An important aspect of food photography, or any kind of photography, is camera angle. With food though you have to think about what will show off the element of the dish. Does the dish have a glossy top that you want to show off? Or neat layering that you want to be in the spotlight? These are things you need to consider when bringing up the camera to snap the shot.
Here are three of the best camera angles: from above, straight on, and three-quarters.
I tend to get stuck in one camera angle, the one shot directly above the dish a lot recently. That, for some reason is my favorite, it can be really fun with propping because you can scatter things on the side of the image and that can add depth. But, you don’t want every image to look the same.
There are three major camera angles that I want to focus on, from above, straight on, and three-quarters. These are the angles I find myself shooting from the most and really the only ones you need to use.
First off the three-quarters, this I use all the time. It’s flattering and makes any dish look good. The cool thing about camera angles is that you can lie about how good your food looks. With the three-quarter, the side of the dish that isn’t showing doesn’t need to be perfect. This angles adds interesting depth, but doesn’t normally leave a lot of room for propping. You can usually use the surface, or tabletop your dish is on as the backdrop (as in the picture), so be mindful of that when picking your location to shoot.
How to do it: Get low, but now level with the dish. Bring you camera slightly above the dish, just so all you see is a little of the surface your plate is on is showing in the background. There should not be a break in where the surface ends in the background (see my post on backgrounds).
The second, the straight on. Probably the angle I use the least. I hardly ever have layers or awesome edges I am trying to show off. But it does provide great depth to an image. Witch can be helpful to beginner photographers. Just bring your subject closer to the camera and push your background farther back, that will also help with depth.
How to do it: Simple, just get all the way down so you’re looking that dish straight in the eye.
And thirdly, shot from above. I am quite fond of this angle. It shows off every element of the dish, and is great for showing off great propping skills (or interesting backgrounds as in the photo. The only thing about this angle is that it leaves little room for err in your dish, you are showing off every element so be sure it’s all in order.
How to do it: Get all the way above your dish. I almost always standing on a chair to get this shot, or put your dish on the floor. If you don’t get high enough then you end up with is crooked off kilter image.