One thing I love about being a food photographer is that I get to create my scene from scratch. Unlike other genres of photography (e.g. landscape photography) where the photographer works with an already established scene (e.g. the landscape), food photographers start with a blank canvas and create the entire scene themselves. I love the creative freedom this gives me as a photographer, but sometimes I get stuck staring at the blank canvas with no idea how to start composing my scene.
If this has ever happens to you, here are 3 composition tips I turn to when I just don't know where to start.
- Try using the Rule of Thirds.
The Rule of Thirds is great for beginners because it is so easy learn and execute. Here’s how it works: when you look at your image, imagine that it is divided into thirds both vertically and horizontally to create a 9-square grid. When you use the Rule of Thirds, you place your subjects along the lines and intersections of the grid. This helps to create balance and intrigue in your image.
In this photo, I placed the main glass and the creamer along a third line.
- Play around with an S curve.
If you’ve never heard of an S curve, the name is pretty self explanatory. When you use an S curve, you basically arrange the subjects in your photograph in the shape of an S. I always use an S curve when I’m in a composition rut because it requires little thought and it looks good almost every time.
- Create triangles in your images.
When it comes to composition, triangles tend to be very pleasing to the eye. If you’re looking to elevate an image, try arranging similar subjects in triangles. You can group subjects by color, shape, or proximity to one another. This is a fun trick because it’s versatile. There are many ways to create triangles, and you can create many triangles in one image.