There are many different food advertising campaigns with the same message – “eat healthily”. Each one aims to get a different audience and has different strategies for its target market. For example, a health campaign could focus on using images of celebrities or celebrities playing sport to attract parents to promote healthy eating. Others could use humour or lifestyle images to appeal to children. Still others could be aimed at persuading people to follow a particular diet or eat healthily. There are several things to consider when deciding how you will photograph food advertising campaigns, including how you can work with different brands and where the food can be displayed.
Master the Basics
The key is the light. You need a bright, even light in order to get great shots, and that means using artificial lighting. Natural light is not always available or easy to use. For the most part, you can use either a tungsten or a daylight-balanced flash.
Daylight-balanced flashes are a mixture of natural light and artificial light, which means they can mimic daylight. The colour temperature will be somewhere between 5500k and 7500k K, which is more or less daylight. Tungsten flashes are totally artificial light, meaning that the colour temperature will be around 3500k K.
The best way to get a consistent white balance (how the colours appear) is to use a flash with a ‘speedlight’ or ‘bracketing’ mode on the camera. This means that you can set a range of different exposures, and the camera will then take one picture at each of those settings. In this way, you can see how the photo looks at the different exposures and choose the setting that will give you the most accurate shot.
To ensure a steady shot, you need to use a tripod. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the weight of your camera will alter the exposure settings, so you’ll end up with a photo that isn’t quite the same as the others, which will be hard to correct. The second reason is that you need a steady surface to hold your camera still, and that is easiest to achieve on a tripod.
The next thing to think about is your camera settings. As mentioned above, you need to get a bright, even light, which means a high shutter speed. High shutter speeds mean that the camera needs to be set to a fast shutter speed, like 1/1000s or higher. Shutter speeds that slow down, like 1/60s, will cause you to get motion blur and blurring across your photo.
There are two things you can do about that. You can either use a slower lens, like a wide angle lens, or you can use a tripod. A slower lens will allow you to handhold your camera more easily and still get a sharp photo, but you will have to be careful not to move the camera during the photo, otherwise you risk the motion blur.
When taking a photo with a tripod, you need to make sure that you are standing far enough away from the subject to avoid movement blur. If your subject is moving towards you, you need to stop your camera as soon as it gets to you, and take the shot. Otherwise, the photo will end up blurred.
To make sure that your photo is clear, you will need to take a photo of something that isn’t moving. If you take a photo of your own reflection in a mirror, the reflection will move as you move the camera and that will make a blurry photo.
The final point is your photography skills. You need to be able to take a photo of a subject in a way that makes it look like it was taken by a professional photographer.
The first thing to think about is your composition. If you can compose your photo well, it will look more like a professional photo. Good composition means that your subject is centred in the middle of the frame, or slightly off centre.
Good composition also means that the lines in the background don’t cut the photo too much, that there are interesting shapes in the background, and that there is a good contrast between the subject and the background.
If your subject is not in the middle of the frame or too far away, it might look better if you crop the photo. Crop a photo is when you take out the area around the edges of the photo.
Before you start shooting, think about the kind of images you would like to capture and why. Write down what you want to achieve, whether it’s having a good day, perfect lighting, or capturing a special moment.
Keep an open mind.
As a beginner, you’ll be taking many photos, but don’t be afraid to change the direction you take. Experiment with different angles, lighting, and props. Use a tripod and stand to steady yourself, then move around the location, taking shots wherever inspiration strikes.
You’ll need your camera (check the settings are correct), a memory card (if using a digital camera, you can upload directly to your computer), and a tripod. A polarizing filter can help protect your lens and the sun can be a major obstacle to capturing great photographs, so make sure you use sunscreen and wear sunglasses. Also make sure that the location is free of distracting objects like flowers, leaves, and insects.
Have a plan.
Planning ahead will ensure that you take the right shots and capture the moments you want to. When you’re shooting food, you’ll want to consider the types of foods that your audience might enjoy eating. Think about the ingredients that go into each dish, what your audience will like, and what they will do after eating.
Photograph the brand.
The first step is to find the right food advertising campaign, and this means thinking about who the brand is aimed at and what it represents. In some cases, you can look at the brand itself, or you can find out who the main spokesperson is, what their hobbies are, what type of person they are, and what their personality is like. If there is a website or Facebook page you can find out a lot about the company from information on their website, or from their social media accounts. The brand should be represented in the picture, so think about how to represent it.
Think about the food.
You can choose to photograph the brand itself, or you can photograph the food it represents. You should ensure that the food looks fresh and appetising. Think about what ingredients are used in the recipe, and what you can put in the background to enhance the image. You could put the food in a natural setting, but be careful not to use a setting that is too similar to the food. For example, a plate of soup might look like a plate of soup, but if you photograph it in a restaurant, you can make it look more interesting by adding other elements, such as a tablecloth and cutlery. You could add props, such as a bowl of fruit on the side or a glass of wine on the table. Think about whether the background will affect the message of the image, and be careful that the background is clean.
Think about the location.
The location in which the food is being photographed can affect the overall message. Is the food being photographed in a home setting? Does it look as though it is being made by a professional cook, or does it look as though it has been prepared by the family themselves? If it is a meal that is served on a buffet or platter, the location can affect the look of the image. Think about how you can create the most attractive picture possible, and whether you need to do anything special to achieve this. If you are photographing the brand, you can use any kind of location.
Try to get permission.
Before you begin to photograph the food, make sure that you have the right to do so. If you are photographing the food, check with the owner or manager of the location. This will ensure that you don’t have to pay them money. You may also need to contact the food advertising company. Be aware that some companies only allow you to take a certain amount of pictures. You might also have to ask for the owner’s permission to use their property.
Food Advertising Photography Examples
In conclusion, shooting food advertisements isn’t easy but if you know what you’re doing, it can be extremely lucrative.
You’ll need to understand how to use lighting, film settings, and other equipment to achieve a good image. You’ll also need to understand how to edit photos and videos as well as how to create a compelling advertisement.
If you have the right equipment, these skills, and an eye for photography, you can create a successful food advertisement.