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Improve your food photography composition skills  category blogposts

Learn the fundamentals of food photography

Are you a beginner in food photography with hopes of collaborating with food brands in the future? If you wish to make a leap from hobbyist to professional, it's crucial to understand what are the right steps in making this transformation effective, faster and more enjoyable too. And, often it's helpful to know what mistakes you can avoid 🙂 In this blogpost, I will dive into 3 common mistakes that many beginners make (myself included) and provide practical tips on how to correct them. It will help you speed up your journey to becoming a professional and working with your dream brands. 

Mistake #1: Not Including Products in Your Images

We all start by capturing photos of meals, desserts, ingredients, and recipes, hoping to attract brands. Sometimes it works, but not always.  This is a common error of most beginner food photographers. I made this mistake too when starting.

When you work with brands, you often photograph products, which requires a different skill set. If you don't practice this from the start:

  • you won't develop product photography skills,
  • your portfolio may not attract your ideal clients.

To become a professional food photographer quicker, start by photographing products. It helps you prepare for paid projects and builds a portfolio that reassures brands that you're the right choice for them.

Practical tip: When you're setting up your scene and after your final photo of a recipe is done; include a product within your scene. Start by placing the product in the center, which will naturally draw the viewer's eyes to it. Once you've placed the product, re-evaluate your composition and make necessary adjustments to ensure balance and harmony in your image.

Ready to learn more about product photography? 

Grab the free ticket and watch my presentation about Creating the perfect portfolio product images.

PS: The link provided is an affiliate link. If you purchase the VIP pass through this link, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you

Lucia Marecak Photography

Mistake n.2: not giving enough attention to the product

Another mistake we all do at the beginning is that our product doesn't have enough attention within the frame. Sometimes it's too much on the side; sometimes it's cropped out of the scene. Often, it's also blurred and we don't see the brand or the label is not readable. 

When you create product images for your clients, the product is the main focus. It's the star of the scene and should be clearly visible. This is true for most brand work, but there may be exceptions based on client requests.

Everything in the photo should draw attention to the product. Avoid making the scene too large or busy, as this can cause the product to be overlooked. Often, less is more. 

As a food product photographer, I usually keep the scene minimal and only include essential supporting elements. Each of these elements is carefully chosen to help tell the product's story.

Adding flowers in food photography.jpg

Mistake n.3: you don't photograph the right products (related to the brands you want to work with)

If you dream of working with chocolate brands, but your portfolio only contains cocktail or dessert images or fresh produce shots, and you don't have any image of chocolate or chocolate product; this might be the reason, why you're not hearing back from brands.

It's important to feature the products of your dream brands in your images. This significantly improves your chances of working with them. For example, if you want to work with chocolate brands, start taking more pictures of various chocolate products. You don't need to photograph every product, but aim for having a variety of different chocolate subjects and moods.

Extra tip: Look at the images your dream clients use. If they prefer commercial images with minimal styling and bold colors, rustic lifestyle photos might not attract them. Research the types of images they use to understand what to include in your portfolio images. This strategy can help you grow your business and start working with brands faster.

Using plants in food & product photography

Are you ready to learn more about product photography?

If you are passionate about food photography, you don't want to miss the Summit starting on May 7th, 2024. You can grab a free ticket and learn from me and other experts in the industry.

I'll be talking about Creating the portfolio product images, sharing lots of insights and tips. Click here and get a gree ticket for the Summit.  PS: The link provided is an affiliate link. If you purchase the VIP pass through this link, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you

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