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How to Take Mouthwatering Food Porn on Your iPhone

The iPhone camera is the most used camera in our time. More than DSLRs and digital cameras, iPhone cameras are the busiest in the business. The culprit? Food porn! Sure, we take a lot of selfies, photos of sceneries and pictures of our kids. But you have to admit, nothing gets you more concerned about lighting and angle than when you're trying to get the best shot of your surf and turf.

Although, if you haven't done your research, chances are, none of your 157 shots will do justice to that gorgeously plated beef wellington. It's frustrating, we get it. How do those food bloggers capture the most mouthwatering burger in all its glory while your photo will probably sit on your iPhone for a good month, taking up precious storage space until you finally decide it doesn’t deserve a spot on your Instagram?

Now now, don't give up your passion for food porn just yet. You don't actually need to carry a behemothic camera or take photography classes to foodstagram like a pro. You simply need to learn these 5 helpful tips to turn your iPhone camera into a food porn machine.

1. Lighting is Everything

Nothing beats good lighting. While this is the oldest trick in the book, many are still confused as to what good lighting actually means. Does it automatically mean the brighter the better? Not exactly. While bright, natural light is the holy grail of photography lighting, taking a photo in direct sunlight will leave you with unwanted shadows and hide important food details in blinding bright light. Instead, opt to take a photo in indirect daylight. A shady spot on a bright sunny day will bring out a natural glow and highlight all the elements of your food.

Rule of thumb: shaded spots under bright natural light is best.

When you're dining outdoors, this means taking a shot of your food truck taco under a tree. When dining indoors, your best bet is to get a table by the window.

2. Set your iPhone's Exposure Level

You want to capture every element of your food. It's the details in your dish that make them all too real and drool-worthy. The best way to dull the juiciness of your steak is by overexposing the photo.

Adjusting your iPhone's exposure level will allow you to see the details in even the whitest, brightest elements of your photo like the gorgeously crafted white plate your salad is sitting on. To adjust your iPhone's exposure level, tap on your screen to set focus on the object you want to appear sharp. Simply slide your finger up the screen to increase exposure and down to decrease.

Take it to the next level: If you want to gain more exposure control, it's best to download an app that will allow you to separate focus and exposure points.

There are numerous camera apps you can choose from in the App store, but we recommend PureShot or ProCamera 7.

With PureShot, you just tap where you want to set the focus point then tap, hold and drag to set the exposure point. With ProCamera 7, you'll find the focus point (circle) and exposure point (square) stacked on top of each other. Tapping on a certain location on the screen will take the stack to that point and double tapping will take them back to the centre. You can reposition them separately by dragging the circle or square anywhere on the screen.

3. Look for the Perfect Angle

You have a photogenic side? Your food does, too! There are a couple of angles to choose from when photographing your food but here we will discuss the top three.

  • The straight on or side shot
  • The flat lay or overhead shot
  • The 45-degree angle

The straight on or side shot. If you're taking a photo of a burger or a slice of layered cake, be sure to take a photo from the side where you can see all its layers. That way you get to capture more than just the buns or the icing.

The flat lay or overhead shot. A flat lay is best when your food is plated or in a bowl. This is also a good angle when you're trying to capture more than one dish.

The 45-degree angle. This is probably the most common of all angles. If you're not sure what angle to use, this is your best bet. The 45-degree angle allows you to cover every ingredient of the dish plus surface and get none of the background such as walls or people walking around.

4. Don't be Afraid to Style and Add Props

Background, table setting, colour and props play an important role in making your food photo more interesting. They either highlight, complement and make your food stand out or they make your dish fade into all that chaos. Here are a couple of things to consider when styling your food.

Neutral backgrounds always work. Using a plain, unembellished background will make your subject stand out. This doesn’t mean you always have to go with white. Although a simple white background is tried and tested, you can also try old cutting boards or a chalkboard for a more rustic look. Wood cutting boards are especially perfect for cheese and meat. A chalkboard will make the colours of your food pop (unless you're trying to photograph grapes or prunes, then they will most certainly fade into the background).

Use kitchen utensils and ingredients as props. Include a spoon, a fork, a ladle or even a whisk in the frame. Even better if it has food on it.

Props for food photography should be a no-brainer. You can simply use the very same ingredients used in the dish or perhaps a side dish or drink that will complement your main subject. It's even more appetizing that way. Add in a couple of whole lemons when shooting your lemon meringue pie or let a glass of milk blur into the background with your cookies.

Don't forget to garnish. A sprinkle of chopped walnuts on your carrot cupcake or a whole basil leaf on your pesto pasta goes a long way. A bowl of chili will look a hundred times more appetizing with a pop of yellow from some cheese. Anything that would add a pop of colour and texture to your dish is a good idea.

When dining out, use what's available. Obviously, you don't have access to fresh raw ingredients to be used as props here. You can simply use whatever is on your table. Some napkins, glassware, and condiments should make your images more engaging. At a pizza joint? The hot sauce on your table would go well with your pizza (in photograph and in real life). Even your hands would work well as props.

5. Edit as Needed

There's no shame in editing your photos. Photo editing apps are every photographer's best friend. Just don't go overboard and completely change those already beautiful natural hues. Sometimes all you need is a good contrast, exposure or highlight boost. If you feel like your photo doesn’t do justice to that vibrant garden salad, just increase the contrast to make the colours pop. If it's a little too dark, add some exposure to make it a little brighter. If the photo is too washed out, decrease the highlights.

There are also a lot of really good photo editing apps you can download for more serious editing. When adding a filter on Instagram just doesn’t do the trick, you may need to resort to one of these:

VSCO. This is one of the most popular go to photo editing apps for iPhone because it gives you more control over your photos. It allows you to adjust your photo's contrast, saturation, temperature, exposure level, sharpen, crop and so much more. You can even add grain and change the tint of shadows and highlight of your images.

Vibrantly. This app, available only to iPhone, makes your food photos as vibrant and colourful as possible, as the name of the app goes. This food editing photo app was created by a food blogger, so it should come as no surprise that its custom filters go by food names such as popcorn and brisquette.

Platter. Okay, this one's not exactly a photo-editing app. It's more like the aftermath of your food photography session. Again, available only to iPhone, this Instagram-like app is centred on sharing food photos. Finally, an app that cares about what you had for breakfast! It allows you to share food porn with other users who's lives also revolve around food. Move over Instagram and Pinterest, Platter is the new foodporn heaven!

  • Jul 12, 2017
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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