Tips for Better Food Photography Angles!
What's the best angle for food photography, and how do you know you're shooting food from the best angle?
Trial and error that leads to experience - that's how you get good at determining the best food photography angles. In the meantime, read on for some helpful tips!
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
What is the reason for the picture you're taking?
The answer can help you set up the shot from one angle or other to meet your needs or that of a client.
Is there an angle which would best capture the food or represent it for your purposes?
Food photography is food styling. It's not much different than shooting models for a fashion shoot. Strategy matters. The means definitely justify the end results. Too many novice photographers don't give enough thought to the angle of their food images or even what they hope to accomplish or why they’re doing the pictures!
Don't just start shooting. Think through the scene and have a plan which includes careful thought to the best angles for the food your photographing. Don't forget to consider lighting as well! (We offer some tips at the end of lighting.)
TWO ANGLES TO CONSIDER
Try either or both of these angles, but remember first to plan out your photo session. Don't just start shooting without setting up your scene first!
Shooting straight at or level with the food or dish is an interesting angle from which to shoot any food which could benefit from a side view. It can feel like the viewer is "eye-balling" the image, and it works great for items with magnetic side layers or detailed sides relevant to the image. For example, consider a layered pudding in a glass dish or a colorful smoothie in a tall, clear glass. This angle would be ideal capturing things like these from the side.
You can include the background as a critical element of the shot or do the exact opposite, blurring it instead to allow the eye to focus on the food. To get the angle, lower the camera to ensure it's level with the scene or food item.
Once the camera is level, try slightly tilting the lens down or tilting it upwards.
Don't use too wide of an angled lens or you'll risk distorting the lines.
A level angle can be shot from zero to 45-degrees.
Don't get too close that the viewer has no idea what they're looking at - unless that's what you're going for!
This angle is also known as the top-down or the flat lay. It's the ideal way to capture certain foods on a table or counter or when the most critical part of the image can only be seen from above. It's often used for illustration recipes and is a favorite angle with both amateur and expert food photographers.
Certain foods will be best captured from this angle such as a dish of food where the flat lay best presents the food.
Try shooting straight down from above or at roughly 45-75-degrees.
Shoot with a wider angle lens on a narrow aperture.
Consider the lighting - whether natural or otherwise - when you're selecting an angle from which to shoot. The light can make or break the shot. When you coordinate the light with the angle, you find you can take something which looks "flat" or ordinary and give it depth and interest simply by leveraging light to your benefit.
Use natural light whenever possible for food photography even if it means moving the scene near a window. You’ll find that the natural glow from natural light is the best lighting imaginable for food shots.
Food photography is really no different than other photography. The more planning and thought you give to setting up the scene or photo session, and the more experience you have, the better the results.