A long time ago, a food photographer for magazine ads told me that in photos of cereal or anything with milk, they use white glue, because real milk comes out grayish. I don't know if that's true, but since hearing that I can't look at food ads without thinking they're fake in some way.
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I'm interested in food photography myself and often read tips on this subject.
1. Use natural light (ideally from a large window).
2. Take food photos with macro lens.
3. Use tripod in order to avoid camera shake.
4. Position food the way that it will be back lit, but don't forget to lift the shadows in the front.
5. Don't shoot from high above (shooting from above working well only in some cases), food looks more natural when shot on the level as if you were sitting at the table.
Hope it helps
Having produced TV food photography for years, I noticed the best food shooters study and test everything they do before making a useable shot. Many times before they step on a shooting stage, they've tested different film stock, even exposed some to see results. To them, the lens, the film exposure and the use of light is both friend and foe. Never is the light aimed at food closeups. Most often a white card is angled to provide the most appetizing bounce light look. They also know the tricks, like adding artificial steam to add the appeal of a hot dish; though I note that's being used less today, because of today's smaller production budgets. In general: heat the picture overall for appetizing appeal. Bounce soft key light where it provides the most appetite appeal. Use a small light to highlight portions of the frame. Apply smoke when needed. Make carbonated drinks bubble, give beer an appetizing head. David Russell
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