When you see an image of a tasty dish in a magazine you wish you had shot your self – keep in mind that a lot of planning must have gone behind that shot. If you wish to shoot similar images you too could get started with this article,
You cannot have a good photograph without the right lighting. Do try and visit the place you are going to be shooting beforehand. Have a look at the lighting and remember that ambient light can be enough in most kitchens, since they are very neatly lit up. On the other hand if you prefer to have a little more control over the lighting you could carry one flash and even a few slaves for high lights. Also, you may have yellowish hues when you are shooting under bulb lights (ambient). If you want this then leave it just like that. Alternatively, a high shutter speed and flash would remove the yellow haze, and you could work on it on Photoshop as well. Just use the color balance option to decrease the yellow there.
If you are shooting under ambient light then you may need to use a slow shutter speed. This makes it inevitable to use a tripod. Get the sturdiest tripod you can afford to carry to the venue. And then you will probably be shooting close ups of the food. Here again the importance of a tripod becomes more than necessary.
The Food arrangement
Where you are photographing food, presentation is everything. Take the time to symmetrically arrange the food items, and the cutlery around it. Make sure you let the best thing about the food stand out. For example, if its chocolate pudding you are photographing, let the chocolate sauce flow well over the pudding to give it that special feel that makes you taste chocolate just by looking at the image. It it were a burger, you would want to make sure the ham is stuffing out of the sides of the bun.
Depth of Field
Professional food photos almost always have a shallow depth of field. In fact if you are using a professional view camera you could get everything out of focus except for a few inches in the area the food is kept in. Out of focus table cloths and chairs are classic food backgrounds. Auto model cameras will not allow you to adjust this, but you could get the effect on computer later. However it is much better to shoot so as to get that shallow depth of field – a computer cannot get quite the same effect.
Finally remember, the food doesn’t have to taste good when you are shooting – it only has to look good. Professional photographers sometimes go as far as to blow torch certain areas of a barbecued chicken to make it look better!