Smartphone food photography tips everyone should know


Smartphone food photography is on the rise as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. It is not too late to learn this skill. Here are some tips on taking excellent food photos.

During this age of social media, smartphone food photography will always be a trend. Social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and many more are easily accessible today. Thus, posting food images is one click away.

Understanding the basics of photography might be too technical for some. But, these tips will surely help in nailing that Instagram worthy shot.

1. Turn off the flash

Food photos are best taken without flash. A smartphone’s flash is too small and will emit harsh shadows on photos. Photos with very harsh shadows end up unflattering.

Besides the shadows, photos taken with flash ends up washed out. The colors will look unbalanced.

The end goal of food photography is to satiate the appetite of its viewer. Using flash does not achieve that.

Samsung food photography

2. Use grid guides and exposure adjustment

Smartphones do not see the way a human eye does. Exposure adjustment is a vital part of taking a great photo.

The exposure can be adjusted through a slider on the camera’s UI. These sliders will turn the exposure up or down depending on the setting.

Using the grid is a surefire way of getting a properly lined photo. The default grid on the majority of smartphones is the “rule of thirds.” The rule of thirds helps in balancing the overall look of the photo.

3. Maximize natural light

Natural light makes the food look better. This kind of light is soft and can be controlled most of the time.

However, there are times when natural light is not available. The best solution is to find a large source of light. Resist the temptation of using a flash.

Textures also look better under natural light. If shooting at home, finding a great location by the window yields great results.

4. Experiment with the angles

Sometimes the best shots are taken after several tries. Smartphone photography has no time limit. There is no film to worry about either.

Maximize resources and try different angles. The unconventional angles sometimes bring out a unique perspective to a shot.

Try getting closer to the food for detail shots. Taking a photo from a birds-eye view is also a great option.

Rearranging the elements on the table is also a great way to take a photo.

5. Shoot in portrait mode

The majority of food photos are taken in auto mode. It is the quickest way to snap a photo.

However, shooting in portrait mode has a different feel to a photograph. The blurry background helps in highlighting a dish.

Taking photos with magnificent bokeh does not work all the time, though. It is better used for food that is tall or has a significant feature to it.

The portrait mode also requires lots of light. Using this mode under natural light works best.

smartphone food photography for Instagram

6. Add other items to a food

Food photography is an art itself. There is beauty in adding products that complement a certain dish. Trying to add items that make the overall aesthetic of the photo is a great option.

When dining outside, some condiments can be used as a background to a dish. Some side dishes also blend well with the main dish.

Adding the appetizer to the main dish adds more elements to a photograph. Even if the added item is out of focus, it balances the photograph knowing that there is a product that fills the space.

7. Always practice shooting

Food is probably the most abundant subject in the world. It is found everywhere. Be it outside or inside; there are subjects that can be shot.

Practicing food photography can be done in the comforts of one’s home. Even a simple fruit or a shake can be used as a subject for practice.

Food photographers did not do well on their first try. Some of them took years to perfect their craft.

Smartphone food photography is a nice way to past time during this pandemic. It is an added skill that may become in the future. Use these tips as a guide, but do experiment with other methods as well.

Images used courtesy of Daria Shevtsova, ready made, Lisa Fotios/Pexels

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