How to Style Your Food Photography Composition to the Camera

Due to the precision of each and every little decision, food photography is often considered one of the most challenging forms of photography. While it takes a lot of hard work to look effortless, many photographers wonder what it is that holds them back from reaching compositional perfection. However, with one simple yet powerful styling tip for composition, food and travel photographer Skyler Burt teaches how you can reach your full potential for capturing truly stunning food photography:

The backbone for improving your food photography composition is with styling to the camera. The hitch to this very simple technique is to lock down your camera into one position. Otherwise, you may as well wave goodbye to your dreams for your image to reach compositional perfection.

Your natural instincts will most likely be to set your table first, decorating it with all the food and props you have with you, but you need to resist this urge. Setting the table first is not an efficient way to take photos, and it is important to remember what you see with your eyes isn’t necessarily what you will see through your camera lens. Otherwise, you will constantly have pick up your camera, change focus, etc., leaving you with different compositions than any of your previous shots.

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Photos should be taken after each addition or change (no matter how minute the detail).

In order to take amazing food photography, you need to start with a naked canvas (i.e. blank table). Before you begin, point your camera at the table and set your exposure. Continue to choose your lens and adjust your settings as necessary. Once complete, you can begin to build your scene, adding one element at a time.

Always start with your idea, placing the main dish (or something large into your frame on the table). Then referring to your viewfinder, build around it. As you add each layer or micro adjustment, take another photo. Each additional element adds yet another piece to the story, ultimately, leading to one spectacular photo composition.

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