Are you looking to improve your travel food photography? Do you need to learn to take the most effective food travel photos or get photography tricks to take beautiful food photographs in restaurants? If so, you’ll love our Food Photography Guide with easy-to-follow tips and methods for beginners and advanced photographers, foodies and vacationers.
This publish might include affiliate links, which implies we earn a small commission if you buy from them (no additional prices to you!). For particulars check our disclaimer.
Why Do We Love Travel Food Photography
Anybody who knows us knows that food, travel, and photography are a big a part of our lives. We view food as an emotional experience that mixes all the senses, leaves us eager for extra and creates lovely recollections. Even at present, a selected scent or style can transport me back to my childhood in a heartbeat.
We are the kind of travelers who at all times like to incorporate in our itinerary as many food-related experiences as possible, from visiting native food markets to collaborating in cooking classes, taking a street food tour, and visiting as many restaurants as possible, after all.
We consider that you could be taught so much a couple of nation from its cuisine and food-related traditions. Therefore, we love exploring cultures by way of native food. The food displays the historical past and the tradition of every place you visit. Not to mention the truth that individuals are all the time so keen about their food, so it’s straightforward to hear to great stories and bond with locals over an area dish or whereas exploring a neighborhood market.
However, travel food photography can be difficult. It took us some time to improve our food travel photographs, and over the years, we now have realized (and are still learning) many tips that make a distinction. If you are anything like us, and you’re always taking food photographs whereas touring, you’ll get pleasure from these easy (and not so easy) food photography ideas, tricks and ideas to enhance your travel food photos.
> Showcase the place you’re visiting. It’s not simply about the food… Think in regards to the colors and the atmosphere. We use collages to seize the essence of our vacation spot.
Highlight a destination by way of stunning atmospheric collagesHere we used the wall to bring texture and curiosity to the photo
Food Photography Vs. Travel Food Photography
So, what is travel food photography, and why is it completely different from conventional food photography? To put it merely, as a travel food photographer, you have less management of your setting, and you have a lot less time to photograph your food. These are a few of the difficulties of taking great food photos whereas touring:
* Light – Professional food photographers can management their gentle source and their set whereas in travel food photography, you have to adapt your self to the setting.
* Speed – When you try to take superior food pictures while touring, you should be fast about it. You can’t spend 45 minutes photographing just one dish.
* No fancy gear – As a traveler, you can’t carry with you synthetic lighting, macro lenses and photogenic backdrops. Without all of those, food photography in restaurants could be difficult.
* Improvising & creativity – As travel food photographers, we want to improvise on a daily basis. Adapt to the setting, the sunshine, the dishes we photograph, and (sometimes) less-than-sympathetic diners.
As everyone knows, food photography may be very fashionable, however you have to study some suggestions and tricks to make your food photos instagrammable. Not each dish looks photogenic; however, learning to work with light and angles can take your restaurant food photography to the next degree. The consequence will be picture-perfect photos and a photogenic Instagram feed or blog.
Top Food Photography Tips
to Improve Your Travel Food Photography Skills
A 3-item flatlay – use closed apertureChange angles and DOFUse palms in a clever way
General Food Photography Tips for Beginners
If you don’t know why you can’t get a good food photo when you travel, or all of your restaurant food pictures don’t look quite proper, check out our food photography ideas for beginners.
Food Photography Tip #1 Shoot Before You Eat
It seems obvious enough, however I can’t let you know how many times we wished to photograph a dish, and as quickly as it obtained to our table, we forgot all concerning the photography half and simply dived right in. Some of our earlier travel posts have virtually no food pictures in them exactly for this reason.
Food Photography Tip #2 Know Your Camera
No matter if you’re a beginner or a complicated photographer or in case you are taking pictures with a professional camera or together with your cellphone, you should know the most effective settings on your food photographs. Many mobiles have distinctive settings to shoot food, or you can use their manual mode to get essentially the most out of the dish or scene you may be shooting. If you could have a professional camera, you actually do have to be taught some primary settings even in case you are not a professional photographer to make the most out of your digital camera. Otherwise, why trouble buying such an expensive digital camera when you don’t know how to use it? Regarding the particular settings to shoot food, proceed studying this food photography guide.
Food Photography Tip #3 Be Quick
Once you realize your digicam inside and outside, you can shoot food shortly, which is particularly essential when taking food pictures whereas touring. First, you wish to capture the dish and nonetheless get pleasure from it while it’s heat. With chilly dishes, you’ll have the ability to take your time a bit extra, however you don’t want to disrupt the diners round you. It can be annoying when somebody snaps endless pictures in a crowded restaurant, and in rush hours, you may get in the way of the waiters.
