A photographer's guide to shooting food

Don't worry, we've all done it. Standing in a cafe being that person leaning over the table trying to get the perfect snap of the dish in front of us. The result? Usually a photo that's a bit subpar. But help is at hand. Photographer and stylist Anna Cor has given us her tips on how to capture dreamy tablescapes that are good enough for the 'gram. 



1. Natural light is the most beautiful, so find the spot where you get the most of it and take your pictures there. In the bedroom perhaps? It doesn't have to be the kitchen table. 

2. Get great props! Plates with low rims are ideal (high ones cast unwanted shadows), and matte surfaces are better than polished ones – the latter reflect light, which makes photographing more difficult and often creates white spots in the photo. Find tumblers made from very thin glass, as thick glass distorts or discolours your motif. 

3. Pay attention to colours! Complementary hues like red and green have a dramatic effect, while monochrome tones appear calmer. There's a lot of literature on colour theory – if you want to get better at food photography, I recommend getting a few books on the subject.  

4. Work with various textures. Fabrics and food have a lot to offer in that department. When I style a shoot, I often just use curtains as tablecloths or tear them into pieces to create beautiful linen napkins with frayed edges. The more complex your textures, the more vivid the pictures appear in the end. 

5. Visual storytelling is key. Think about what you want the photo to say and try to create an emotional connection between the picture and the viewer. For example, showing a hand in the photo. It's also great to show the preparation of the dish. Don't just think about the recipe and the styling – think about the whole setting in which the 'story' is told.



Article written by: Lisa Wenske

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