Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday's Photo Tip - From a Different Angle

Friday's Photo Tip - From a Different Angle

a clear glass bowl filled with cherry tomatoes

First - I must apologize for my lack of posting and missing last Friday's Photo tip.

Life has been quite busy with a few unexpecteds thrown in which demanded my attention.

I have got a very interesting post for this week.

I received a question from Martha, over at Stir, Laugh, Repeat. She asked:

"Do you have advice on taking pictures with a digital camera. I write cookbooks and some of my recipes are stored on my blogs. I like to take a picture of a new dish to add to the post but my pictures don't always give the dish justice. Any tips?"

She has a few blogs, and after looking through them (many of the recipes sound so good!),
I got quite excited - I can actually help!

My first and biggest piece of advice is to experiment with different angles.

It seems the most sensible thing to photograph the food from above with most of the plate included.

It is a pretty set-up with beautiful plates and placemats, but you want to showcase the food.

Try taking the cheesecake, pie, or cake from a side angle to show it's height and all the goodies it has inside.

And don't be afraid to get closer to the food. Macros (the close ups) will show some great textures - especially if it is a casserole or salad dish with many colorful ingredients.

It is amazing how moving yourself around the plate, higher, lower, eye level or angled will change the whole composition of the photo.

And don't forget the props - a knife with a pat of butter beside a muffin that has been cut in half and then photographed at eye level rather than from above.

And sometimes just the edge of the plate leading the eye into the food that takes up the rest of the photo works well too.

I can remember when I was in my first photo class. I was given a roll of 36 exposure film and was told to use the whole thing on a tree outside the school.

I was thinking, how can I possibly take 36 different photos of this tree. By the time I had finished, I could have easily filled another roll.

I don't have too many food photos, but here is a link to my gallery that contains some. Hopefully some of them will show you what I am talking about.

One more thing - don't forget the background. As you change your angle be sure to check what else you are including in the shot.

I like to prop up a white sheet then set the subject on and in front of it. Keeps everything clean and uncluttered, and it helps reflect the light onto my subject.

A digital camera allows you to experiment to your hearts content at a very low cost. Have fun exploring new angles and simply delete the photos that don't work, and try again!


  1. What a great post of tips. You have just given anyone that is new to photography some very helpful ideas.

    Life does get busy and we all understand as we all have our turns at having to chose life over posting.

    It is all part and parcel of life.

  2. That's great advice - both taking the shot from a novel angle, and also getting in close to fill the frame. I have not taken many photos of food, but I certainly do appreciate attractive images of food when I see them. Your bowl of tomatoes is one of those. ;-}


  3. I appreciated your mini-tutorial here!! I remembered it while shooting today and need to remember it when working with my tripod and studio shooting!! Thanks!

  4. Thank you for wonderful tips. I have a few recipe on my blog but I'm working on a cooking blog which these tips come quite handy.

  5. nice blog friend and thanks for sharing your photo tips !!!

  6. Hi Kathy,
    Wow I am so glad you are still doing tips. I started down here and will work myself up. I find food to be very challenging to shoot.

    This was very helpful. Your shot of course is gorgeous. people are wanting these types of photos also.

    Hopefully when I can get some good lighting purchased I wil be able to get better shots.

  7. Kathy, I take photos of the food also, and you know sometimes I don't have great luck with them, these are great tips and I will remember them. I might not have issue with the angles, but the background may be. Thanks again, and btw this is really nice photo. PS I always have picture of your chocolate fudge photo. I tried today to make them, but for some reason they didn't set properly, it became more like a filling for the cake. Oh well I can always try again....but first we must consume what I made, lol. Anna :)


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