How do we make food look as good as it tastes, in photos? All it takes is lighting, textures and getting your hands a little dirty! Thanks to Tish Lifestyle’s specially curated workshops, we learned some tips from Malaysian food stylist guru Trisha Toh, otherwise known as @trishates on Instagram. Here are some of her essential tips to perfecting your next food photo!
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#1 Understand the Recipe
Before you get started, know what ingredients go into your subject, what colours they are and how it is cooked. This will guide you on how you style your food and what props you’ll need. For example, if you’re styling an orange, pumpkin soup, you can add more texture with sprinkles of almonds and coriander.
#2 Messy is Good (Sometimes)
Perfection is overrated! Give your food more personality and texture by creating what Trisha calls, “controlled mess”. Take a bite out of a cake, leave some crumbs and stains visible, and the occasional hand in action. It’s all about looking as natural and unstaged as possible.
#3 Experiment with Backgrounds
Pick colours and textures that best showcase the dish, drink or your ingredients. Your background should provide the greatest contrast for your subject. Play around with marble, pallets, wooden cutting boards and linen. For example, spaghetti is typically already a “busy” dish, so your surface should be fairly blank and clean.
#4 Food Hacks – Be Resourceful!
Fresh produce have a very short lifespan before they start wilting, and it’ll be very obvious in your photos. Trisha gives salad and vegetables a quick spray of cold water to freshen them up. With hot food like roast chicken, you can make it look look hot and fresh again by brushing on a little oil or hot water.
#5 Natural Lighting is Best
Good lighting is essential for a good food photo, because you want to bring out all the colours of your dish. Dim lighting typically makes food less appetizing. Trisha recommends doing post processing with some easy phone apps, like Snapseed and VSCO, although your food really should take the limelight!