A common struggle that most food photographers face is picking the right plates for their shots. It seems like a simple tasks to do, but there are certainly distinctive guidelines that they should adhere to bring about a more polished look for their food photos. Here are a few tips on plating that would make your food photography stand out.
Bigger does not mean better
If you were to ask any professional prop stylist regarding the usage of dinner plates for photography, nine out of ten will advise you not to use it. This is one of the most basic and important tip regarding plating. The logic behind this is pretty simple. First and foremost, a smaller plate helps to simplify a mass of complex ingredients, such as spaghetti and allows you to get a tighter frame of the food. Secondly, it helps to reduce the extra space around the plate so that the food looks plentiful.
Angling your plate lip
Depending on the type of food you wish to shoot, angles can make it look a whole lot different. For example, if you are shooting a hamburger, it definitely needs to be shot from a lower angle. This is because; no one wants to just look at a bun. On the other hand, if you are taking a photo of food in a bowl, it is ideal to raise the camera to see what's in there. Also, foods placed on a plate with a higher lip needs to be shot at a higher angle.
It is no rocket science that angles play an important role when it comes to food photography. Ensure that you use plates that are flat or have low rims for lower angles and rimmed dish or low bowls for higher angles.
Make food stand out with colours
Not everything has to be shot in white because as long as the colour works well with the choice of food, it will help to make the food pop visually. However, be reminded that the goal is always to pull focus and draw attention to the element first.
Be cautious when working with patterns
There are tons of great patterns that can be drawn on plates and can even help to compliment the look of the food. Nonetheless, choose a pattern that is not too distracting particularly if there are too many ingredients on the plate.
Combine various materials
Experiment with different surfaces you can place your plate to keep things interesting! You can do so by layering your photos with different materials such as metal, wood boards, parchment paper and the list goes on. For example, you can line your plates with parchment paper to add texture and soften the lines of the plate.