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The 411 on food photography

Learn what it takes to be a food photographer
Learn what it takes to be a food photographer

We’re all notorious for taking pictures of our food. Since the beginning of Instagram, we’ve been sharing our every meal with the world. Did you know that you could actually make a living by taking pictures of food? This too-good-to-be-true career is called ‘Food Photography.’

A Food Photographer must photograph food in such a way that it captures the essence of the particular food – its smell, taste, and texture. To take this perfect photograph, the food must be arranged and manipulated carefully in each dish in the most visually pleasing way.

Artistic shots of dishes are usually preferred over a straightforward image. Therefore, the food photographer needs to be imaginative in their choices of styling and shooting angles.

When preparing for the shoot, one must keep in mind that there are a million different ways to dress up the food. It is very common for a Food Stylist to be hired to do this, but sometimes it is up to the Food Photographer to style the food themselves. Glycerin is commonly used on meats or vegetables to suggest juiciness or dew, and hot water-soaked cotton balls are sometimes hidden behind the food to create the illusion of steam. Paying attention to the surrounding and context of the food is almost as important as the food itself. Background surroundings could include flowers, a colorful tablecloth, or a fork. These extra elements add reality to the photo and make it more appealing.

One major reason as to why food photography looks unappealing is on account of bad lighting. Lighting is crucial when photographing food; it could make or break the shot. Food that is generally lit with soft light minimizes the glare that you would normally get with a much harsher light or flash. When arranging the light, try and set it in such a way where the lit parts and the shadowed areas of the food play upon and enhance each other to create an appealing image. The light should work to bring about the more attractive features, such as the curves of a banana or the juiciness of a steak.

What you must remember is that you are dealing with food, which can deteriorate very quickly. Ice cream will melt, hamburgers will lose their juice, and sauces will start to run. Working quickly is crucial to get that perfect mouth-watering shot. A strategy to save time is to have everything set up before the food arrives and to know exactly what kinds of shots you are trying to achieve.

Although all of these aspects are important, the most important piece of being a successful food photographer is to understand and love food. ­In short, be a foodie!

You want to be able to understand food and how it is cooked and prepared. To be able to wholly “illustrate the essence of food you must first know what makes it special.”

If you think of yourself a foodie and wish to learn the art of cooking mouth-watering food, consider a career in the culinary field. Star Career Academy offers an excellent Culinary Program that could teach you how to become successful in various aspects of the field. In the future, your food could be photographed as well! Make sure to check out the Star Career Academy website to learn more!

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