When shooting pictures for your acai bowl recipes to be entered into the World Bowl Recipe + Photo Contest this June-July 2014, here are some of our favorite helpful tips for food photography.
#1 LOOKS MATTER
Make sure you choose the best looking food to feature in your photographs. If you’re getting into it like a food stylist, you will want to go through a whole box of berries to find the perfect specimen or examine each peach in the bin to find the perfect peachy-ness. Sometimes the choice is not as obvious as the oranges above, so inspect each option closely.
#2 LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING
Using the right lighting in your shot is important to show texture and make the food look as mouth-watering as possible. We usually opt for indirect natural light, which can be found during the “Golden Hour” – the hour after sunrise and before sunset when the light has a rich, golden color that brings out vivid colors when photographed. When shooting with natural light, make sure you are prepped and ready to snap your shot because the light can quickly change as the sun moves.
Props like bowls, spoons and raw ingredients add interesting colors and textures to your shots. Use simple dish-ware without patterns to avoid competing with the food for center stage.
To make fruits and vegetables glisten, brush them with a bit of olive oil, or mist them with water. It will make them seem freshly picked from a dew-covered tree. Hashtag morning dew.
#5 HAVE A BITE THEN RESHOOT
Once you have the shot that you want, enjoy a bite then take another shot. When a shot is too perfect it can look overly composed and artificial. Plus, when you’re shooting acai bowls it lets a peek of purple show through!
#6 WORK THE ANGLES
Move down to plate level or just above it to get a different angle. Getting low can bring out different features of the shot you may not appreciate from the normal position, as well as variations in texture and color. Use your lens and move the camera to get closer to the food. Try moving around the dish to get different angles.
Getting really close to your subject matter highlight the ingredients and focuses attention exclusively on the food.
#7 APP TIME
If you are taking photos with a smart phone, apps can help improve the quality of your picture. We like Camera+, Snapseed, VSCO and even Instagram’s new Creative Tools make it super easy to edit + post all in one place.
Bokeh (pronounced BOH-kay) is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph. This can be used to highlight specific ingredients like the cacao nibs in the photograph above. If you have access to a camera with a fast lens, such as f2.8 or wider, you can create bokeh. In order to get the lens wide open, use the Aperture Priority or Manual-shooting mode. Manual gives you the ability to choose both your aperture and shutter speed, whereas Aperture Priority will allow you to choose the f/stop while the camera chooses the appropriate shutter speed for the exposure.
If you don’t own a fast prime lens you can increase the chances of bokeh by increasing the distance between your subject and the background, and decreasing the distance between your camera and the food you are shooting.
Well there you have it! Some of our favorite tips when we’re shooting tasty acai bowls for as long as we can bear to wait before devouring them. We can’t wait to drool over your photo entries for the World Bowl Recipe + Photo Contest.
Learn more about the World Bowl Recipe + Photo Contest and get some inspiration from recent entries.