Oftentimes, it’s only a small trick and a discreet detail that can make a significant difference to a photo. Food photographer Joanie Simon of The Bite Shot has two lighting tricks that will add a new dimension to your food images. They are simple to pull off, yet they’re effective and can really make a difference. Check them out in the video below.
1. Food reflections
You may remember Joanie’s video that’s all about avoiding direct reflections in food photography. Well, while you don’t want the silverware to shine and take over the entire image, sometimes direct reflections are actually desirable. In some situations, they can make certain foods “pop” and look more appetizing in the photo.
In Joanie’s video, you can see how what it looks like with olives. Without changing the lighting, you can change the food so it creates direct instead of diffused reflections. Joanie added some olive oil to the olives to make them glossy, which adds a new dimension to them. Of course, don’t go overboard with this; you don’t want food in the photos to look greasy or artificial.
Falloff is basically where the light is transitioning from light to dark on a particular surface. With food photography, it’s good to apply it to a background. It darkens the background a little bit, creating a sense of depth and adding atmosphere to the shot.
How do you create a falloff? Well, first of all, make sure that the surface with food on it is moved away from the backdrop. From there on, make sure that the light isn’t hitting the backdrop directly. If you use artificial lighting, position the light closer to the food and further away from the backdrop. If you use natural lighting, use a black curtain to block some light from falling onto the backdrop.
Do you use these techniques for your food shots?