December 19, 2016

#OnTheTable: 5 Tips for Better Coffee Photos

Words + Photos : Brian Cason

We’ve all been there: sitting at a local cafe, hovering over our treats, twisting our phones back and forth, trying to get the perfect photo…

Coffee and food are some of the most popular photography subjects because they are integral parts of our daily lives and travels. But capturing ordinary moments in an interesting way isn’t easy. To help you get your “#onthetable” on, we put together 5 important tips:


#1 – Add Some Humanity

A quick and easy to way to add interest and movement to a stale shot is to inject your friends and family. Placing a hand around a coffee mug or an arm reaching for a piece of bread will help bring life (literally!) to your photos. Your Wide lens is great for these shots because you can capture the entire table.






#2 – Keep It Simple

That latte art is probably beautiful on its own, so let it control the photo. There is a beauty in simplicity, so the next time you’re taking a shot of food or beverages, try letting the item stand alone. To add some visual interest, place the item in different areas of the frame. Using the rule of thirds, you can emphasize the focal point using negative space.







#3 – Get Dirty

We’re so quick to take photos of our food and coffee right when we get it, but what about after we devour it? Next time you’re shooting at that local coffee shop, take a photo of the remnants in your cup or the crumbs on the plate. “Before” photos can show off how good something looks, but “after” photos can show how good something tastes!







#4 – Accessorize

A great thing about local coffee shops and cafes is that they tend to have cute decor, succulents, or other great accessories in reach. If none of these are in sight, you can use what you have with you; a book, newspaper, camera, sunglasses, or computer can all be great props for your table shot. The key to accessorizing is not overdoing it. Try different arrangements to find the right balance, but what’s great is there isn’t a wrong way to do it. Keep shuffling your props around until you create a photo you love!








#5 – Get To The Window

Surely the most important tip of all: Get as close to the window as possible. Natural light is a huge bonus when photographing things like coffee and food. You may have to quietly lurk while someone else finishes up, but you’ll be glad you waited. The right light from a window can make all of the above shots just right!


Bonus Tip: Use The Moment App

Conditions when shooting indoors and on various table surfaces can pose interesting lighting and color issues. Try the Moment App while shooting and use the helpful Exposure and Temperature sliders. These are two of the app’s most useful features, allowing you to adjust in-camera, which means less editing later.


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