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Nine and three. If you want to take photos of food that you can sell as stock or fine art, or even to glossy magazines, remember the numbers nine and three. A few weeks ago, I met with Portland food photographer Lara Ferroni, who showed me some key tricks for shooting food photos using nothing but a camera, a tripod, a window, and something to bounce light, like white cardboard or Styrofoam. Turns out it’s easy to take simple food photos that look amazing — right in your kitchen or dining room — if you know a few food photography tricks. Here’s where the numbers nine and three come in… When you photograph food, you want your main light source (in our case, window light) to come from either behind your subject or to the side (not from the front). Imagine that the subject of your photo is in the middle of a clock. Your camera is at six o’clock. You want your light source to come from somewhere between nine o’clock and three o’clock. (See the arrows on the diagram below.) In this shot, the light is coming from about 10:30 (upper left): Lara Ferroni And in this one, it’s coming from directly to the side — about 9:00: Lara Ferroni This adds a soft shadow and rim of light around the edges of your subject, making it appear more three-dimensional. If you want to, you can always pop a little light back onto the front of your subject by holding up a reflector — or in Lara’s case, a piece of the white Styrofoam that she keeps handy. Try it out yourself — the results will amaze you. This simple trick makes a huge difference in the look and feel of your food photos. I’ll share another one of Lara’s tricks and some more food photos tomorrow… [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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