> Important Travel Food Photography Tip – Always carry with you an extra battery and one other reminiscence card and make sure the batteries are fully charged and your lens is clean.
Flatlay on a photogenic chair Highlight the individuals as wellMake use of an intesting backgroundMake sure the arms are photogenic
Food Photography Tip #4 Use Natural Light
As a photographer, mild is crucial factor you have to think about. Once you be taught every little thing there could be to know about light and proper exposures, you’ll notice a tremendous improvement in your photography. For now, all you should know is that pure mild is nice for food photography and at all times better for food photos on the go whereas touring.
Try and photograph your food in pure mild however not in direct daylight. Direct daylight is not the most flattering gentle since it creates shadows. You want a subtle natural light, which implies a cloudy day is ideal for photographing dishes outdoors. On sunny days, try to discover a shaded spot that has sufficient mild and a photogenic background.
> Important Travel Food Photography Tip – Always think about the sunshine conditions in relations to your primary subject and the background. They must have similar light conditions to be uncovered appropriately. For instance, if you wish to take a photo of an ice cream cone with the Eiffel tower, if the background is sunny, you need to place your ice cream cone in a bright spot as well, so both of them might be exposed appropriately.
Food Photography Tip #5 Choose Your Location Wisely
Because your light source is so necessary, when sitting in a restaurant, make certain to ask for a desk close to the window or a table outside however not in direct sunlight.
Low gentle photography – we used the candle lightHighlight your subject with a dark background and shallow DOF An open aperture means solely a small half is in focus
Food Photography Tip #6 Learn How to Shoot Food Low Light
If you don’t have any selection, you possibly can take a great picture in low mild. First, photograph the dish together with your cellphone. Many occasions, mobile phones do a better job in low light. Second, strive utilizing any mild sources within the restaurant. Place the dish close to a candle or some other synthetic light supply. Third, the vital thing to low-light photography is to keep the digicam as steady as attainable. Therefore, in low mild, you presumably can always use a tripod. Tripods usually are not essentially the most convenient thing to use (even the small and lightweight Gorillapod) however they may help you’re taking a greater picture in low gentle conditions.
If you don’t have a tripod with you, relying on the light situations, you can try keeping your palms regular by putting your elbows on a table/steady surface. If every thing else fails, you presumably can try utilizing a flash, but the camera’s flash often doesn’t cut it. You can use an off-camera flash with a diffuser or bounce the light from the ceiling/wall. We will talk more in regards to the technical stuff in our advanced food photos tips.
Food Photography Tip #7 What’s Going on Behind your Subject
Since the dish or food you photograph is the hero of your shot, make certain the background doesn’t ruin your picture. Many instances, after taking the first shot, we choose to photograph a dish from a special angle to get a more photogenic background.
Food Photography Tip #8 Shoot RAW
Shooting RAW provides you with more choices when you edit your food travel photographs. You might salvage some of your under-exposed/over-exposed pictures. However, bear in mind the RAW file dimension is much bigger than taking pictures the JPEG file dimension. If you have an excellent digital camera, you in all probability have the option to shoot in RAW files. Many mobiles also give you such an option, and so are some photography modifying apps like the mobile version of Lightroom (DNG is RAW).
Change the angles and compositionUse a friend as backgroundThe pink chair was too distracting so we modified angles
Food Photography Tip #9 White Balance (WB)
Have you ever wondered why some of your food travel photographs have a yellow/red/green/blue colour cast? It’s because you (or your camera) selected the incorrect WB whereas taking the picture. White stability is a digital photography means which adjusts colors in order that the picture captured appears extra natural, and the white elements in it would look white (vs. grey, blue and so forth.). WB is affected by the light sources round us. You can select to make use of the automatic WB setting in your digicam, but generally the digicam gets it mistaken. Learn how to choose on the suitable WB based on the lighting conditions or learn how to set a custom WB in your digicam.
> Important Travel Food Photography Tip – Some mobiles let you select the precise WB you want by way of the PRO option. If not, by way of the cell version of Lightroom, you presumably can set a custom WB.
Food Photo Tip #10 The Holy Trinity – Shutter Speed, ISO and Aperture
We can’t have a food photography information with out attempting to elucidate about Shutter Speed, ISO and Aperture. This is just a quick information that will assist you understand the importance of every component. The combo of these three parts is answerable for your publicity.
