Food Photography 101 Tips | Explore Your Camera Angles

Just like anything else, it’s easy to get in a rut – even with the angles we choose to photograph our food with. We all have our comfortable ways in which we ‘like’ to shoot, but it’s important to remember to consider the options and maybe even breath some new life into our photography.

There are three main camera shooting angles:

STRAIGHT ON
Works well on foods that are stacked, high, or where you want to see the insides.

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3/4 ANGLE
This angle is nice for getting a sense of the depth of your shot as you will see most
parts of your food, and of your set.
This angle is also generally how we normally ‘see’ food, from our eating perspective.

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OVERHEAD
This is a great angle for showing strong graphic composition.  Don’t forget to take into consideration the different heights of your foods and choose your aperture according to your needs and feel.

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Of course, there are variations to all of these, but what they do is get you to begin thinking about different angles relevant to where you are shooting from, and the position of your food/set, and what looks or feels right.

So, why is this important? Well, for many reasons, actually. Here is one scenario that happens all too often. Imagine you came across an image online (maybe pinterest) that you loved. You follow the link, it takes you to the site where that image originated, and it happens to be a blog post. You start reading and scrolling through the post excited to see more of the image that caught your eye. You’re happy because you see there are quite a few….only, you quickly notice that they are ALL LOOK THE SAME. The same shot, the same angle – maybe just a little tighter or loose, but essentially, all 19 shots are the same.  Who needs or wants to see 19 of the same shots. No one.

Imagine, instead, that the photographer took the time to create some variety and interest by taking a few shots from various angles, simply by moving around their food/set.

Take the extra time. You’re already there. Walk around your food and LOOK at if from all angles, front and sides, high and low. Of course, not all angles work with all types of foods, but taking the time to explore the options is not only essential for a great post or story, but you just might end up with a shot that you love even more that the one you thought would work the best.

Here’s a little exercise for you. The next time you get ready to photograph a dish/ingredient/still life/etc., make a short list of angles you will shoot & check them off as you go.

  1. Straight on – directly in front and then from slightly different angles – still straight on (both vertical and horizontal).
  2. From above (both vertical and horizontal).
  3. From a 3/4 angle – from both the front and from both of the sides (both vertical and horizontal).

You’ll be amazed at how many usable variations you may end up.
It’s all about exploring your options.

*Be sure to adjust your lighting and modifiers as you change your angles, if needed.

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