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  • Toby Kramer


Food photography can be a unique and creative way to showcase your culinary skills and bring in new customers. Here are some tips to make your dishes stand out on social media.


1) Use a Tripod

To avoid blurry pictures, make sure to use the available light in your room and fix it on a tripod so as not to have any camera shake. By doing this, you can easily compose yourself before taking shots with perfect exposure every time!

2) Achieve a warmer feel

To get a ‘warmer feel’ to your room, it might be best not to have bright daylight shining through the windows. You could try lighting some candles or using other decorations that have coloured lights for an evening-time atmosphere instead of trying shots during midday when there is lots of sun coming in from every angle.

3) Achieve a cooler feel

To give your room a more cool and inviting feel, you can expose it for some daylight hours by turning off all of the lights except those in one area. You could also keep some Christmas decorations up during these times so they’re visible against their natural light source without being too brightly lit.

4) Add depth to the image

To give your pictures more depth, try mixing in close-ups with wider shots of the background. To set this up, find a cosy corner and use some Christmas props such as branches or decorations on furniture for foreground elements, then angle up to capture everything around it, like fireplaces etcetera. To make sure all parts come into focus while zooming out slightly before taking the shot.

5) Experiment with manual settings

You can get more adventurous with the manual settings of your camera. For example, if you are using an ISO 800 setting for night shots with landscape photography, it’s best not to go too high as this can cause a loss in quality. Digital cameras have much more precise equipment, so use an F number lower than what’s normally recommended, such as f5.6 and a shutter speed below 1/60. Again, use a tripod to avoid camera shake.

6) Shooting outdoors

The evening is the best time to take pictures outside your building, with all of its lights on and decorations placed in windows. A tripod will help you avoid camera shake when operating for longer exposure periods. If there’s snow, you should definitely get some shots in even if they are to use the following year.


7) Use a tripod (again!)

While photographing your food and drink for the festive season, we recommend using a tripod so that you can steady the camera. This will help with exposure control as well since it provides more stability and it helps you frame the plate and create the theatre.

8) Shoot food with natural lighting

With food, find a window for your natural lighting (and use a large white card/sheet to bounce light back into the food (note – turn off any warm overhead room lighting as this will discolour the food).

9) Don’t use your flash

Your camera flash will not be strong enough to light the food effectively. To get a good contrast, either use an off-camera flash or put something white on one side and bounce the lighting back for more detail in shadows.

10) Use festive light sources

There are many ways to create the perfect seasonal ambience. You can use any lighting in your room, like tree lights or candles on either side of an open fire, for example- experiment with different exposures until you find what works best!

11) Shoot your festive drinks

The best way to give your drink an extra sparkle is by using a blurred backdrop. Cocktails are perfect for this technique. Place the drinks on the bar top and dress with some festive decorations and include colourful lighting behind them or around their edges. To get these effects, use either long lenses like 80mm+ focal lengths; or short depths of field such as f4.

Kindly contributed by: Hylton Photography, an advertising and commercial photography studio based in Yorkshire. Providing imagery for local, national and international clients.

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