Five-second Tips for the Yummiest Food Photos

Catch the right light with these quick tricks for those Instagram-worthy captures.

People usually remember only 10% of any information they consume. Add a relevant image and the percentage goes up to 65%. As early as 2018, almost 84% of all communication was visual. And for good reason too, because your content was likely to get 94% more views with pictures than without. Of course, the same applies to food marketing. If you still don’t believe it, perhaps this fact will help change your mind — restaurants that switched to photo-based online menus increased their conversion rates by 25%.

Food photography has evolved over the years. The permeation of photography in the food service industry came with the growing trend of dining out and ordering in. With social media’s ability to unify and, in turn, shrink the world, what started as photographing for product selection seeped into food service and presentation, finally leading into our dining rooms.

We don’t have data as yet to back this, but can say with great certainty that at least three of five of us photograph things we eat, even if it is simply to share with our friends and family. Now, we can’t all be professional food photographers, but we can take scrumptious photographs and here are two really quick light tricks to make that dish in front of you look a whole lot yummier.

Specular Highlights
How fancy does that sound! We already feel like food photography aficionados. But if we remove the jargon, applying it simply involves moving the plate of food around the table to find a spot where the light is bouncing off parts of the food to create a direct reflection or specular highlights.

The image below, for example, has the light hitting the right side of the burger, creating a direct reflection on the patty and giving it a succulent, juicy texture.

Another example of the excellent use of specular highlights is the image above, where the direct reflection on the egg makes it look like it’s ready to be cut at any moment to release the runny golden yolk and add just the needed freshness to that stringy cheese.

Fall Off
Fall Off is simply the light tapering off the highlight on the food, from light to dark. This is especially great to apply to the background. Of course, we aren’t looking at tedious techniques here, so here are some quick ways to try apply Fall Off.

First, bring your food close to the light source, whatever that may be. This will instantly lighten your object and darken the background, making the food pop. This should do the trick as it is, but to add just a little more space to transition, you can lengthen the space between your food in the light and the background.

As in the photograph below. Where the sandwich is in the light and the space between it and the background is vast.

Who doesn’t love tricks and hacks, and these two should definitely take your food photography up a notch. But if you really want to up your food photography game and are looking to ace the skill, join us at Habbit for our intensive five-week course on food photography with the super talented Indu Vishwanath Singh. Download the Habbit App and enrol today. We have many more diverse skills for you to explore!

Habbit is an online experiential education platform where individuals can learn, interact, create, collaborate and get mentored by experts.