First of all, you’re welcome for writing this post. This is probably my most useful post to date. You already know that when it comes to food photos, Pierre don’t play no games. If you’ve checked out my @PIERREBLAKE Instagram recently you’ve noticed that my food photos have started to top out at over 2,000 likes a piece and that doesn’t come from crummy photos. That was an unintentional food joke. Anyways, if you want to learn from the master and start taking the best photos follow uncle Pierre’s advice below.
The first thing Pierre does when he sets up a food photo is to consider the composition. If you have no knowledge of photography then let me introduce you to a concept called the rule of thirds. Basically, you’ll take the frame of your photo and divide it into a nine box grid which will create four points where the lines intersect. You want to make sure that your subject is located on one of those points to make the image the most as statically pleasing as possible. Even if you screw everything else up, if you arrange your photo correctly by using the rule of thirds your photo will go from trash to class.
Once you get the composition set up you have to consider angle that will make them drool. For me I like to get as low as possible so that my camera is sitting at about the same level as the food or just a little higher. If you’re too high up aiming down then the food looks less appealing and you can’t see it clearly.
Once you have the composition and angle set up make sure you get close enough to the food so people can see the texture. When you’re too far away things become less dominant in the photo. When you’re up nice and close you can really connect with the main focus of the photo better. I try to get as close as possible without cutting out any important part of the photo.
If you use a flash on your camera phone then you’re blowing it big time! Camera phone flashes make everything look flat and ugly. If it’s a lowly lit place then just make sure you focus on keeping your hands as steady as possible and you can do without the flash. If possible try to focus on the subject being brighter than the background but this is not always the case. You can always correct this later in editing.
Even if you screw a few of the first four steps up you’ll be surprised how much you can fix afterwards in editing. I’ll take you through my process so you can understand how the master works. First and foremost, I crank the brightness up as far as possible so the photo pops but not too much to make it blown out (that’s photographer talk for too bright.) Once it’s nice and shiny drop the highlights down so it reduces some of the blown out areas. After that crank up the sharpness so you can see every little texture of the food so it will make your views want to lick it. If you want that photo to pop then you better turn up that saturation too. If you didn’t get the lighting quite right you can now put on a vignette which will darken the edges and bring the subject more into the forefront. Another touch that will give you more of a professional look is using the tilt shift function in Instagram. This way you can make parts of the photo in focus and the other parts out of focus and this will give you a great depth of field.
There you have it. Golden advice. Once again, you’re welcome. All of you now can start taking photos just as good as you see on PierreAteIt or at least you can try. Get out there and start shooting some epic food photos that make people drool!