ISO – You can use ISO to assist your digicam take food pictures in low light. However, with higher ISO, your food pictures could have some grain or “noise” in them, particularly when you look at them on your PC. Try to use the bottom ISO you can (usually one hundred or 200). You can bump it up in lower gentle situations but do a couple of check pictures to find out how your digital camera is handling greater ISO. Once you have a number in mind, try not to use any higher ISO quantity than your digicam can deal with.
Aperture – Aperture refers back to the opening in the lens through which gentle enters the camera. The numbers of the aperture are known as “f-stops”. These numbers indicate how open or closed your aperture is. The smaller numbers (such as f2.8) point out an open aperture – meaning a bigger opening via which more light enters the digital camera. The larger numbers (such as f13) point out a closed aperture, which means much less gentle enters the camera.
Sutter Speed – Shutter speed refers back to the time the digital camera shutter stays open, permitting mild to come back in. A worth of 1/15 (1/15th of a second) means extra light enters the digital camera than in 1/500.
Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO, are an important settings to find out about if you want to control your exposure. Each of them also can assist you to manage other issues like freezing parts or selecting a shallow or deep depth of area, so it’s worth to learn extra about them. Keep reading our food photo tips to study extra about depth of field.
Food Photo Tip #11 Learn How to Edit Your Food Travel Photos
Editing is a vital stage, so don’t skip it. You can even use Instagram or your cellphone editing tools and filters to improve your food pictures, and there are heaps of more free editing apps you must use. Photoshop and Lightroom are the most effective selections, after all, if you know what you’re doing, and also you need to have whole management over the enhancing process, however a simple enhancing app can do the trick too.
Food Photography Tips for Beginners and Advanced Photographers
Low gentle photography – Elbows as a tripod and putting the food near the lightTake picturtes of the food preparation Highlight the dish – Use natural light with a darkish background
Travel Food Photography Tips:
Composition, Food Styling & Artistic Choices
We’ve already talked about understanding mild is the key to enhance your photography skills. Another key factor is nailing your composition. Composition is a major subject in photography, and there are many components that can affect your artistic decisions and composition. We’ve listed some ideas referring to composition, food styling, and inventive decisions that can assist you improve your food travel pictures.
Food Photo Tip #12 Learn Some Basic Composition Rules
Composition is everything. Learn concerning the Rule of Thirds or Leading Lines to know the way to compose a more aesthetically appealing picture. Nevertheless, typically it’s enjoyable to interrupt the foundations. There are many stunning food photographs that don’t comply with the foundations.
> Important Travel Food Photography Tip – Apply the grid possibility in your digital camera (DSLR or mobile phones). It will help you compose the shot according to the Rule of Thirds.
We love to go to native marketsLook for graffiti or attention-grabbing backgroundsTry to be at eye-level along with your topic
Food Photo Tip #13 Learn How to Nail the Flatlay
The flatlay is among the most popular tendencies in food photography. Basically, it means shooting the food from above from a birds-eye perspective. Easier mentioned than carried out. First, usually, you’ll have to climb on a chair to get a better vantage level. Even then, it’s extra comfortable with a mobile phone than with a professional digicam except you’ve particular equipment like a tripod with a horizontal arm attachment. Depending on the sunshine supply, you should watch out for shadows (even your own shadow within the pictures) with a lightweight source from above. A few key notes to remember with flatlay photography:
* Food styling is especially necessary when you’re doing a flatlay. It’s greatest to begin with one dish and add some parts around it. Be careful not to put too many objects in your frame. We normally start with one item, then add two extra elements and typically go for five components.
* Use props like a colorful napkin, sunglasses, or forks.
* However, do not overlook that simple is simpler – the flatlay works each with a clear composition (with a single dish) and with a big unfold. It shall be a lot easier and typically prettier to take a minimalistic strategy without any food props. Negative house could be a beautiful thing in photography.
* Use a wide lens and quick focal length.
* Make certain the focus is on level. If all the elements are at the similar degree or top (no difference of heights between them), you can use a relatively open aperture. If there’s a difference in peak, you want to close the aperture (for example f8) to ensure every little thing is in focus. Also, you have to be especially regular, which means using a tripod in low mild. If you’re utilizing a hand-held camera, ensure the shutter is no less than 60 (and better yet ). You can bump up the ISO if you have to. Try to be as regular as attainable while taking the shot.
