Hi friends! I am back with a super fun post about food photography. Over the past year or so, I have made it a goal to get better at food photography and photography in general. I have learned how to set up my shots, how to edit and what looks good vs. what doesn’t. Keep in mind I am not a professional, but I have been constantly observing and trying to learn what works for me and my website/brand. I have grown my Instagram following by posting these photos, and have had so much fun doing it!
Now I am starting with iPhone photography, because that’s what I have been using the last year. I have used an iPhone 7 Plus and have recently upgraded to the XS Max. I also use my Sony a6000 camera for bigger projects and blog posts, mainly for the ease of shooting in raw and editing in Lightroom. We will get to the ins and outs of “big” cameras down the line as I learn more about them. (because I am a hardcore newbie and hobbyist!) For now – read on for my tips and tricks to get better at iPhone food photography. iPhone cameras are AMAZING and I will totally vouch for them.
LEARN THE BASICS
There’s really only a couple basics you need to know when it comes to food photography, and these overlap with regular photography rules as well. If you Google any “Photography Tips for Beginners”, this is what’s likely to show up.
NATURAL LIGHT! This is probably the biggest one. The more natural light, the better your photo is going to turn out. Artificial light can lend to yellow tones, and dark places can blur and ruin your photo. If possible, get close to a window or move your food closest to the light. This is why I love eating on patios. You get the best light to get the crispiest shot. And don’t worry about your friends making fun of you – do it for the gram!
Use the “Rule of Thirds”: Go to your iPhone Settings, find “Camera” Settings, and make sure your grid is turned on. This will give you a grid of lines to look at laid on top of your photo. What you want to accomplish here is that you want interesting things at the points of these grids. So when you take your shot, the picture is more pleasing to the eye. This is so helpful when you are in the moment trying to capture the perfect picture.
Make sure any “extras” are out of the way. You have no idea how many napkins I have moved around, or drinks I have arranged before taking an overhead shot. You don’t think about it when you are eating, but it really starts to matter when you are taking photos of your food. Make sure everything is spaced out according to the rule of three, and snap away!
You need a photo editing app. Chances are, your pictures are not going to come out all the way you want them to without using a photo editing app. I used A Color Story for a long time, because you can set filters and automatic workflows that you can save and apply to all of your photos later, so they all have the same look. I have recently ventured into Lightroom, which I am loving. There are tons of great resources out there about Lightroom (mobile and desktop version), so Google away!
USE YOUR RESOURCES
There are so many people out there way better at iPhone Food Photography than you, and most likely they are willing to share their tips and tricks. I went to a free community Instagram class that really reframed the way I was looking at the platform. Google around your city and see where the foodie community and insta community intersects. Even in OKC, there are foodie photographers that I learn from every day!
I used to joke that YouTube was my third parent. There are so many videos out there about iPhone photography with a wealth of information. One resource I really like is Lucy Martin, who has simple and short videos about photography, lightroom and more. If you don’t know how to do something, Google it! I promise it’s out there.
I fill my instagram feed with tons of inspiring food photographers. I love browsing colorful photos of food including those of Devour Power, Brian Can’t Stop Eating, Alex Delany, Joy The Baker and Maucieri Visual Co. I study their style, how they plan their feed, and what content they are posting. This is a fun way to gather inspiration and turn it into something totally your own.
This is supposed to be fun, right? I always have a blast trying to get the perfect IG-worthy shot, and I never get too stressed about it. There is always going to be time to practice, and documenting my meals helps remind me of the memories surrounding that meal. Get creative and get out of your head for a bit!
What tips have you learned from iPhone food photography? Any not listed here? Let me know in the comments!