1) Lose The Flash - Natural light works best for me, just out of direct sunlight. I look for nicely shaded areas in my back yard and naturally well lit areas inside my home. This usually eliminates the yellow tone that false light gives and any reflections on dishes that a flash might make.
|Natural light with direct sunlight in background|
2) Planning and Practice Make Perfect - Often times when I know I'm going to make and photograph a dish, I'll write myself some notes, draw some little sketches and really think about how I want the dish to speak to my audience. Try it, and then when you've made a decision, prep the area and get everything ready BEFORE, so all you have to do is insert your delicious food and shoot!
3) Pay Attention - I always look through food magazines, web sites and blogs for food photos I love and use some of their ideas. You can look for backgrounds, finishing touches, colors, plates, accompaniments (silverware, flowers, etc.). This could give you exactly the idea you didn't know you had!
4) Opposites Attract - When looking at colors for dishes and backgrounds, I try to remember not to put too much of one color in the dish or in the background. If your food is mostly white, use a darker plate/background to make the food "pop" off of the plate. I have a color wheel that I use sometimes when I'm setting up photos for my food to let me know what colors are opposite each other.
|Blueberry-Orange Tiramisu Trifle|
|Irish Rasher and Apple Mash|
The shot I wanted
A cropped version of the shot
turned into the shot I LOVE!