We love to work with food products as part of our product photography services and an interesting aspect of this is using motion to enhance the products. For a packshot photographer, the ability to explore motion within a still image is a fantastic skill that brings excitement and fun to food. We’ve put together a helpful guide to how to create motion in food product photography below.
Think about lighting and background
The king of every product photography hints and tips article, and it is no different when trying to create motion with food. Firstly, consider how the lighting will interact with the liquid or food, whether it will help with the illusion of motion or detract from the overall shot. A product photography studio will likely have a range of lighting options so test them out and find the best fit.
When it comes to backgrounds, you want to use the right colour so that the product doesn’t blend in with the background when you pour it out of a jug or shake it over other props. If ever a packshot photographer is unsure about the best approach, we always recommend looking for backgrounds that make the product stand out.
Pour it out
The vast majority of motion shots in product photography will revolve around pouring something out of a jug, container or bottle. As a result, you want to test out how the product pours before you get started.
Does it pour in a nice, smooth way? Is it a thicker substance that trickles down the glass and needs a completely different set-up? Either way, it is the job of a packshot photographer to make sure the product pours in the right way, using the right props otherwise it just won’t look good on camera.
Focus on consistency
This very much links to the point about how a product pours and in our minds has equal importance. Consistency in food product photography means making sure that it allows the viewer to step into the photo, imagining dipping into that melted chocolate or eating that meal with smooth gravy on top.
If you need to manually loosen up the product then you can add hot water into it as a quick fix. Alternatively, if you want to thicken the liquid then add in some corn starch and water to really transform it.
Find the right angle
You may have all of the products, tools and props you need to make stunning product photos. However, one aspect of food product photography to remember is to think about angles and how they impact the results of each image.
Let’s take an example of a packshot photographer wanting to shoot some pancakes with maple syrup being poured over them. You want to think about which angle to pour from so that you don’t block any important parts of the background or detail, whilst being careful to understand how it will affect your lighting. One good way to get around this is to practice pouring over the product without actually having any liquid in the container.