Feels like every food magazine you flip through has an unbeatable spread of food shots, right? Sometimes, it’s less about the photo’s composition, lighting, and post-editing and more about the plating itself.
Don’t hide any ingredient:
Every ingredient in your dish is a vital element. No ingredient should stay hidden underneath. Even if it’s a garnish or just a drizzle of caramel sauce, let the guest see the element. This creates more visual interest. If you used spaghetti sauce, let the glossy red hue of that sauce shine on the plate. If you garnished with parsley, place a tiny bunch of it on the side.
Play to create complexities:
Always make sure you showing variety. For example, if you caramelized your onions, let the caramelized side sit on top. There should be opposing forces. If the carrots are sliced round, your other vegetables could be julienned or wedged. If you’ve placed a dollop of creamy mashed potatoes on the center, there should be something crunchy on top. Show off the texture of each ingredient.
Plate food in odd numbers:
Odd numbers force our eyes to move around the arrangement. They’re more effective at capturing our gaze. If you’ve stacking cookies on top of each other or placing dollops of sauce, do so in odd numbers.
Pick a good plate:
The plate itself is a canvas and how you place your food seems to matter more. However, if your food looks great in front of your eyes but looks dull in front of the camera, you can blame the plate. In most scenarios, matte plates and cutlery work better than the glossy stuff. Plus, as opposed to colored plates, white plates make the colors of food pop more.
Use contrasting colors:
Food, as vibrant as it may seem in front of your eyes, does not deliver the same vibrancy on camera. To make your pictures come to life, use color. A handful of berries transforms brownish foods like a chocolate cake into Instagram-worthy photos.
It doesn’t matter if you can make delicious food. If you can’t showcase it on social media in today’s internet-crazed world, it’s just no good.
Everyone has their own personal aesthetic. So, it’s best to use your own judgment to work with food and prop styling.