Although the incomparable Daniel Krieger (Eater, The New York Times) takes photos of food for a living, pseudo-pornographic food shots are no longer the exclusive purview of magazines, cookbooks and websites. Scroll through just about anyone’s Facebook page, and you’ll be treated to a course-by-course pictorial recap of their dinner out with the girls, discover their grade school swimming instructors preferred brand of breakfast cereal, and explore the contents of the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar at their favorite local brunch spot, broadcasted in high definition. And then there’s Instagram, which essentially exists as an up-to-the-minute portfolio of heirloom tomatoes, snapped on high from the farmers market, and The Burger You Ate That One Time.
Which is why we’ve enlisted Krieger once again during Taste Talks, for an interactive, hands-on panel titled Expert Food Photography for Everyday Cooks. And as a teaser of things to come, we persuaded him to share five quick tricks of the trade, sure to come in use for your next Facebook thesis on Lays new cappuccino-flavored potato chips, or Instagram exploration of artfully back-lit Negronis.
I think lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography. Good lighting can change a mundane subject into an interesting one and pushes a good photo into that “wow” category. An ample amount of natural light is the best to use, window light being preferred.
Every dish and food item looks different, and therefore, there’s experimenting and experience that plays into this. One favorite move of food photographers is to shoot overhead with a few plates or items of food.
CHOOSING A FOOD:
Not everything photographs well, so again, experiment. Certain things like coffee, pizza, or a salad often look great in photographs.
Not the rap kind, I’m talking about fancy looking lines and delicate forks you found at a tag sale. Using these items will help set a picturesque scene.
EDIT THAT IMAGE:
For the iPhone, using the new tools within Instagram work well. Snapseed is also a great editing tool. Otherwise, Adobe Lightroom for editing images shot on a DSLR is how I roll.
For tickets to Krieger’s event, visit here.