Is your Instagram feed also filled with food? I’m not sure what it says about me but my feed is all food, weddings and pumpkin patches these days. I could spend days talking about the perfect wedding shot list or how to make the most of a pumpkin patch photo session but for now, I’m going to focus on helping you take better photos of food and feet!
A few months ago, I wrote a post on how to take the perfect food in the air photos. It was a big hit so I thought I’d talk about the next most common food on-the-go photo: food and feet. If you read the last post, some of these tips might sound familiar. Don’t worry, I didn’t pull a Michelin and copy paste it all. A lot of these tips are photography fundamentals that must be considered no matter what type of shot you are taking.
If this is news to you then I’m sorry but no one wants to see your toes. If someone tells you they do, they are either lying to you or they love you so unconditionally that they can look past your toes and into your soul (in which case hold onto this person forever and ever). Be aware that feet are not something that your Instagram followers want to look at. Over 600 thousand people may have a thing with floors but only one thousand have a thing with feet and barely four have a thing with toes. Unless you’re a famous foot model, tuck your toes in some cute shoes and let the food be the star.
Unless you are on a beach or standing in water, you should be wearing shoes. Period.
Speaking of shoes, try to opt for clean shoes that match either your floor, or the food. They are just another prop in your photo so might as well make sure they complement the star of your photo. At this point you might be confused and start thinking that your feet are the star of the photo because of how much I’ve been talking about them but no, it’s still food.
If you Must Show Your Toes, Don’t Ignore Your Nails
If my plea to keep your toes tucked away in your shoes has fallen on deaf ears (what a shame), at least make them look good. Clean, trimmed and painted toe nails in shoes that fit well is key. Your fingernails will likely be in the shot too so make sure they are also clean and evenly filed.
Pick Decadent Food
Alright, we’re finally talking about food! You’ll be taking a photo from above so make sure your food looks good from that angle! Is all the good stuff on the side? Hold your food at an angle so everyone can see it. Layer cake is a great example of this. If you look at a slice of layer cake from the top, it just looks like cake! There might be some fun icing on top but the layers are lost. Turn the cake on it’s side and all of a sudden you’ve got a much better view.
Find your Focus
Know what you are featuring in your photo before taking it and make sure that you’ve got your camera focused correctly. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone hold up a macaron over an elaborate floor only to have the camera be focused on something lying on the floor. #fail
Pick your Floor and Your Props Carefully
Sure you’re featuring food in your picture but the floor you chose to layer behind it is almost just as important. Whether you’re matching a complex floor to a simple food, a simple floor to an elaborate food, a colorful floor that complements the food or any other combination of reasoning, make sure you are being intentional. As soon as you stop being intentional and start taking the photo just because, you’ve lost creative control.
Just like you want to be intentional with your floor choice, you’ll want to be intentional with how you present your food. Are you using a plate? Are you holding it in your (clean and well-manicured) hands? Every choice you make will affect the final photo.
Use Light to Your Benefit
Natural light is your best friend. When you pick where you want to stand to take your photo, make sure the light is in front of you so you aren’t casting a giant shadow on your food or your floor. Similarly, try to stand out of direct sunlight so you have the benefit of the light without the added challenge of harsh light rays and shadows.
Remember the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Every time you look through your viewfinder, imagine that the screen is divided in three vertically and horizontally. The four points where these lines intersect are interest points for your eyes so use that to your advantage. Line up interesting elements in your photo with those lines rather than putting everything right in the middle of the shot.
Well, there you have it: tips to take better food and feet photos! If you apply these tips to your future photos make sure to tag me in them.