I have to say that food photography is not something that came naturally to me! I know...it's hard to believe that the pictures I share with you now were once so out of focus that it looked like my food had a bad case of motion sickness, but it's true. I too am held accountable for botched shots of beautiful food. My brother, who I have to say takes incredible photographs, suggested at the time that I take close up shots of the dish in order to capture it in better detail. I of course took this advice very literally, and my next attempted photos were extreme close ups of something you could play a game of 'What Is It?' to. Up close it resembles the Michelin Man, but as I zoom out we now see that it's actually everyone's hangover favorite.... Biscuits and Gravy! - To say it was difficult for me to find the right perspective is quite the understatement, but I knew with more practice I would start to be able improve my somewhat eccentric photography 'skills'
Upon further research, and by research I mean YouTube, I had come to find out that not only is the angle of the photo important, but it's also imperative that the lighting of the shot be just right in order to achieve that perfect ratio of shadow to highlight on your plate. Say you’re dining out and you are served the most mouth-watering display of food you have ever seen. This dish of course will soon be making its debut appearance on your Facebook page, but not when it looks like the type of sepia filtered photo that was taken on the set of an old western movie. You want it to be colorful and inviting, but it's not like you are going to pull your waitress aside and say "Excuse me miss, would you mind if I walked around with this plate of food so I can get the right lighting to take my Facebook photograph?" ....well...you might, but that's a whole other blog about restaurant etiquette that we can address at a later time! ;)
So what DO you do when you have the perfect plate of food in front of you, and you want to take an amazing shot? Start by taking a decent amount of photos. You want to have as many options as possible to choose from. It's like a selfie, except instead of 1000 pictures of yourself you get to be the weird guy whose phone has every angle of a tomato that you could possibly imagine. This, I assure you, is completely normal. Just don't leave your phone anywhere unattended where someone could possibly mistake you for having some kind of strange addiction to produce!
Now that you have a bunch of different angles to choose from, it's time to edit! I personally love the apps "Photo Editor," and "Photo Fixer." Yes, even though they sound completely generic that is indeed the name of these incredible applications. Photo Editor is perfect for fixing any of the lighting issues you may have, has the ability to blur your photos enabling you to soften them a bit, and so much more. Photo Fixer is for all those little imperfections that you may have missed when you were originally taking the shot! That unwanted piece of pepper, or sauce coated thumbprint is no match for this top notch application. All you have to do is touch the spot you want to remove, and poof! It's as if it was never there!
Seem like a lot to do for just one picture? Well, it is! - But it's like the great George Harrison once said "It's gonna take time. A whole lot of precious time. It's gonna take patience and time. To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it to do it right child." - and he was spot on, minus the fact that our version of this particular song would be called "Got My Mind Set On Food," it IS going to take a bit of diligence to create something beautiful, but if it's something you love it's completely worth the effort.
So what did we learn? The Beatles are an amazing band (which I personally knew thanks to growing up with awesome parents), angles are important, and editing enhances those fuzzy unwanted undertones leaving you with the perfect shot of your seriously scrumptious meal. - Now go! Grab those smart phones, and try out your newly found photo skills on your next dish! - Just remember to always "Say Cheese!"