Food Photo Tip #14 Change Your Angles
Usually, when you start photographing food, you get “stuck” in a particular composition or styling, and all of your food photographs look the same. Try and alter the angles and your inventive selections. Take pictures from above but in addition from the aspect. Photograph your dish directly from eye stage, that means being eye-level with the food, but then take pictures from a 45-degree angle and anywhere in between.
Look for fascinating shapesTry cutting-off your subjectsFlat food is ideal for a flatlay layoutAll of those are mobile-photos
Food Photo Tip #15 Experiment with Depth of Field (DOF)
In simple terms, ‘depth of field’ refers to how blurry the background behind the subject of your picture is. Use both shallow and deep DOF in your travel food photography as a end result of they serve a different purpose. With a shallow DOF you spotlight the dish or one facet of the dish (like a bite). With a deep DOF you can also present the background, environment, design and area of the restaurant.
DOF is an element of your aperture, the focal size of the lens, and the space between your subject and the background. Generally speaking, you probably can achieve shallow DOF (when only the topic or a part of the subject is in focus, and everything else is blurry) by:
* Opening your aperture – The smaller the quantity is, the bigger the aperture and vice versa (for instance, 2.eight is extra open than 13). However, watch out with an open aperture and make sure the important elements of your topic are in focus as a outcome of sometimes with an open aperture, solely a small a half of the dish is in focus. Meaning if you’d like your dish to fill the frame, most times, an open aperture will result in many blurry sections.
* Using an extended focal size – The focal length of the lens is the space between the lens and the digicam sensor when the main topic is in focus. On a zoom lens, the numbers on the zoom ring point out your focal length. In a fixed/prime lens, there’s a onerous and fast focal length which seems on the lens barrel. So you have to select a higher quantity, similar to 70 mm as a substitute of 24 mm to realize a extra shallow DOF.
* Making certain there’s a “field” behind your subject –If you place a dish near a wall, it is going to be more durable or even unimaginable to achieve a shallow DOF. You have to have house behind your topic and the backdrop.
> Important Travel Food Photography Tip –You can even management the DOF together with your telephone setting. Most mobiles have a particular setting for food photography that helps in blurring the background. Choose FOOD or LIVE FOCUS in Samsung (with LIVE FOCUS, you’ll be able to regulate the blurriness as much as you need earlier than and AFTER you’ve taken the shot) or PORTRAIT for iPhone users. Learn extra about DOF right here.
A not-so-photogenic backgroundSo we tried a flatlayAnd changed the angle and chose “Live Focus” for a blurry background
Food Photo Tip #16 Shoot Both Horizontal and Vertical Images
Many food photographers favor vertical images. However, we like to experiment with both horizontal and vertical pictures. Sometimes a horizontal image suits higher with our blog (not to say for a featured image).
Food Photo Tip #17 Think Outside of the Frame
Compose your photo to put part of your primary subject outside of the body. Sometimes it makes for a more interesting and artistic food photo. In addition, if you’re utilizing other components or food props, you can also place them partially exterior of the body.
Food Photo Tip #18 Pay Attention to the Background
We’ve mentioned it before. You want to concentrate to the background. Showing the background can be an effective way to transfer the atmosphere or surroundings, so embody it in your travel food photography whether it is photogenic. However, even should you don’t imply to level out the background, if you don’t pay consideration to it, you presumably can wreck your shot by mistake. If you face a not-so-Instagram-friendly background, change the angle of your digital camera, or perhaps select a shallow DOF and open your aperture. You can also ask your good friend to hold the dish, and their higher physique will serve as the background. Creativity is the important thing to superior food travel photographs.
Food Photo Tip #19 Use Hands in Shots Carefully
An creative selection to incorporate palms in your food photography can deliver a picture to life and make it more dynamic. However, you have to make certain these arms are photo-ready. Make certain the nails are clean and that the hands are positioned in a photogenic means. Examine your photo and take another shot while giving directions to the “hand model”.
Food Photo Tip #20 Think About Textures and Colors
Textures and colours are both essential parts of food photography. Since we’re talking about travel food photography, there’s lots that is out of your hands, however you probably can spotlight the feel of your food or attempt to incorporate another component to deliver some texture into a food photo. In phrases of colours, most occasions, it’s higher to stick to a couple of colours and attempt to eliminate too many colors by taking the harmful factor out of the frame. You can even search for a prop that may add some shade to a one-dimensional food photo.
