1. KEEP PLATES SIMPLE - Your dishes will shine when served on white, light blue or sometimes black plates. Don’t be tempted to use the pottery you bought in Italy last year as the colours compete with the food and it becomes too busy. You can always throw in some colour with napkins or other colourful bits.
2. PICK YOUR PROP STYLE -Make sure your plates/props reflects your style and stick with the same theme. If its retro, slick modern, country chic or ethnic funk you like, keep it consistent. Don’t worry if its the same pieces as long as they’re beautiful that’s what counts.
3. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX - You don’t always have to plate your food. Show it in the pot, place it in 3 bowls, stack it with paper in-between or show it on an old baking tray.
4. LESS IS MORE - Don’t overload your plate or serving dish. Too much food and not enough plate can appear heavy. It will appear bigger than you think on camera so try and show a fair amount of rim when plating up.
5. SHOW SOME ACTION - A static plate of food is a bit boring, shake it up and put some action in the photo. Show herbs being chopped, parmesan being shaved, scoopfuls being removed, knives cutting slices, and cake slices removed.
6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE A MESS - Throw a few crumbs or blobs of oil on the plate; let it get a bit messy. Don’t take it too far or it can have the opposite effect. But a sexy dribble of oil, a few rocket leaves, seeds or black pepper on the side is beautiful and real.
7. BUY FABULOUS SEASONAL VEG - Mini cucumbers, baby yellow beetroot, wild rocket leaves or rainbow chard can lend heaps of beauty and colour to food photography. Shop at Na-toora or your local greengrocer for eye-popping beautiful veg to pimp up your food.
8. GET THE TOOLS - Invest in some professional tools to take your food to the next level. Zest-ers, mandolines, piping bags and tips, julienne peelers, can help you create a special touch so start scanning Amazon.
9. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY BROWN - Use colourful garnishes to perk up brown food. Rocket leaves, yogurt, lemon and lime wedges, red chilis, spring onions, radishes, micro cress and herbs are all at your disposal!
10. STAY GREEN - Blanch your green veggies like broccoli, green beans and peas in boiling water followed by a rinse in ice-cold water. This will lock in the green colour and keep your salads vi-brant.
11. PERKY HERBS - Herbs wilt quickly once out of the fridge, so place them in cold water until using. Always place on your food at the last minute to keep them springy and fresh.