Action food photography – tricks and tips

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Food stylists love to tell a story through their pictures. And what better way than an action shot. They are fun to shoot but can get a little complicated. Here are a few tricks and tips for making your job a tab bit easier while capturing movement on camera. 

Making of cherry tomatoes confit

  • Equipment or an extra pair of hands: I had to, and occasionally, I still do rely on my family while taking an action shot. They become the hand model for my shoot. They are easy to handle and come free of cost.
photo of chocolate bundt cake
Pour shot for Chocolate Bundt Cake
  • Camera settings: I always go for manual mode. First comes the shutter speed. Shoots involving a fast action like sprinkling sugar, splash shots, or dusting flour need a high shutter speed of 1/160 and above to get a crisp image. However, for pouring shots with milk or ganache, you can choose below that speed. Next, change the drive mode from a single image to a continuous shoot to get burst.
photo of Honey cinnamon granola with quinoa and flaxseeds
Granola with quinoa, flaxseeds, nuts, oats, and some dried fruits.
  • Preferences for ingredients
    Liquid: You might want to adjust the consistency of sauce or chocolate with water or milk to prevent changing the taste. Make sure there is no lump to get a continuous flow. 
    Solid: Sometimes, getting the right image with regular salt might be a challenge, my tip, use sea salt.
  • The angle of camera: My favorite when it comes to an action shot is straight-on angle. But it might vary depending upon the dish or shoot. A beautiful contrasting backdrop helps the hero shine through. 
Photo of Goat Cheese Toast with Caramalized Peach
Grilled peach toast
  • Implied movement : a symbolic gesture that represents movement even though in reality there is no movement at all. I started with these shots. For example, my little one reaching out for a cookie or cupcake, kneading dough, cutting fruit or chocolate, etc. 
photo of Turmeric panna cotta blend from OHMYGOD
example of implied movement

I hope these tips help you capture the action for food photography in the best possible way.

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