Most food photography today is captured on a smartphone. Modern phones have great cameras but it’s not so much about the quality of gear but what you do with it.
Here are some smartphone food photography tips and techniques to take your images to the pro level.
Use Natural Light to Make Your Photos Look Fresh
When you shoot with your smartphone, ensure that you are using natural light.
Most food pictures regular people take in look horrible because of artificial lighting. Fluorescent and other types of artificial lights create unwanted colour casts. As a result, they cause your pictures to look hard and flat.
Your food needs to look as fresh as possible to look appealing. To achieve this, natural light is the way to go. Professional food photographers use large and expensive strobe lights to mimic natural, diffused daylight.
But how can you do food photography at home without strobes or expensive equipment? Simply bring your plate to a window with natural light or shoot outside in the shade.
Make sure you stay away from the bright sun as it creates hard shadows in your scene. If you can’t avoid it, shield your dish with a small diffusion disc or panel. It works much like a window in softening the light.
Get the Perfect Exposure with Bounce Cards
It can take correctly exposed pictures in ideal conditions. But you don’t always get the best lighting when it comes to food photography.
Smartphone food photography requires constant problem-solving. But a bit of creativity combined with what’s already around you can go a long way!
You can boost the brightness of your scene by using a piece of white foam core as a bounce card.
As the name suggests, a bounce card reflects some of the light from the main light source onto the set.
You can also invest in a reflector kit and bring it to diffuse the light. Or you can open up reflectors to bounce more light onto the dishes.
Your smartphone also has a feature called ‘exposure lock’. It keeps the exposure at the level you want to create a well-lit image.
To do this, tap on the screen, and you will see a sun icon appear. Move your finger up or down, and adjust your exposure accordingly.
Make the Most of Your Phone’s Wide-Angle Lens
So how do you capture food photography accurately with your smartphone?
One of the biggest people make when shooting food with a smartphone is choosing the wrong angle.
Smartphone cameras have a very wide-angle lens. This means that certain angles will cause your images to look distorted.
To get the best results, shoot overhead or straight on to your subject instead.
The reason flat-lays and overhead shots have become so popular is because of the 90-degree angle. It eliminates depth and makes your photos pop. You can fit a lot more elements in the scene, and it’s relatively easy to compose.
However, this angle doesn’t work for everything. When taking pictures of tall foods such as burgers.
When you shoot tall food like burgers, lay your camera on the table for a straight-on shot. That way, you get to showcase all the ingredients in the dish.
From this angle, the wide-angle lens also helps make the food look bigger than in real life.