Baking with Cameras, A Guide to Photography in the Kitchen!
Your camera’s just as badass as you are in the kitchen.
With your sleeves rolled up, you can both take on a little batter, and you can both definitely take on some cocoa dusted Belgian chocolate anything.
With this mid-holiday season insanity, there’s nothing that sounds better than taking a little break from it all with your camera in one hand and a spatula in the other (okay, maybe not at the same time).
Here’s a little roundup on tips for shooting in the kitchen, camera gadgets for better photos, and an extra-special section down ‘low on edible photographs and cameras. Yep, you heard us.
Photos and cameras you can eat. Go. read. now. ↓
1. Tips for Taking Better Food Photos:
Your two main perpetrators are 1) not having enough light and 2) having the wrong white balance.
To combat the the low light issue:
- Shoot with a wide aperture
- Raise ISO to capture more light
- If your shutter speed < 1/60, use a tripod or flash.
- Direct flash is too harsh for food (makes too many shadows & makes food glisten in potentially unappetizing ways), so you might try a flash bounce or a diffuser.
To combat the white balance issue, try these white balance settings:
- In natural light, go with a daylight setting.
- If it’s especially cloudy or shady with a blue cast, use a cloudy or shady setting.
- If you have lamps on inside, set your white balance to Tungsten to offset the orange shade.
- Or set a custom white balance using a grey card or something like a white balance lens cap.
Onward! Here are a few guides full of really handy tips for shooting in the kitchen and hey, even at the table.
- Photojojo’s Ten Tastiest Food Photography Tips
- The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography
- How to Start a Food Blog
2. Gadgets for Better Food Photos:
There might be a couple reasons why you have a camera in the kitchen. Y’know, besides proving to everyone that you look really good in an apron.
It might be to document the process (maybe you have a blog!) or you’re simply a foodie that appreciates what goes into making something that looks as good as it tastes.
These gadgets are not only the extra hand you’ll need if you’re playing with flour, kneading dough, or whisking eggs, but they’ll help you get better shots, too!
- A camera holder. Something like this Camera Capture Clip lets you wear your DSLR on your belt, keeping your camera safely out of the way.
- Shutter triggers. The iOShutter lets you set off your DSLR’s shutter via sound, motion triggers & more. Helpful for when your hands are full.
- A tripod. To prevent motion blur, so your photos are nice and sharp.
- A phone stand. When you’re not using as a tripod, you can use it as a stand for reading recipes on your phone. Also check out the Gorillapod Mobile.
- A level. Saves you time from having to go back and edit.
- A mini camera crew. The Swivl is a phone stand that follows your every move via a remote sensor. Shoot vids of yourself or set up a video-chat.
- A flash bounce or diffuser. Direct flash is too harsh. With the right amount of diffusion, you can take flash photos that don’t even look like they were shot with flash.
- A grey card or white balance lens cap. Set a custom white balance to measure the temperature of the light that you’re shooting in. It’ll make your shots look more like they were shot in natural lighting.
3. Blogs & Photographers That’ll Inspire You:
You’ll love these guys if you don’t already.
- Smitten Kitchen — Simply great photos showing the process
- Evelina and Carl Kleiner — The photographer & stylist behind Ikea’s cookbook
- Delicious Days — Thoughtful photos of food
- The Last Appetite — A global food blog
- TasteSpotting — An aggregated best of from around the net
- I Love Fika — Beautiful photos of coffee adventures in Portland and beyond
4. Camera Geek Wares for Your Kitchen:
Your kitchen’s the one room in your house that’s missing that photo geekery you’re so well-known for! There’s a chance you didn’t know some of this stuff even existed.
A kitchen timer that looks like a lens and camera bag that you can use as a lunch cooler? Totes.
The f/60 Lens Kitchen Timer — A timer that looks like a lens.
Camera Cookie Cutters — For true photo geeks. Rangefinder, TLR & SLR shapes!
Ceramic Lens Mugs — For the classy coffee drinker. Ceramic with fine lens detailing.
Lens Shot Glasses — That bread pudding could do with a little shot of a brandy, and so could you.
The Egg Carton Film Case — This thing is made to keep your 35mm rolls of film fresh in the fridge. Just make sure your roomie doesn’t try to make a scramble with ’em.
The Camera Cooler Bag — This is a camera bag that can double as a cooler bag!
5. Photos & Cameras You Can Actually Eat!:
Yes, finally! Here are all the delicious photos and cameras that will happily digest in your tummy.
Gingerbread cameras — Our DIY tutorial for making TLRs and even a Mamiya from cookie dough!
Instagram chocolate — Cocoagraph will turn your phone photos into chocolate.
Photo cupcakes — Printable icing sheets means you can print a photo onto icing and eat your own face.
Camera cookies — Cookies that look like cameras. Glass free!
Photo lollipops — Same idea as the cupcakes. Lick.