How to Photograph Soup: 6 Tips for Great Soup Photos

Udon Soup

Soups are easily of the hardest subject in food photography. Most soups have no texture and can be pretty boring to photograph. There are some easy tips to create excitement and interest in your soup photos. Below are 6 tips that several food photographers have used to create interesting soup images.


How to Photograph Soup

Below are 6 tips to create amazing soup photos. Let’s start Lets look at them one by one.

1. Find the Best Camera Angle

 Red Lentil Carrot Soup

The above soup photo is an example simple and powerful composition. The soup here seems to have very little texture and so this angle works great. In this photo, light is coming from top right corner. look at the bowl and look for the shadow. Choose the best camera angle for your photo and use it. Photograph of Red Lentil Carrot Soup by Samantha Thayer.

2. Balance the Composition

 Beet Soup

This photo has vibrant colors and a wonderful composition. Eye starts with the first bowl and jumps to the second bowl and finally to the third bowl. Now, look at the balance in this image. The bowls start from the lower right corner and end on the top right corner. Joan has used a napkin in the top left corner to balance the image. Even that napkin in this image has a purpose. This soup photo is simple yet powerful.

Create balance in your composition. Add or remove elements from your composition so that your photo is not heavier on a side and lighter on the other. Think both horizontally as well as vertically. Beet Soup Photo by Joan Vicent Cantó

3. Minimize Distractions

 

Avocado Soup

How many colors do you see in this photo? Mainly two colors: white and green (and its shades). And using just two colors binds these different objects in the photo into one subject. This photo works great because this has minimal distractions.

Minimizing distractions from your photos is a tip that you can take with you in almost any type of photo shoot and not just food photography. Read more about minimizing distractions from your photographs. Avocado Soup photo by Kajal from Aapplemint.com.

4. Use interesting bowl or container to serve soup

 

Pea Soup Photo

In this pea soup photo, soup is served in a unique container. Using a container, in this case a glass, makes this photo very creative and fresh. Of course just using a nice looking container won’t help, it goes along with the other elements of photography as shown in this photograph. Pea Soup photo by Sabra Krock from CookBookCatchall (now known as Spoonful).

5. Use Light Creatively

 Udon Soup

Here is another great photograph. Very minimal styling and props usage. What a  wonderful use of light. The noodles and veggies ad some great texture in the bowl and give some character to this soup. In this photo, light is coming from back and the quality of this light is soft. This enhances the texture of the soup and makes this photo beautiful. Udon Soup photo by John Autry.

6. Tell a Story or Create a Mood

 Butternut Squash Cauliflower Soup

To make an interesting and outstanding photo, don’t just show what the soup looks like. Tell the story in your photo. In this photo, there is a bowl filled with soup and it is served with crackers. The light in the background suggests that the table is adjacent to the window. The table is ready and lets get down and get to this soup right away.

That is just one interpretation of the story. When you tell a story in your photos, your photos will become more engaging. When I first looked at this photo, my eyes were strategically moving from the soup bowl to the herb to the terracotta bowls and then spoon and crackers and back to the soup.  All this eye movement was to gather information and understand the story.

That’s what great photos do. Butternut Squash Cauliflower Soup photo by Aran from Cannelle-Vanille

Your Soup Photos…

What are your tips in photographing soups? What challenges have you come across? Share you comments below… and add your soup photos in the comment below (to learn how to share your photos click here)

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Comments

  1. Very helpful hints!

  2. For creams, and soups where everything sinks to the bottom, like the chowder, I find that garnishes that float are a life saver!

    [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pBep6cpuTfw/TMmnn4qn83I/AAAAAAAAAaA/rxiRm1ihm7U/s640/cauliflower_top.jpg[/img]
    Cauliflower and Fennel Velouté with Gorgonzola Garnish

    [img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_pBep6cpuTfw/TKibrjbtViI/AAAAAAAAAWY/aTZEfG44QN0/s640/mini_meatballs.jpg[/img]
    Miniature Meatball Broth

    [img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_pBep6cpuTfw/TLmtTwFN9xI/AAAAAAAAAY4/DlfArWc8swo/s640/butternut.jpg[/img]
    Cream of Butternut Squash & Ginger Soup

    [img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pBep6cpuTfw/TNf9pLmSqsI/AAAAAAAAAbs/2Vc-45-x3FI/s640/clam_chowder_alternate1.jpg[/img]
    New England Clam Chowder

    Enjoy!

    L

    http://www.hippressurecooking.com
    making pressrue cookers hip again, one recipe at a time!

  3. I like the tips about composition. Great and helpful blog overall![img]http://flic.kr/p/8K4kNi[/img]

  4. Oops, here’s my photo. Hope this works!
    [img]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4055/5081758641_8b6e4731af_b.jpg[/img]

  5. Very helpful tips. Thanks for sharing Neel.

  6. Nice blog..make me hungry.

  7. Image illustration #5 is my favourite. Great set of tips.

  8. soups can be challenging. I have been making a lot of soups lately and I find that the angle of the shot and styling itself can make a lot of difference in capturing the mood of the soup. A couple of my soup shot links below -

    A creamy soup best angled in a top view
    http://www.forkspoonnknife.com/2010/11/farm-to-table-simple-fall-lunch-soup.html

    Presenting a chunky soup in a shallow bowl helps highlight the ingredients
    http://www.forkspoonnknife.com/2010/10/lebanese-soup-with-moghrabieh.html

    Cheers!

  9. Chinese love \tong sui\ (sweet soup) and I find it hard to photograph them. Here is one which I have posted recently but I am not very happy with it. Can anyone give me some advice how to improve this further?
    [img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_oo9jPk0GfoQ/TOKWw0MWdMI/AAAAAAAAAuU/9oEEwguLwmE/s1600/IMG_3276qpc.jpg[/img]

  10. This is my first attempt. (I hope this works)

    http://flic.kr/p/8Yvpo8

  11. I love this posting. Soup is indeed very difficult to photograph well. If you have seen my shots, you would be laughing at how poorly it was shot! Thanks for this tip. I will try to work on my soup shots with them!

  12. a faest for the eyes,excellent ideas,thankyou

  13. sorry, I meant a FEAST for the eyes :-)

  14. Love the pictures and the tips. My favorite one is the last one, even though there is a lot going on, it is all tied in with the colors and the story . Thanks !

  15. Great tips. Thanks for posting. I’m working on my first soup photo shoot now.

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