Chances are when you log on to Pinterest or Instagram the first photos that come up are gorgeous, mouthwatering images of food. Amateur food photos are everywhere these days and many of them are very good—it’s hard to tell which ones are taken by professionals and which ones aren’t. Want to step up your food photography game, but don’t want to spend big bucks on a DSLR camera? Follow these five simple tips to capture amazing food photos with your iPhone.
Turn off the automatic flash and use natural light whenever possible. The flash on your phone produces a harsh light that’s rarely flattering. Move the food next to a bright window; if that’s not an option you can brighten the photos with filters and photo editing apps (we’ll discuss later!). Another benefit of no flash—you’re less likely to annoy other diners if you’re in a restaurant.
image via Dessert for Two
Shoot Fresh Food
A juicy steak will dry out, fresh herbs brown and wilt, and cheese becomes greasy—food loses its visual appeal quickly! Don’t let it sit around too long before taking photos.
image via Easy as Apple Pie
Focus and Framing
One challenge of taking pictures with your iPhone is the lack of control over the camera. With a DSLR camera you can create beautifully blurred backgrounds by changing the aperture but you don’t have that control or flexibility with your phone.
You can adjust the focus to a certain degree by tapping on the screen—this tells the camera where to focus. Or avoid the depth of field issue all together by framing your photos from a bird’s eye view—taking photos from straight overhead creates a dramatic, compelling image. (See also tip #5: Using apps can help you to create a romantic blur.)
image via Gimme Some Oven
Use a White Napkin
If in a restaurant, use a white napkin as a reflector to bounce light and fill in any dark areas. You can also use a white napkin to filter and soften direct sunlight that’s too harsh. If you’re shooting at home, drape a thin white bedsheet or curtain over a window for the same effect.
image via Foodess
Photo Editing Apps
Photo editing apps are a quick and easy way to improve your food photography. There are a lot of options available, many of which are free! For beautiful, natural-looking filters try Camera+ and VSCO. Another great app is Snapseed—in addition to filters it also has a tool for creating the highly desirable depth of field and background blur.
image via Popsugar