Bowl of melted chocolate by belchonock, 123RF.
Chocolate is tricky to work with. It isn’t the easiest thing to photograph. No offense to its chocolatey goodness, but it’s generally just a whole lotta brown.
In this article, we’re sharing all our secrets that’ll help you get the most out of your photoshoot with chocolates. We’ll be talking about props, heat, lighting, gear and more.
If learning how to make chocolate look more photogenic sounds like a great idea, keep reading! Here are five tips that will make your viewer salivate while scrolling through your photos of chocolate.
Set the right backdrop
Chocolate pancakes by natavkusidey, 123RF.
Photos don’t look beautiful just because of the subject. The elements and context around the subject matter just as much to tell a story. That’s because we humans love a good story – especially ones that take us back to a fond memory.
With chocolate as an example, chocolate is commonly used to enhance the flavors of something else. Think chocolate chip cookies, chocolate fondue, chocolate cakes, and brownies.
Instead of photographing a block of chocolate as is, focus on enticing the viewers with the right props.
Have a heat gun on hand
Block of uncut chocolate by paulgrecaud, 123RF.
If your subject is a chocolate bar on its own, you'll need a heat gun to battle the 'bloom' – also known as the white stuff that appears on chocolates due to changes in sugar and fat crystals during a quick temperature change.
While chocolate blooms are perfectly fine to eat, they don't add to the photo. Fix it by quickly torching it with a heat gun. It shouldn't be too hot enough to deform the chocolate but just enough to eliminate the bloom. If it's a mild case of bloom, try blowing on it.
Good lighting only
Cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows by arx0nt, 123RF.
Lighting is any photographer's best friend. For the safest and easiest bet, try to use natural lighting as it brings out the chocolate's delicate sheen, texture, and creaminess.
Using natural lighting doesn't mean going out into the sun, though (because chocolate can melt, of course). But angling the light on the side while using a reflector to bounce light around can properly expose the subject.
A quick tip for photographing any food pictures, chocolate included, is not to light your food from the top, as this will create an undesirable, flat look. The lack of dimension and texture will be more obvious when it comes to subjects such as chocolate.
Using the right lens
Chocolate truffles by jirkaejc, 123RF.
We want all eyes (and bellies) focused on the food. Regarding food photography, you’ll want a nice close-up shot of the subject to draw in the viewers. To achieve that look, use a camera lens that could create a shallow depth of field with a blurry background.
Most built-in phone cameras have great enough functionality that could do that. If you’re using a full-frame camera, this means an 85mm or 100mm macro lens. A 50mm or 60mm macro lens would do the trick if using a cropped sensor camera.
Always edit the raw images
Chocolate on a table by maya23k, 123RF.
Beautiful photos don’t come in with just a click on the shutter — it requires basic editing to highlight the colors and fine-tune the details.
If there are fingerprints or flaws, an image editing tool like Pixlr would easily correct them. Pixlr has a spot correction tool and healing brush that you can zoom in with to make very precise adjustments.
Happy National Chocolate Day!
With these tips, you’re guaranteed a delicious photo that you can share with the internet this National Chocolate Day.
Which of these chocolate photos look like they taste the best?