Styling your food photograph.
With food photography, you need to style the food and the shot. With food styling, aim for a natural look. Don’t worry about making it picture perfect; focus on making it look appetizing. For instance, say you’re shooting a smoothie bowl. Aagesen explains, “I’ll start with something that’s pretty unstyled, with maybe just the smoothie in the bowl to start. And I'll take photos along the process as I’m adding things. So I’ll have them through different steps, in case I end up going too far or adding too much. Sometimes you’ll add a few things and think, ‘You know, it looked better a few less ingredients ago.’”
Photographing and documenting your food as you style can help to ensure you get the shot you need. This also lets you look at your progress and identify what needs to be changed or shifted in your food composition.
Aagesen uses a similar system for styling her food photos. “Typically when I'm starting out,” she says, “I will take one or two shots with things really simple, with just the dish in there, with a clean background. So then I have that as an option and then I'll start adding in props.”