COFFEE PHOTOGRAPHY. AMAZE WITH DETAILS!
No matter what equipment and props you have, use the creative tips of professional photographer Dina Belenko, who talks about fantastic ways to get the perfect coffee photo.
Start by exploring the details.
Pay attention to how the vortices and curls of coffee and milk merge into a cup, and a pinch of cinnamon on a weightless foam for cappuccino excites the sense of smell. Or how strong coffee absorbs light, remaining almost completely opaque. Take a series of close-ups with a macro lens. In this case, there is not much room for complex narration, but you can catch the beauty of the details.
Show the ingredients
You can also focus on the differences in the preparation of, say, flat white and cappuccino. Compare two ways of drinking coffee: with or without milk, hot or with ice, with or without milk froth. Keep the scene as minimal as possible by adding only objects that clearly tell your coffee story.
Another way is to photograph recipes for some rare coffees. If it is not possible to film the cooking process, then at least take the final shot with the drink and ingredients. The same goes for less exotic. Remove the coffee mug with cardamom, anise or cinnamon around.
Stock up with props
Antique coffee grinders, porcelain cups, glass coffee pots, a wide spoon for cans and a tiny Turk can also be a source of inspiration. These things are so beautiful that their photos will be a wonderful addition to the interior of almost any coffee shop or cafe.
First of all, do not ignore simple porcelain coffee cups. They may seem boring, but they will fit into any story. It is difficult to compare cups with intricate patterns with saucers, spoons, napkins or other additional details. But not a simple white porcelain.
Color itself can become the main character of your image. If you have bright colored dishes, why not play the artist and take a picture of her on bright plain backgrounds? Add a couple of contrasting details to make your shots more vibrant, but make it simple. Geometric shapes and color blocking work great together.
The filter may seem uninteresting, but add some ground coffee and arabica leaves and it will shine! And yes, not everyone has access to Arabica leaves. But you can buy a small coffee plant at a local flower shop and grow it on your windowsill. The French press looks amazingly backlit, and the old coffee grinder looks in the dark.
Choose your palette
Black and brown color palette, backlight, impressive shadows. Pay attention to how coffee splashes look on a dark background, they are so shining! Coffee grinders, wooden spoons, coasters and boxes will come in handy. Their brown color matches the color of the coffee, but it looks darker.
If the cup is glass, its texture is easy to combine with almost everything. Or you can use a ceramic cup if you want to add a sense of something magical and vintage. After that, it is good to add splashes of contrasting colors: bright cinnamon, blue napkins or cup holders and, possibly, green leaves. Cooler colors will add contrasting shades to the warm palette and make it more balanced. Coffee, no matter how versatile it is, also looks good in a high key. Especially if you want to add not only cups and drinks, but also some fried beans.
You can try backgrounds of various bright colors. It is important to decide which palette you are going to use before composing a composition or collecting props.
Draw coffee beans
Start with simple decorative bends and swirls around the cups in a flat lay shot and move on to more complex patterns. Draw a maze or treasure map. Or maybe just wish someone good morning. Coffee beans are a great tool for food typography. You can use them separately or combine with words made from cinnamon, cardamom, sugar cubes or cookies.
Tell a simple story
Coffee photography is not about a drink. She is about your favorite books and films, about your dreams, about you. Go to the next level and tell your own stories. A good way to start your story is to think about what you are trying to recreate. Describe the atmosphere you want your viewer to feel and make it your starting point.
The first and easiest way is to take off your coffee while it’s hot and grab the beautiful curls of steam. Use the backlight to make the steam not only noticeable, but also radiant. Set the camera in continuous shooting mode. Pour some hot water into the cup and take a few shots with rising clouds of steam. Of course, keep the kettle slightly higher than usual so that it does not get into the frame. Be careful with hot water and keep your electronic equipment safe.