Today is an exciting day because I’ve got my first ever guest poster here on MT! Nicole is a food blogger extraordinaire. The first thing you notice when you go to her site is the amazing photography – and she was kind enough to share her tips for iPhone food photography with us all!
Hey There! Nicole here from Seasonly Creations and today, I’m showing you how to take your iPhone
food photography to the next level with these ten styling tips. Plus, you’re getting access to my FREE e-book, “10 Ways to Instantly Improve Your iPhone Food Photography.”
But before we jump in, let’s talk about iPhone food photography for a moment, shall we? Because I know my fellow bloggers are probably laughing at the thought of using their phone for food photography (or any photography for that matter) in a serious way. What if I told you that my iPhone food photos have been published on Time Inc., BuzzFeed and in online photo galleries? Or that some of my iPhone food photos have been pinned to Pinterest over 700 times? I tell you this not to impress you but to get you thinking about making the best with what you have. Don’t have time or money to spend on expensive camera equipment? Then you and I are two peas in a pod and I encourage you to be confident with the tools in your toolbox (or the phone in your pocket).
Okay, now back to why you’re really here 🙂 Here are 10 iPhone Food Photography Styling Tips to up your food photo taking game:
1. Use ingredients as props.
Food props don’t always have to be kitchen utensils, dishes or glassware. Consider using the main ingredients in the recipe. For example, the spinach leaves in this Spinach and Ricotta Skillet Quesadilla and the eggs in this Ham and Cheese Egg Muffin photo.
And if the main ingredient doesn’t lend itself as a picture-perfect food prop, then try using other ingredients such as garlic, lemons, cinnamon sticks, or chocolate chips, just to name a few!
2. Use more than one plate.
This is a simple yet effective way to add variety to your photo. Having another plate/bowl/dish can enhance the photo’s background while keeping the focus on your subject.
Quick Tip: Not sure what a “subject” is? It’s the one thing you want people to notice when they see your photo. Think of the “subject” as the main idea.
3. Try using wax paper.
Wax paper is definitely my new favorite food prop. It’s so simple and common and inexpensive! This is especially great for baked goods. You kinda get that “bakery” feeling, ya know?
4. Take a forkful or spoonful.
Taking a shot of a forkful or spoonful of food can enhance your entire lineup of photos by showing more dimension and texture of the food. This won’t work for all of your food photo shots so consider other ways to show off the texture of your food.
Quick Tip: Taking this type of photo can be a challenge for us iPhone food photographers. So get a tripod for your iPhone to ensure you get a steady shot here. It’ll also come in handy for future photo sessions 🙂
5. Make sure there is nothing weird in the background.
Be aware of what’s behind everything in your food photos. Sometimes when you’re shooting, you forget about the random kitchen cabinet, door knob, window or lamp shade hidden in the background.
Avoid this by looking carefully at your iPhone’s screen before taking the shot and reposition yourself if necessary.
6. Use a plain, white plate.
Yes, I know, it can be tempting to use plates with fancy designs and beautiful colors but they don’t always yield the best iPhone food photo results. Those patterns and designs can take away from the focus, which is your amazing food! It’s okay to use them occasionally, but I would stick to simple, white plates for the most part.
7. Use different backgrounds.
Good news for the budget conscious; you don’t have to break the bank to have nice background boards. Try using a large cutting board of poster board. I also use vinyl backdrops as “boards.” I highly recommend the backdrops from SwankyPrints. Their backdrops are easy to clean, glare-free and inexpensive! The photo below seems as though the two drinks are sitting on marble, but they’re really sitting on vinyl 🙂
Quick Tip: Test out different boards and backdrops and think about the story you’re trying to tell. Is it an early morning breakfast? Is it a gathering of friends and family? Think about the feelings you’re trying to elicit from your reader.
This concept alone can instantly improve your iPhone food photography. Bright greens and other vibrant colors can really make a dish stand out. Of course, the garnish you choose will depend on what type of dish you’re photographing. For example, I like using sprinkles on certain sweet baked goods and curly-leaf parsley on savory dishes.
9. Think of your photo in thirds.
Instead of centering the subject of your photo, try capturing one third of two thirds of the photo. This can make the photo interesting and leaves room for other visual elements.
10. Don’t be afraid to be helpful.
Photos of what the food should look like throughout the cooking and baking process are not always mouthwatering or visually appealing. However, they can be useful! And this tip goes for non-food photo takers as well. If you’re showing your audience how to do something, consider including step-by-step photos to help your reader get to the end result.
So, did you find these food photography styling tips helpful? Then you’ll love my FREE e-book, “10 Ways to Instantly Improve Your iPhone Food Photography.” You can download your copy here.
Question: What are some of your phone photography struggles? Let me know in the comments!
About the Author: Nicole Cline is the food blogger, recipe developer and obsessive baker behind Seasonly Creations, a sweet and savory baking blog featuring practical recipes with how-to (iPhone!) food photos.