- Use of lighting. What are the tips for the use of indoor lighting?
Understanding the light in your home/studio goes a long way in learning to work with the light you have. Natural light changes intensity and color throughout the day. North or South facing windows get the best diffused light throughout the day, but with the right conditions and tools, you can, like me, make do with other orientations as well. I almost exclusively shoot by a west facing window with a tree outside, which helps diffuse some of the light coming in. On extremely bright afternoons, using a diffuser also helps. On gloomy days, set up as close to the window as possible, and place reflectors around the room to bounce around the little light coming in, and use a tripod to shoot low-light scenes.
- Angle of shot. What is your own photography features regarding the shot angles?
My favorite angles to shoot food are flatlays and straight-on. Flatlays let you showcase all the elements on the board perfectly, and also affords a lot of creative room to play with. Straight-on is great for action shots, like pouring or sprinkling. Other angles are the 45°, which is how we look at food when we’re eating, so it’s great for letting the viewer feel like they’re eating the food you’ve photographed.
- Food presentation and tableware decoration. How would you build your own unique food presentation?
Food styling could simply be an extension of your personal style. I’ve always been drawn to photos that are dark and moody, so I work with props and backgrounds that are made of darker colors, because they absorb light and help make the set moodier. I use a lot of plants/flowers/leaves in my styling because I shoot plant-based foods and I also happen to be a crazy plant person. I also source vintage props, so they are almost one-of-a-kind, which adds to the allure of the moodiness. Find the elements that call out to you, and use it as a guideline to build your own style of presentation.
- Proportion and balance of image. Tips for photo cropping. How would you present the images that you would like to share with others?
Since I mostly shoot vertical images, I try to maintain the aspect ratio of 4:5 for Instagram. It helps to remember the aspect ratio while styling/shooting, so you keep the important parts of your image within that space, so it doesn’t get cropped out while sharing. As to image balance, negative spacing plays a key role in maintaining that balance. If a dish is plated beautifully, or has a lot of toppings, I try to keep the set styling minimal, including a lot of gaps and blank spaces between props, so that the plating can shine as the star of the shot. If the dish itself is simple, say a glass of lemonade, I style the set around that glass a little more densely.
- How would you build your own style of food photography?
Spend a lot of time browsing through Pinterest, stock photo sites or anywhere with a large collection of images and try to pay attention to the kind of photos that make you pause while scrolling. Start pinning these images in a Pinterest board and try to find a common theme – maybe they are mostly flatlays, bright, or moody, action shots or have a lot of color saturation. Find the things that catch your eye, and start re-creating it, using the props you own. Keep repeating this process of analyzing and implementing and before you know it, you’ll have your own unique way of styling food.
- How would you use bitplay lenses series on food photography? What is your review?
I absolutely adore the flexibility of having these lenses on hand on trips – the macro lens in particular is exquisite! I love that it gives my mobile photography a little extra oomph, particularly mimicking the shallow depth of field that my phone camera otherwise cannot do as well. I’m smitten with Bitplay!