Let's learn how to stand out from the social-media crowd.
Food photography composition can sometimes feel really overwhelming. You’ve made this really beautiful dish or cocktail, found a bar top, table or counter—grab your phone to try to capture it … But, seemingly no matter what you try, your photos simply aren’t doing justice to what’s in front of you.
You feel like your images look pretty good, like you might actually be rocking this whole mobile phone photography thing. Then, you get ready to share your images on social and quickly realize that—while you’re proud of what you just captured—you’ve still got a way to go if you want to stand out, in the endless sea of mouth-watering photos, on social media.
The truth is, it’s 100 percent not your fault that social media abruptly demanded your photo skills be on par with our good friend Ansel Adams.
It is however, 100 percent your responsibility to continue to adapt to the fast-paced nature of the digital world we live in. If your marketing goals include growing brand awareness, increasing your audience and, last but not least, getting that audience off of social media and into your restaurant, then you my friend can’t ignore the one simple fact that, “content is king.” A statement made by Bill Gates.
While I don’t have enough time in this article to teach you everything you need to know to take better food photos. I can give you three very simple techniques to use in your food photography composition, that when practiced, will move you closer to that ever-elusive end goal of captivating your audience enough to turn them into a paying customer.
First thing’s first, the most important ingredient to making great photos— especially on your phone, is lighting. Let’s discuss food photography lighting. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to spend a dime on fancy photography lighting equipment. I am, however, going to ask you to move yourself and your main subject into a naturally lit area and to turn off your overhead lights. If you missed last month’s article, “The No. 1 Cause of Bad Food Photography,” I explained why this is SO important. If you missed it be sure to pop back over and check it out, you can thank me later.
(And, if you’re wondering … “Should I buy that Lightbox for Food Photography?”
The short answer is, nope and I’ve got a few short videos addressing exactly that, you can find them down below).
Next, the “Rule of Thirds,” but first let’s address the iPhone camera grid. (OK, Samsung Users, Pixel Camera Phone’s & all Android users are welcome, too) After that I can cover, what is the rule of thirds, cool?
Camera Grid iPhone:
Open your iPhone Camera App, if you don’t see these grid lines, then your grid is not turned on. If you do see these, nice work, you can skip ahead to the next section, everyone else follow the steps below:
- Close the camera app
- Navigate to your iPhone settings
- Scroll down until you see iPhone camera settings
- Once you open the settings about half way down you’ll see the camera grid, flip that on and you are good-to-go.
- Android users, when you’re in your native camera app navigate to the settings menu, about halfway down is the option to turn on your camera’s grid.
Now that you’re technically set up let’s dive into how you can begin using your camera’s grid for your food photography compositions.
The rule of thirds grid divides your frame up into nine equal parts or three total sections and the great thing is it works in all three formats, vertical, horizontal, and square.