AP Studios / 10 Rules: Get the best food and drink shots with your phone


Our snap happy culture loves to capture every meal or drink with their smart phones.  There’s nothing wrong with documenting a good-looking meal, but just remember you run the risk of an “unfollow” click when posting crappy shots of your soggy cereal. Here are the 10 golden rules to live by when photographing food and beverages with your phone:

1. Critique is key. Is the meal you are about to consume worthy of your phone’s memory? Would you “like” this photo if it weren’t your own?

2. Don’t be “that guy” who makes your friends wait to eat while you’re composing the shot. Cold food and hungry friends are not worth it.

3. Clean your lens with a napkin or microfiber cloth. You’d be surprised how many fingerprints are hiding on there.

4. Use a filter in your favorite app (Instagram, etc) sparingly. Less is more.

5. Use a candle or nearby window as your light source.   Placing a candle behind a cocktail will add dimension and make your photo glow.

6. Is there a spoon, bowl or glass nearby to use as a prop?  Used correctly, you’re halfway to being featured on the cover of Bon Appetit.

7. Look around for an impromptu fill card. Could your napkin or menu work to add a little fill light opposite your primary light source? If the napkin is linen, don’t bother.

8. If you’re using an iPhone tap a zone to set your focus and exposure. Play with this a bit to ensure your photo isn’t blown out or too dark.

9. After knocking back a few drinks, you may think every photo you take of your margarita is worth posting. Try to resist the urge to “share” until the morning.

10.  And last but not least, unless you are Terry Richardson, turn off the flash.

Scott Pitts is the photographer of “taste” for Armstrong Pitts Studios and the director of “appetite” for Epicure Films.  You can find him on Instagram @scottpitts and on Twitter @scottpittsphoto

Posted By: Scott
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