So I have resorted to focusing more on the clarity of my pictures and the angles rather than setting up a food shot and using a tripod, etc. For the longest time, I used a simple white table as the background for all my pictures. This was mostly when I was in my old apartment, which had large windows and lots of natural light. I just placed the table wherever there was good light at that time of the day and clicked away.
Since I moved, there’s not much natural light inside the house so I have to take the table and place it out in the corridor, which I have done in a couple of pictures below.
I also do some minimum changes, like adding a cutting board as a base on top of the white table, or a sheet of craft paper that goes with the colour of the food or ingredients I am clicking, so that there’s a different colour and texture for the pictures.
This is a lot of work, bringing the table and accessories and the food in and out of the house, not to mention weird looks from the neighbours and passers-by. So nowadays, I mostly resort to taking pictures on the sofa near the living room window.
The sofa is white and textured so for a while I used that as the base of a lot of pictures using the dark wall behind as a good background.
Then it started getting dirty so I got a dark brown throw to protect it from dust and dirt. This throw now forms the background of almost 90% of my pictures. The light there is not good through the day, only the first half, so I try to finish most of my cooking by then and rush to the sofa corner to get shots before the light fades or I get too tired.
Bottom line, here’re 5 things I go by while taking pictures for my blog. 1. Choose the area that has the best light in your house (or outside!). 2. Decide where and how you are going to place your dish, background, etc. I don’t use a tripod or reflecting board, or flash. 3. Take as many pictures as you can before your back breaks. This is usually my strategy. I click on an average about 80 pictures for each of my dishes (and I have a 1TB external drive that I use to dump these once I am done picking the winning shots – nothing gets deleted unless its blurred). 4. Before you go out to buy props and matching stuff for your food, get the basics – a white plate, a white bowl, a dark coloured plate and bowl and some new spoons and forks to place near the food. Second step would be coloured craft papers and napkins. I went a long time before buying those. Trust me, buying props that go with everything you ever cook is a never-ending process and very addictive! 5. Edit your pictures but don’t go overboard. I prefer simple images and don’t add frames or vignettes to it. That’s just my personal preference of course. But make sure you don’t go overboard when editing your images, just a simple increase or decrease in brightness and overall sharpness should be more than enough. I recommend www.picnik.com for a start. Its free and has pretty much everything to get you started.