Food photography made easy: professional tips you can easily digest

Food photography made easy: professional tips you can easily digest

In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post, we serve up food photography tips you can use to shoot stunning still life photography with minimal fuss.

Food photography made easy: professional tips you can easily digest

Meet our professional photographer

Jason Ingram trained as a photographer at Salisbury College and now specialises in taking pictures of food and gardens. Aged 44, he regularly shoots stills for the BBC’s Gardener’s World, and his commercial clients include Waitrose and the National Trust. His current book projects include one on the kitchen garden at Raymond Blanc’s double-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, and a cookbook for The Ethicurean restaurant.

Meet our apprentice

Mick is from Luton and works as an IT analyst. Aged 55, he got into photography seriously when he met his wife Karen. She has started a supper club and food blog, and needs Mick to take mouth-watering pictures of the food for her to publish online, so he wrote to us to see if we could help improve his food shots.

Technique assessment

Tips from our Professional Photographer: Trust the balance

Trust the balance
Mick was using a manual White Balance setting for his early shots. I persuaded him to trust his camera and use the Auto setting for his pictures – this would give him much better shots straight off. As we were shooting raw format, correctional tweaks could be made later.

Tips from our Professional Photographer: focus remotely

Focus remotely
Typically with food photography, one area of the shot is sharp and others have varying degrees of blur. You need to focus on the right point very precisely. You can’t trust autofocus. Using Nikon’s Camera Control Pro, I can focus the shot precisely using my laptop screen.

Tips from our Professional Photographer: beware of blow-out

Beware of blow-out
Use your histogram to make sure that you are not losing unnecessary detail in the highlights. Some of Mick’s shots were a tad overexposed, but by looking at the graph we could see this and correct things. You get a much better exposure when the histogram is not pushed up too tight to the right.

PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer & apprentice
PAGE 2: During the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear


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