Shooting food

Some smart advice on food photography.

The first step in making ugly food look edible is to turn to other masters for inspiration: painters. The Dutch masters made food still life about setting, balance, symmetry and light, and when it comes to ugly or boring looking food you should do the same.

Choosing an attractive table setting, beautiful props and/or using interesting angles and exquisite lighting will take the focus off of the food and onto the image as a whole. Creating a scene that has other elements for the viewer to focus on besides the fact that your herring potato salad is clumpy and gross looking is essential. In this image I chose to give the viewer something else to look at in the form of an elegant bowl and a lighting scheme that complemented its modern design. The result is a portfolio piece rather than, and may I borrow a line from Frank Bruni here, a “gastronomic apocalypse”.

Check it out.