**Make sure you stop by The Ardent Epicure for their latest giveaway. Go on enter your chance to win a 2012 Spicie Foodie Calendar! http://www.theardentepicure.com/2011/12/holiday-giveaway-2012-spicie-foodie.html **
I have said for a while now that I’d have a new photography tutorial for you, alas here it is. Today we will be learning a very basic technique that will help improve your photos, styling. If you want to be serious about improving your food photography styling is one of the most important things you must learn. In this tutorial I am going to give you very basic samples that I promise will yield great results. Keep in mind there are hundreds of techniques you could use to style food photography and this tutorial is just one.
First let’s start with a clean, simple photo. This photo is not great. The biggest problem is that it is just boring. Nothing but a plain bowl full of stew, boring. It doesn’t make you want to dig in so that makes it a bad photo.
When we add a spoon to on side it improves a bit. But still a tad boring.
Now we add some bread in the background and adjust the view or composition. Much better than the first photo but let’s keep going.
Here we’ve changed the angle and added a little color from the green plant on the left side. Much better than the first photo. Don’t be afraid to play around with angles it can really change the feel of the photo.
Let’s draw a bit more attention to the bowl contents. One way to do this is to add a dollop of sour cream. See how much better it looks than the first photo? Compare it to the third photo and you can see that there was improvement.
Let’s see what happens when we add a little more color with herbs. Much better. It added more contrast to the photo. Adding the chopped herbs also helped draw your eye to the bowl contents, which is the main subject of our photo. Compare it again to the first and third photo. Better no?
Again we experiment with the shooting angle. The previous photo is good but also changing the angle gives you a different perspective and better view of the bowl contents. Makes you want to dig in more than the first photo doesn’t it?
Let’s remove the cutting board with most of the bread loaf. I’ve rearranged the bread much like it would be placed when I sit down to eat the stew. Another way this photo could have been improved would have been to instead of having the spoon on the table it would have looked better inside the bowl. See the more we shoot and review our photos the more we learn and improve.
This view from above is also an inviting one. Not to happy about the spoon placement but again I’ve learned a lesson for next time. The way to improve this would be to zoom out a little more or place the spoon inside the bowl.
This last photo is to show you that even if you don’t have a loaf of bread as a prop the first photo could be improved. Compare the starkness of the first photo to this photo. See the difference just a little dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of herbs and a spoon improved the photo? Its as simple as that.
There are literately hundreds of variations and techniques for styling food. When you are learning my best advice is to go the simple route. Don’t get caught up in things like the bowl must be wiped, there has to be an entire place setting, or that you need tons of props to snap a decent photo. Keep it simple. This tutorial is so simple and yet the improvements from the first photo are noticeable. I will be sharing more easy styling techniques for different types of foods in tutorials to come.
*Do you have any questions? What photography tutorial would you like to see next?*
In case you missed any of the previous photography tutorials here they are:
~ Food Photography : My Shooting Setup With Artificial Light
~ Food Photography : Understanding Camera Types
~ Food Photography : What Lights To Use When Sunlight Is Not Available
**Recipe for the stew can be found here, Goulashesque Chicken Stew **