I know how it goes- you’re in the middle of a wedding running behind schedule- you need to capture great detail shots and by the time you get to the food it’s been picked apart by all the guests. You’ve got a million other things to think about during a wedding, but taking just a few extra seconds to arrange some food on a plate will make a world of difference when it comes time to submit your weddings for publication. You work so hard to capture every detail of the day flawlessly, considering just a few of these quick and easy tips will help elevate your food photography to match the level of skill and attention to detail that the rest of your shots possess.
We want food to look pretty!
Think as if you were a guest, the buffet looked a lot more appetizing when they first revealed the food. The food should look fresh and plentiful.
- Don’t be afraid to rearrange- stir up foods and sauces that have developed a film or skin on top and use the buffet utensils to move food in trays closer together
- Use your framing to crop in on some of the larger empty expanses of serving dishes. You don’t want it to look like you were the last one to get to the food
- If there are goodies in a package, take them out so we can see how delicious they look!
- Ask guests if you can photograph their plates or drinks (this works especially well with cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres), a guest’s hand in the shot will look nice
Fake it till you make it!
Sometimes the food is in a dark corner or there’s just no way it’s going to look nice in the setting it’s being served in. This is where you can grab some grub and create a plate.
- If you have a second shooter, send them over to grab some food before the guests pick it to pieces
- Fix a small plate, with lots of color and some variety of food/texture
- Place the plate by a diffused window or in some nice light- you are now in control!
- Do the same with hors d’oeuvres or the signature cocktail
- Experiment with using food in your other detail shots (i.e. putting a drink next to the couple’s personalized cocktail napkins)
- Take a look at some food magazines. Most food is shot at a fairly low aperture, at a 30-45 degree angle, in gorgeous light
- If you have some downtime during the dinner, try shooting the plate from directly above and playing with the composition of the food or the positioning of the utensils and napkins
- A great resource of inspiration for simple, yet effective food photography is Charleston’s very own Helen Dujardin. Check out her Tartlette blog