As a food photographer you may prefer taking photos of the final product of food and not the raw ingredients. This is a commonpractice; the focus is usually on the dish, so the ingredients used are often left out.But our advice would be to bring those ingredients in the frame as well, by doing do you will not only be photographing but telling a story.
Most of the time is spent on the final look of the dish, styling it and getting the props in place. You may be missing a crucial aspect of food photography, found in the raw ingredients. The natural state of food is full of beauty and photographing it would enhance your photography experience.
There are many reasons why you should spend time to shoot raw ingredients. It is a great opportunity for you to practice your skills and experiment with all the different ways you could enhance the beauty of the raw ingredient in front of you before shooting the final product. It would give you more content for your portfolio,you can add them to your collection and use them whenever you need. These photos would be an amazing opportunity for you to connect with your audience, you can take them through the process the raw ingredient underwent before becoming the final product.
Once you are ready to photograph the raw ingredients, we suggest taking a minimalist approach. Think your shoot through carefully but don’t spend too much time adding extra props, focus on the ingredient. You can style your food by either taking a single ingredient or a list of ingredients that are needed for the recipe, you can also photograph those ingredients whilst they are in the process of being transformed.
Take time to capture the components that will be part of the dish, keep it simple yet stunning. For example, when shooting red meat you can place it on a simple background like a chopping board, season it and then make those pepper and salt flakes pop against the red meat.
For fruit and vegetables, keeping them as close to their natural state as possible will bring out the best of them. Don’t pull out the leaves, and don’t wash the dirt off them. Natural lighting is the best and helps in making the subject of the photo stand out.
Although props may sometimes take the focus away but that’s not always the case, like the sheet pans work great as props for shooting food and raw ingredients.