Tip No 4: Let’s Compose!

I trust you’ve been looking at tons of photographs, paintings, sketches, design books and all sorts of artwork as well as other great food photographers; if you haven’t… shame on you!

Just kidding, you’ll have time to catch up. Let’s say you have, which means that by now, subconsciously you’ve gathered an invaluable catalog of imagery which will become your basic ingredients for your photography. This catalog will be like the basic ingredients for your composition.

Composition is the way you present your work, the way you place and arrange things intentionally or unintentionally to create a photograph and express how you view a scene.

To keep this tip short, I’m going to skip the theory and share a link to a photographer called Erik Kim who has written plenty of great articles about composition: CLICK HERE

Now, putting your trained eye into practice, play around with all sorts of compositions. Try central compositions which are great to highlight a striking subject, or move things to one edge following the leading lines or how a dish is plated or a table laid and find a unique way to portray that.

Take it to the next level and compose by colours, or shapes or geometry, the beauty of photography is that it is an art form and as such, your creativity is the limit.

Here are a few examples of my most common compositions used on food:

And here are some used for portraits and action shots:

A lot of photographers like to follow the rules and they’ll say that it’s always best to stick to them and compose according to the rule of thirds or the golden ratio, If you ask me, I didn’t win awards by following the rules but the golden ratio is my preferred way for looking at things.

The more pictures you take, the more comfortable you’ll get at composing a shot, like everything that it’s worth it, it takes time and effort so keep at it!

Follow me on @XDBPHOTOGRAPHY and @BRIGHTON_FOOD_PHOTOGRAPHY on Instagram to see more examples of my photography. Please share this or any other articles if you think they’re worth a read.

Until next time.


Copyright Notice: All photographs are subject to copyright and protected by UK and international law. Total or partial copy and/or reproduction is strictly forbidden. If you wish to use these photographs for personal, editorial or commercial purposes, please get in touch. ©Xavier D. Buendia / XDBPhotography