdrop simple and to the point. More often than not, a white background usually works best for food photography because it doesn’t take anything away from the photo and it more or less brightens up the rest of the other elements the moment the photo is being shot. You can always include a utensil and maybe a napkin every now and then but anything more than that can turn out to be a bit extraneous already.
Talk to kitchen staff.
Make it a point to talk to the kitchen staff of the place that hired you as a food photographer before they serve you the food. Give them a few pointers on how to cook the food. It should not be cooked completely if you are going to take pictures of it for ad purposes. Food that is cooked completely can turn out to have really soggy parts that don’t look appetizing in the photos.
Keep ingredients looking fresh.
You need to keep the ingredients looking fresh and bouncy because a visually appealing photo usually involves great ingredients that end up looking really fresh. Pay attention to the green vegetables in particular. Don’t go for anything ripped or withered or anything like that. Everything should be set up to perfection and it all starts with the prepping of the food and that is why you need to talk to the cooking staff about this so that they know that this isn’t exactly for the purpose of you eating the food (although they usually give it to you for free after).
Keep the sides of the plates clean and free from any spillages or whatsoever.
What this means is you should make it a point to give the sides a good wipe with a towel or napkin. This will minimize distraction and make the dish come out more professional and well put together by the time that you are able to get to the production part of the photos of the food.