If we check Pinterest, we’ll see that every day it is more and more common to find food pictures taken with an overhead shot. Overhead shots generally inspire naturalness and are a good way to capture the ambiance of the place better than portraying the details of the food. We personally love them, so today we are showing you the ingredients for a good overhead shot:
1. The food
It’s the star of the picture! Obvious as it may sound, before settling our overhead shot we have to think about the suitability of this kind of shot for the food we intend to shoot. That is, it will work particularly good in dishes or preparations where elements are arranged horizontally and not stacked or vertically organized. As an example, generally an overhead shot will work better with a paella than a layer cake, where the contrast of textures and colors is found on the vertical layers of the preparation.
You know that lighting is the soul of photography and we need to pay a lot of attention to it. When dealing with an overhead shot, we tend to opt for high contrast lighting that can create shadows on the surface and the food, that help us understand its volume and textures. In other words, we would use light sources of smaller surface, maybe a bit harsher than the one we’d use for another photo shoot.
3. The props
When working on an overhead shot, we need to pay attention to the height of the props that we choose, because the depth of field can create blurriness on some of the heights of the element that may make it difficult to properly read the image.
4. The ambiance
In an overhead shot we don’t generally get so close to the food as in other kinds of shots. This allows us to put more element in the composition that will help us create a certain atmosphere. If we want to instill the idea of the image being a snapshot we could add some hands grabbing the food, or people interacting with it, that will help us create dynamism in the photo.
5. The equipment
The only necessary equipment to take an overhead shot is the camera. We always recommend to work with a tripod, but most of the don’t allow to move the center column. This problem can be solved by using a bar that we’ll attach to the tripod and will allow us to hold the camera pointing downwards. This model, for example, might help us in this case.
If you need a pinch of inspiration, on our Pinterest we created a board only for this type of shots!