Use the background to point out the vibeHighlight the setting in a clever wayGeometrical shapes create fascinating photosWe highlight the hero with shallow DOF but in addition present the gorgeous background – olive oil tasting in Istria, CroatiaThe texture of the nutmeg with central composition (break the principles of thirds sometimes)
Travel Food Photography Tip #21 Research for Inspiration
Look for inspiration on Instagram, Pinterest, or anywhere else. Many times, before we shoot traditional food, we flick thru the online and decide a couple of photographs we like. Looking for inspiration elsewhere can open up your thoughts and make you think of a composition you wouldn’t have tried in any other case. The best way to do it’s to search for food bloggers you want and start following their accounts.
Travel Food Photography Tip #22 Have Fun
Don’t neglect to have fun! Travelling is all about enjoying the moment, so don’t forget to place down your digicam and dig into that aromatic dish earlier than it will get chilly. Especially in low-light conditions, snap a couple of photos with your cellphone if you must and eat up your food!
How to Take Your Travel Food Photography to the Next Level
Travel Food Photography Tip #23 Do Your Homework
For us, travel photography is all about showcasing the native tradition through our photos. When we’re speaking about travel food photography, we study beforehand about local food traditions and the most effective native dishes we ought to always embody in our bucket list. We at all times search on-line for inspirational blogs that target tradition and food traditions.
Travel Food Photography Tip #24 Go Beyond the Restaurants
Travel food photography is not just about beautifully curated restaurant photographs. Go to the local food market, take a cooking class, take footage of conventional foods, and take some footage of food preparation if you can. Do your homework (see tip #23) and search for such locations. You can even ask your resort, driver, information, or only a local you meet during your travels for such suggestions.
Photography Tip #25 Think about Color-Coordinated Collages
Think about the platform on which you’ll publish your food travel photos. We like to create color-coordinated collages for our blog and our Instagram feed. We try to mix photos with a similar colour palette to show totally different features of the locations we explore. For us, it’s not simply concerning the food, but in addition in regards to the people, surroundings, structure, panorama and more.
When you take photographs of a restaurant, for instance, search for photogenic corners that suit your color palette, that can look good in a collage. If you try and maintain it behind your mind, you’ll begin noticing similar colors and take pictures based on your desired colour palette. Use these kinds of collages to capture the ambiance of a restaurant or a vacation spot. A beautiful color-coordinated collage can seize the eye of anybody who’s viewing your work.
Highlight conventional foodColor-coordinated collages Think about symmetry
Travel Food Photography – Recommended Equipment & Props
The tips and tips we’ve mentioned do not essentially require any props or special gear, however typically you may need to carry with you a few of these:
Tripod – For low mild situations, flatlays (with a horizontal arm or a middle column that may be flipped upside down). Another possibility is to get a GorillaPod, which is definitely limiting in comparison with a good tripod, but it’s very straightforward to carry around, and it could get you an honest shot (though you’re be limited along with your composition).
Reflector – Reflectors are easy to carry, and they may help you with bouncing window gentle to fill in shadows and convey extra gentle into your shot. There are completely different sizes to choose from. We have a small-size reflector we only use to fill within the shadows.
Clean socks – Yes, clear socks. If you need to climb on a chair to take a flatlay from above, not everybody is going to be pleased about it. However, utilizing clean socks may make a restaurant proprietor extra willing to allow you to take the shot from above so carry with you a pair clean socks.
Extra batteries – Always deliver additional batteries with you.
Memory cards – Always carry with you a minimum of one extra reminiscence card.
A Comfortable Bag – Try carrying a digital camera and a lens with you all day lengthy. Not to mention one other lens and possibly even a tripod. A comfy bag is the best factor you can put cash into. We recommend buying a backpack that isn’t too huge.
We hope you’ve discovered our Food Photography Guide for Travelers useful. Let us know when you have any questions in the comments below. We are all the time on the lookout for good food photo suggestions so when you have any particular tips, tips or further food photography ideas we haven’t talked about in our photography information, drop us a comment!
Don’t forget to pin our information for later!
Check out some of our food guides!
Top Places to Eat in Brooklyn, NY
Check our foodie information to the trendiest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York. From prime breakfast locations to the most effective pizza and upscale eating places
Where to Eat in Lisbon & Porto
Top places to eat in Portugal’s Lisbon and Porto. Traditional food, cool cafes and trendiest restaurants in our favorite Portuguese cities.
Foodies Guide to Istria, Croatia
The Istrian peninsula is Croatia’s hidden gem and the proper place for foodies! Check out the top issues to eat in Istria and the place to find them!