Quarantine is a strange experience. There’s a comforting aspect of being at home the whole time, but the novelty does wear off, and you soon want to be free from the 2km chains. (Anyone reading from outside Ireland, we currently cannot go past 2km of our homes due to COVID-19 until further notice).
While the number one thing I miss about regular life is eating out in restaurants, I have embraced the opportunity to turn aspects of my food blog into a restaurants-at-home experience.
In conjunction with this change, Deliveroo approached me and asked would I pull together some top tips for food photography at home while we are all confined to our houses. I for one have ordered a lot of takeaway in my lifetime, and always want to take the best picture possible, so I worked on collating my top tips.
So if you’re like me, and just love to take photographs of your food, check out my tips below:
- Take advantage of natural light
- Take this opportunity to try out new restaurants at home
- Presentation, presentation, presentation
- Choose the right background
- Personalise it
- Natural Light
The most highly recommended of all, but the most valuable, is choosing an area to shoot your food imagery with natural light. Using artificial light can lead to the creation of a yellow hue over your food. Natural daylight optimises colour and illuminates the food in the most flattering way possible. It is also the cheapest light source available. While the evenings begin to stretch as we head towards Summer, the opportunity to capture every meal in natural daylight arises. I almost always shoot my food imagery by the window in order to capture the best lighting.
- New Takeaway Additions
Since restaurants have been forced to close their sit-in services, a large number have turned to takeaway as an avenue to keep the wheels of the business turning. As a result, many restaurants that never previously offered a takeaway service have now set one up. Use this opportunity to order from these restaurants and experience their top-quality restaurant food from the comfort of your own home. A number of Michelin star restaurants have even entered the takeaway scene. Now is the time to create unique food content at home, while supporting local businesses.
Food presentation is the key to creating captivating imagery. Unpack your takeaway food from its packaging. Arranging your food in beautiful dishware such as plates and bowls can hugely improve the aesthetic of the image. Cardboard delivery containers take from the beauty of the food and can be unflattering. Focus on complimentary colours such as pairing an orange tikka masala curry with a matte black bowl, bringing out the bright colour of the food.
When choosing your food photography background, focus on non-distracting, neutral colours. White or wood is generally my go-to. Avoid busy backgrounds that will take away from the focus of the image. Using a white tablecloth or large wooden chopping board as your background can create this look if your countertops and tables are too busy.
- Make it Personal
Include part of yourself or another person in the shot. Whether that be a hand holding the bowl, or including yourself in the image holding the food. This would be suitable for something such as takeaway pizza photography. Holding the slice of pizza in your hand gives your followers a personal insight into your life and story. Attaching a face to your creative platform gives a broader opportunity for personal connection and growth.