Food Photography: Composition Made Simple

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This lemon dessert was so simple it gave us some free time to experiment with the camera angles for the composition of the images. We will start with the three traditional angles for food photography. The Diner’s View, the Top Down View, and the Straight On View.

View of Dessert from DinerThe Diner’s View would simply be at an angle as you were sitting looking at the food. Pretend you were dining at a table and the food was in front of you. The angle you see the food sitting naturally would be the Diner’s View. Somewhere between 20 – 40 degrees. The lower the camera the more the background comes into play. Shooting from a higher angle, simply means you don’t need to worry so much about a background.This angle tends to showcase the food well. It tends to bring a sense of desire to the food. Almost inviting the viewer to just dive in. If I were a restaurant or chef, that is definitely the feeling I would want my audience to have when they see my food. I want them to have a connection with the image, to almost feel as if it were in front of them.

The next two photographs are called top down shots. Basically we are directly above the food looking down onto it. This is great if you want to show a lot of things in the image at once. These are often used for ingredient component images or the steps in a recipe. This point of view can really make an image unique. It hides a lot of unnecessary details. Usually with this style, all of the image is in focus, even at wide apertures. You will see this a lot in magazines or cookbooks. If your restaurant has a story about it’s meals in a magazine, or your niche might be about your ability to utilize unique ingredients in your recipes, this is a great way to showcase the ingredients and let them be the hero of the photograph.

View of cake from aboveView of ingredients from above

And the last view we have is straight on. The camera is almost parallel to the cake. These are great for dishes that you want to emphasize the height of the subject or a pulled back full table shot. These can also work well if you need to add copy to the image for your advertising. parallel view of the cake

The next two images are just different examples of orientation and cropping. The landscape shot of the roll achieves some depth by taking advantage of the diagonal lines in the image.
View of Lemon Cake Roll
Lemon Cake With Yellow Background

This dessert was very easy to make.

Duncan Hines Angel Food Cake package baked according to the directions.

The first layer inside the roll was Smuckers Strawberry Ice Cream topping.

The second layer was a lemony creation that was a blend of Philadelphia Cream Cheese with Cool Whip topping, some lemon zest and a bit of yellow food coloring.

Roll it all up, let it sit, and there you have it! A luscious lemony dessert that is a perfect finale to any gathering, from backyard BBQ, to pool party, or even an afternoon delight with your coffee.

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