If the two previous composition rules are still throwing you, don’t worry. There’s lots of other options for your food photography composition. Today, we are going to talk about 6 more composition ideas for your photos.
#1 Symmetrical And Graphic
Many times it can be very easy to create a very pleasing composition by making your images very symmetrical. You are using food to create an image that is graphic and really catches your eye, like the carrot image above. It’s super simple, three items in the shot, carrots, a tray, and wooden background.
Another example of this is what I call the Line Up – just place the items right next to each other, perfectly spaced. This will always become a graphic, symmetrical image.
#2 Composing Only Two Items
When you’ve got two items, I find it’s easiest to stagger them, one behind the other.
With the images above, I moved the back strawberry around in several shots to get the arrangement that I liked the best. Just moving the back strawberry a tiny amount can really change the composition, so be patient and play around, it’s not like you’re wasting film or anything 🙂
#3 Composition Using Three Items
Generally speaking, I find it easiest to compose with three items. A pleasing arrangement is to have two items placed near each other, and the third item to have some space away from the other two.
The three items naturally make their own triangle. You can have one item in the foreground, and then two items in the background, or vice versa.
Again, I am always fiddling around, and taking lots of shots with each item in slightly different positions to find one that I like.
#4 Composition Using Negative Space
This is something I tend to do a lot, use a lot of negative space in my images. Sometimes the areas in the image with nothing in them are just ask important as the areas containing food or props.
I use the negative space to frame things to show how important they are, along with using focus to direct the viewer’s eye exactly where I want them to look.
What is the first thing you notice in the pasta shot? Probably the biggest piece of basil almost dead center to the frame on the pasta. That is where my focus is, and that is where your eye starts to look around the image, and yes, that was absolutely intentional. I fiddled with that little basil to get the light through the leaf.
#5 Composition Using Leading Lines
A very common composition technique is using leading lines bringing you into the frame. In the shot above, we’ve got the wood board with toast coming in from the left, directing you to the skillet, and you also have the silverware on the right side pointing at the skillet as well.
Then, we also have the lines from the wooden planks coming from the top and the bottom going right to the food.
I love cropping props and dishes on the edges of the frame as well. The more something is cropped on the edge of the frame, the less important it is.
You can really use your props to create leading lines to help direct where the focal point of the image is.
#6 Composition By Framing Your Image
There is another aspect to your photography composition, and that is how you frame your shot.
A popular way to frame shots, is by having something in the foreground out of focus, your subject in the middle, and having it IN focus, then having something behind it out of focus.
You achieve this by using shallow depth of field (small f-stop number). Your eye can’t help but go to the food that is in focus in the middle of the frame. In this example, it also helps that it is the brightest color as well.
For more ideas on framing your food photos, have a look at my blog post all about camera angles. This will give you lots of ideas.