Food Photography for Solo Objects

Taking a solo food subject is akin to taking a profile picture of a model. There is room for magnifying a specific area and highlighting or, in the words of a make-up artist, contouring.

In the case of food photography, an object is usually captured best by a macro lens, a 35mm or 50mm. With this type of lens, you can focus on certain areas that show texture- whether it's creamy, nutty, hard, soft, etc. If you are submitting this to a professional magazine, ensure that you are not submitting food porn though, providing ample white space for text and capturing the entire object at an overhead or eye-level angle.

Lighting is also vital. For most cash-strapped bloggers, a DIY option is available in the form of a recycled carton as a lightbox (see instructions here) or an aluminum foil as a reflector. Mirrors work great as well. The best source of light is usually a few feet from your window or if it is already dark outside, use a lightbox and clamp lights, which can be bought in any home supply store.

What do you think about the examples of the macaron and cupcake below? Is it glossy, creamy, rough, etc.? Do you see where the primary light is coming from to accentuate the texture? 

french macaron
French macaron on the spotlight.
vanilla cupcake
Photogenic vanilla minicupcake.

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