Food & Wine
How To Make Wonderfully Looking Meals
Whether eating out or just at home, any sort of meal also incorporates a visual aspect. If your food lacks that sense of visual whimsy or excitement, you will not enjoy your food experience as much as you could. Here are some ways that you can make your meals look better.
Choosing The Plate
When you are trying to make your food look beautiful, whether you are plating it or taking pictures, one of the first things you need to consider is your plating options. There are so many aspects that you have to consider when selecting the right plate, as well as placing it on the plate in a way that will create a great looking presentation. When selecting your plate, you want to consider how other people will visualize your food and dish. Fancier plates can help create a more luxurious visual atmosphere or vibe, but at the same time, you do not want plates that create visual clutter and take the focus away from the dish either. It is important that you consider each specific dish, and choose plates that will ideally reflect the vibe and feeling you are trying to achieve.
Organizing The Food
When you have chosen your plate, it is important that you consider what it is that you are plating. The type of food will allow you to properly think about its plating and how you want it to look. Do you want to have sides or even separate dishes, or can this all be on the same plate or bowl? Consider if you want to include sides and other dishes or if you are trying to highlight a specific food. Having a plan and sense of organization will help you save time in the kitchen, as well as cut down the amount of time it takes to photograph any dishes, and let you eat your food before it gets cold.
The background of a photograph should never interfere with the focus of the picture, and this is especially true when it comes to food photography. The dishes and meals are the stars of the show, and should be the primary focus in every picture. And Jason Spoor’s portfolio highlight’s this, as the food and drinks are always the primary focus in all pictures, with there being very little to look at in the background. You want to reduce your area to either being neutral either with blank walls or a backdrop, or having complimenting pieces like fruits or vegetables that would be used to complement the meals and not feel out of place.
Make It Plentiful
One tip for making your food as visually appealing as possible is to use height and elevation to your advantage. When food is piled higher, it will look more filling than any appetizing to those with hungry stomachs. When you are choosing your plates, one thing you should consider is the size of your plate or bowl. A larger plate may look great to highlight a specific food, but can make a dish look and feel empty. Consider using a plate that will fit the amount of food you wish to serve. A smaller plate will make a dish seem bigger and photograph wonderfully. If you are building a dish for the main purpose of photography, perhaps creating menu images or sharing on social media as an advertising campaign, consider using tiny bowls underneath rice or pasta to make it appear mountainous and build up the height. This will provide stability to make it taller.
Crowding The Food
If you are creating a dish with distinct ingredients and separate portions, do not feel the need to pack your dish. Although you want to emphasize a dish or meal with height and showcase it in a way that is inviting and appealing to hungry people, you also want to consider that overfilling a plate will make the dish feel overwhelming and you will not be able to focus on the different aspects of the food that you would want to highlight. Instead, and depending on the components of the meal, you should separate them and leave space within the dish to allow the person to easily eat and enjoy each aspect of the meal. Also remember to avoid filling the food to the edge of the plate, but instead leaving space to help draw the attention to the food in the center.
Wipe Down The Plate
Always keep your food surfaces clean, and this is not just in terms of hygiene, although that should always be the utmost priority when handling any sort of food. When you are preparing a plate and serving a dish, before a meal goes out of the kitchen, you should always wipe down the sides of the plate from any spatter when you are pouring, placing, or plating any of the ingredients. This will create more visual appeal with a clean and classy look that is perfect for the camera as well.
Food can be a visual experience as much as it is an experience based on taste and smell. This is why, when you are trying to make meals look as appealing as possible, you should consider adding garnishes to your dishes. Garnishes may not add as much in terms of flavor, but including a few sliced vegetables or garnish leaves can make a dish look infinitely better than simply serving it as is. This is especially helpful when you are working with dishes that do not have many components like a steak or a soup.
Cuts And Slices
When you are incorporating any sort of dish that has meat, it is important to avoid tears in your meat slices. These are not great to look at visually. Additionally, the same can be said for foods that need to be cut like cakes, or scooped like ice cream. If you want a meal that looks great, you need to be careful in all aspects of the preparation process.
Do not underestimate how impactful a good looking plate of food can contribute to your taste buds. For many businesses and commercial kitchens, this is why so much money goes into professional food photography, as this brings out the best in what they have to offer and appeals to the hungry public. Be sure to beautify your meals and your stomach will appreciate it.