Number One Mistake Newbie Food Photographers Make

Number One Newbie Food Photography Mistake

We’ve all started and we’ve all made this super easy fixable food photography mistake. Let’s go through my old images and see how to spot the issue.

Number One Mistake Newbie Food Photographers Make

Today, I’ll walk you through a few mistakes I see new food photographers make all the time. They are very easily fixable and I’ll show you in my old photo examples. If you prefer following a video, here’s my YouTube video, and below you’ve got a transcript of the video.

In case you’re interested in more mistakes you might be doing and how to fix them, I have an article about that too.

Not making the main subject the hero

So one of the most common things I see food photographers do is not really thinking about their main subject and making it the hero or the focal point of the image. There should always be one clearly defined center of attention in the image. Always!

Actually, the more complicated scene you do, the more chance you have of missing what your hero subject is.

There’s a number of reasons why this can happen.

Let me explain.

Image #1

Let see the image below, for example. This is one of my oldest recipes from the blog. These are some super delicious chewy Guinness caramels. But you can’t really see it, because it’s wrapped in a wrap. I wasn’t thinking about, what about the hero dish is important. It’s not the wrap, it’s the caramel.

Number One Mistake Newbie Food Photographers Make

Image #2

So in the image below I’ve opened up a few caramels so the viewers can see them, and the image is a bit better, but everything that’s happening around is still overpowering. The bog glass and can in the back, the big bowl on the side, they all compete.

Number One Mistake Newbie Food Photographers Make

Image #3

Let’s see the third photo.

I’ve zoomed in a little and gotten a little more depth of field which is making the stuff around less obvious and less prominent.

Let’s see another photo form the same photoshoot. Again, the caramels should be where our eye goes, but that’s definitely not the case.

I mean it’s far from a perfect photo. I was just starting out. But through showcasing the caramels in the front and keeping distarctions away, blurred in the back I was able to keep the focus on the caramels, not the props and I also kept the storytelling.

Number One Mistake Newbie Food Photographers Make

Image #4

Let’s see another photo form the same photoshoot. Again, the caramels should be where our eye goes, but that’s definitely not the case.

First of all the caramels are not in focus. I missed the focus and placed it on the top of the glass, so now what’s in focus is the beer head.

Second thing, I’ve placed the caramel too close to the edge of the frame, so it gets lost in all the things that are happening inside this shot.

And third, the caramel compared to everything else in the frame is very small. So it also gets lost in terms of size.

Number One Mistake Newbie Food Photographers Make

My tip for you if you’re seeing these kinds of issues in your images would be to get good at less busy scenes first, so you can focus on your main subject instead of all the props and an elaborate story.

And I suggest identifying your main subject and keeping it on top of mind all the time during the photoshoot. Always re-evaluate if your main subject is really the hero.

So, this was the number one food photography mistake I see new photographers make. I hope you got some useful tips, let me know in the comments if this is something you struggle with as well.

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