Best Techniques for Taking Amazing Coffee Photography
Whether you’re shooting for a coffee or your food blog, there are a few creative tips you can use. Try these techniques to improve your coffee photography!
Get Closer to Capture the Details
How do you like your coffee? Is it a shot of espresso, Or is it a large mug of latte, milky and tender.
Do you like seeing swirls and curls of coffee and milk merging? A pinch of cinnamon on a weightless cappuccino foam? Or the way strong coffee absorbs light looking almost non-transparent?
Get your macro lens and capture these details with a series of close-up pictures.
There isn’t much room for an elaborate narrative here. But most of the time, a close-up picture of a coffee cup is enough to tell a story.
Showcase the Ingredients
When shooting coffee photography, you can also concentrate on differences in the making of, say, a flat white and a cappuccino.
Compare two ways of enjoying coffee: with or without milk, hot or iced, etc. You can even take it up to eleven and shoot plain, but elegant espresso next to something fancy.
No matter what you decide, keep the scene as minimalist as possible. Bring in only the objects that tell your story.
With your pictures of coffee, let your viewers know how to make various recipes by showing the ingredients.
If you drink your coffee with syrup, coconut milk, or chocolate, then include them in the photos. You can even add other ingredients such as cardamom, cinnamon, and coffee beans.
Props are crucial when taking pictures of coffee.
Take a look at some props you already have and use them as your main heroes. You can include anything from vintage coffee grinders to porcelain cups.
Simple Porcelain Cups
Don’t ignore simple porcelain coffee cups. They may seem boring, but they can fit in any story you’re telling.
Cups with patterns or elaborate designs can be hard to match with other props. But plain white porcelain mixes well with everything.
Bright, Colourful Props
Simple props are perfect when taking pictures of coffee. But feel free to work with something a bit bolder and more vibrant as well.
The colour itself can be the main hero of your image. If you’ve got some brightly coloured dishware, why not play artist and photograph coffee on vibrant backgrounds?
Add a couple of contrasting details to make your shots more lively, but keep everything simple. Geometrical shapes and colour blocking work great together.
A porta filter may not seem appealing. But add some coffee beans and arabica leaves, and it shines!
I know, not everyone has access to arabica leaves. But you can buy a small coffee plant in a local flower store and grow it at home.
Of course, you shouldn’t just limit yourself with porta filters. A French press looks marvellous in back light. An old coffee grinder would work great in a dark setting. A Moka pot is fantastic for modern scenes with a minimalist and clean look.
And if you can lay your hands on a siphon coffee maker, it can look stunning in any scene.
Use Colours to Complement the Scene
Your starting point doesn’t have to be a specific variety of coffee or a type of props. It can be colours you’re going to use. I’m strongly inclined to shoot my coffee in the tradition of dark food photography. Generally, that means using black and brown colour palette, back lighting, impressive shadows.