Now I'm super super duper lucky having the job that I have. I get to say that I can be that person taking photos in a coffee shop, but doing it for a living (after many years of it simply being my hobby).
I've gone from not only taking professional photos for myself, but also becoming a social media manager for coffee shops. Isn't that just living the dream?
Natural lighting is absolutely key to making your photos looking better, especially if you're not able to use top of the range equipment. If you look at the same subject taken in low light and natural light environments you will notice that the second one will not only have greater colours and clarity, but will also be of a much higher definition. If you're in a coffee shop, make the most of what most shops capitalise on - their natural lighting. Even if I'm not sitting there, I tend to move my coffee over to the window for a photo so I get the best shot possible.
My biggest pet peeve of people taking coffee shots is when they take super up close and unflattering photos of a coffee cup. Your coffee cup/ain object of the photo should not take up more than 1/3 of the image, otherwise it looks amateury.
Flatlays work well if the coffee has an especially good piece of latte art on top. Cappuccinos look best as front on photos so you can see that glorious frothy dome on top.
Focus can either be simply on the coffee cup with a blurry background, or there can be an overall focus on the entire coffee scene. Either way, stick to the 1/3 rule and it'll look larvely.
Now this is where taking of photos gets super interesting and fun. You can either take photos on a blank canvas with the photo as the main focal point, or you can set the coffee into a more detailed setting.
Either way, coffee is a great focal point for photos, since they’re just such an attractive object to photograph!
The only big tip I would have with ensuring that the background of your coffee photos are top-notch is to make sure that nothing is overpowering, and that everything is in proportion to another. If the coffee is a part of a wider scene, try to include different height levels in the photo, to ensure that the photo does not appear ‘flat’ and boring.
Colour is very important too, but we’ll touch upon that more in the item below!
Now I have to admit, this is pretty similar to ‘background’. This is largely down to the fact that all of the other little things in your image tell the story, your coffee is simply the focal piece which completes the puzzle.
Vibe coincides with your photography ‘theme’. Don’t think you have one? You do - everyone naturally has a theme - it’s what appeals to them most and how they like to filter and upload photos. If your theme is more warm toned (with yellows and reds), then your vibe will most likely be more ‘cosy’ than photos with cooler (blue) toned images.
For example, if you take a look at my Instagram profile (@caffeinegalore) then you will see that mine is very much more cooler photos, but with a bit of a rusty edge. That’s because i’m not fully devoted to cosiness (there are too many cool-as-heck coffee shops in London for this to be the case). I’m a lover of both the sense of a retreat with coffee, but also the scientific and attention to detail aspect.
Whatever it is that you prefer, try to find this quickly and follow this ‘vibe’ and ambience when taking and editing your photos. They’ll instantly look better.
5. Colour Scheme.
As mentioned previously, your colour scheme is a very important factor to consider when taking your photos. The great thing about coffee is that it can be paired with so many different colours out there - just walk around to several coffee shops and you’ll be greeted with insanely varying interiors, as well as an entire rainbow of coffee cups that the beverage is served in.
The sky is the limit, but try to stick to a few colours at most (as well as only a couple of filters post-photo taking!) to make your photos look professional when/if uploaded anywhere.
Not only this, but by sticking with the same colour scheme makes you develop your skills much further. You won’t be wasting time on trying to perfect the art of taking coffee photography in every scene and style, but instead will master the technique in your favourite colour scheme and style. For example, I’m not great with pink/rose tinted photos, and so will never capture them. They’re not in my colour scheme so it really doesn’t matter.
Your colour scheme is the first thing that a person will see when they stumble across your photography, so make sure it’s on point!
I hope this has been some help to you regarding your coffee photography, and remember to tag me in your Instagram photos (@caffeinegalore) if you take any!
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