How To Capture Pouring Shots In Food Photos

This is not just food photography, these are sensual, syrupy, sticky, and chocolately action photographs. Whether it’s milk on cereal, hot chocolate sauce poured on sticky toffee pudding, or simply hot water from a kettle to make a cuppa, ‘pour shots’ are a fantastic way to add an action element to food photography.

The majority of food photography is still life, with maybe a little steam escaping, but generally, the mood is serene, and action shots are something more associated with sports or wildlife photography. But a good pour shot can elevate your photo into something more.

If you’ve been wondering how to create this kind of image, or how to improve on your existing skills, then we have some tips for you.


Does it Pour?

The first tip is to check on what you intend to pour out of pours nicely. Find a jug that has a nice lip that helps the liquid pour out smoothly. Some jugs or cups may end up with the liquid trickling down the side instead of a smooth pour.

Always check how your chosen vessel pours liquids before the shoot, as you don’t want to spend time getting the shot all set up, only to find your jug is not up the task and makes a mess of the scene. It can be more of an issue with thinner liquids - water, beverages, etc, than sauces and thicker drinks.


Get the Right Consistency

Some viscous liquids, such as melted chocolate, can be a little too thick to pour. In this case, it would be an idea to add a little hot water to loosen it up and help it pour, drip, and smother the food you’re pouring on to.

At the other end of the scale, you might want to thicken up a liquid, such as sauces or gravy, and in which case you can add a mixture of corn starch and water to thicken it.


Choose Backgrounds Wisely

You will want to be able to see what you’re pouring or dripping, so when setting out your scene, choose your UK food photography backdrops carefully, and ensure the colour or tone doesn’t bend in with the pouring substance, or it may become difficult to see.

For instance, you would not want to use a white backdrop if you’re wanting to capture milk being poured, or icing sugar being sprinkled on a cake. But against a darker background, this will stand out proudly.


Stand in the Right Location

It might sound obvious, but if you don’t plan out where you, or whoever is doing the pouring, is going to be standing for the shoot, you might find that you are blocking the light, casting unwanted shadows, or obstructing the scene.

It is a good idea to practice a few trial runs with a fake pour to ensure that you are getting everything you want from the shot before you commit to the actual pour. The more preparation you put into the shot before you’re ready to press the shutter, the less chance of things going wrong.


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