What’s your best trick?

I admire so many of the photos on the blogs of the TWD bakers.  I am, quite frankly, jealous.  Week after week I turn out mediocre (at best) photos.  I am hampered by a point-and-shoot camera, but there has to be a better way to take photos.
What are your best tricks for taking GOOD food photos?

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7 thoughts on “What’s your best trick?

  1. So much of food photography comes down to lighting. The easiest lighting to work with is near a window but not in direct light (so not a sunbeam). A couple white poster boards are handy – one to act as a plain, undistracting background and another to position facing the window and reflecting some light back onto your food. This puts your food between the window and the board. A tripod, even a small countertop version, will help you make the most of the available daylight, since you won’t have to hold the camera steady for the long shutter speeds necessary to get well-lit pictures.

    I actually have a page in my blog with photography tips. It’s geared mostly toward point-and-shoots, although it’s applicable to dSLRS as well.

    http://www.crumblycookie.net/food-photography/

  2. I echo everything Bridget said – I read her tips many, many times when I was trying to improve my photography. One thing I’d add – read the instruction manual for your camera. Understanding your cameras and its capabilities will help you to adapt to different lighting conditions.

  3. I agree with Bridget-lighting is everything! If you have good window light-(Northern exposure is best as the light is pretty even most of the time),you are half way there. A tripod is essential as it helps you set up your shot, as are white boards to bounce the light. Small mirrors on a stand from Walmart or Target can be used to concentrate more light where you want it. No flash, unless it’s bounced off the ceiling or some other white surface. If your point and shoot has a manual mode, learn to use it. For backgrounds, I use fabric or colored boards from my local art store. Styling a photo is important, too. Flea markets and antique stores are good sources for props. I love old silver plate utensils and many are very cheap as are odd cups and saucers or plates. Hope this helps some!

  4. Ditto to everything said already. Lighting is a BIG deal! I bring out my big lanterns sometimes when I need additional lights from another angle. Also, I use a point-and-shoot camera and just use the MACRO setting. It’s the little tulip option. If you choose that and then use the special focus boxes to select where you want your main focus to be you could make it work beautifully. Just check out my blog photos to see how even a point and shoot can work!!! http://gourmified.blogspot.com. I also like to edit my photos using picasa. I will either crop, lighten, use soft focus, etc. to get the look I want in the picture. Good luck! You can totally rock the world of food photography and you don’t need to be 100% high-tech expensive!

  5. I have a nice camera but I often laugh when I think of what is nice.
    Years ago I was at a scrapbook retreat puting together a scrapbook of a recent river trip my hubby had taken the kids on. The photos were beautiful, actually breathtaking.
    I had severl ladies comment on the photos, were they professionally taken, what kind of camera did we have etc. I don’t think they believed me when I said they were taken with a disposable camera! My hubby has a steady hand, is very patient, will wait for the right moment and he understands light.
    Just something to thing about!
    I thank Bridget, I read her tutorial on photography several times and made hubby read it too. Her info helped me out so much.
    World Market just came to Utah–what a great place to find inexpensive props such as napkins, placemats, dishes etc.

  6. I too agree with everything above–can’t overstate the importance of lighting! As far as point and shoot cameras go, I think that the most important things to do are to turn the flash off and the macro setting on. That’s what worked best for me when I was using a point and shoot.

  7. Photography is the thing I still struggle with most. I was fortunate that Tracey shared her tips with me a couple of years ago and when I apply them, the results are amazing. But sometimes I’m lazy and that doesn’t make good photos. Because our house doesn’t have many good exposures, I invested in a Lowell Ego light and it’s made a huge difference especially combined with poster boards. My preference is natural light but it’s hard to come by in my house (and I learned the hard way that natural light doesn’t mean direct sunlight). Blur is my last obstacle so I finally bought a tripod which I hope to set up and play with this weekend.

    Cindy, World Market is my number one destination for props. Love that place!

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