How to Photograph Biryani – 10 Tips for Better Photos

Silvain • updated June 27, 2022 • 4 min read

The mouthwatering flavors of Indian comfort food are captured in biryani. Each of the many regional variations of this rice dish includes tender meat like chicken thighs or drumsticks, crunchy vegetables, fresh seafood, roasted nuts, and perfectly seasoned rice.

Learn everything you need to take tasty photos of this traditional layered rice dish.


 

1. Prepare your Biryani to be photo-ready

Professional photographers refer to the aesthetically pleasing presentation of food as plating. The importance of good plating cannot be overstated. In fact, studies have shown that when eating, people tend to think that food that is presented beautifully is tastier and healthier.

Placing is the first step in making the user believe that the food being photographed is as juicy and mouthwatering as it appears to be when they have only the image to go on.

You should think about how to assemble your food in an aesthetically pleasing way before you start taking photos.

“The history of this delicious dish is the subject of many theories. According to many historians, the Mughals brought the dish of Biryani from Persia to India. The Mughal royal kitchen helped to refine the dish of biryani.”

2. Pick the right plate

You should select serving dishes that best complement the aesthetic of the food and highlight its visual appeal. Dishes like biryani are colorful and can stand out more vividly on traditional white plates.

3. Place your Biryani in the center

People frequently think that whatever is in the center of a food photograph is the main attraction. To ensure symmetrical food plating, it is best to start with the main dish in the center and work your way out, adding sides or garnish as you go.

4. Be an artist

Professional food stylists decorate their plates in a stylish and consistent way, much like a painter designing a canvas, using tools like spoons, squeeze bottles, tweezers, and even paint brushes. Use sauces and designs to give your plate a creative edge without being afraid to do so.

Good food photographers frequently double as food stylists, even assembling food styling kits, which are collections of accessories and tools for preparing food for photography.

After preparing your food for photography, you should start considering the positioning and composition of the final images.

5. Get the lighting right

To show off the textures and color balance of your biryani in a photo, you need good lighting. When choosing the right light source for your food, you should think about what parts of the food you want to draw attention to.

Do you want to show off how juicy a piece of cooked mutton is or how different the texture of a perfectly piece of seafood?

Keep this in mind to get the best lighting for your biryani:

  • Don’t light up the food from the front.
    When you take a picture, lighting from the front can create harsh bright spots. This means that textured foods won’t have enough contrast to show off their texture, making them look bland and tasteless.
  • Light from the side instead.
    Lighting your food from the side is a great way to show the shadows as well as bright spots of some textures, like naan, meat, and shrimp. This is highly relevant when taking pictures of biryani with a lot of different textures.
  • Recognize harsh shadows.
    While you want to highlight the textures of your food, harsh shadows can be unappealing and off-putting, frequently resembling mold growth. In order to balance the shading in the frame and highlight the texture of the food, adjust the angle of your light or camera if you notice any harsh shadows.
  • Use gentle, dappled light.
    Softer lighting can also help to avoid harsh shadows. The best place to take a photo outside in natural light is next to a window on a cloudy day. Try using a low-light or reflective surface to reflect and diffuse natural light or artificial light onto your subject.

6. Whenever possible, use natural light

It’s not impossible to take a decent picture of food in an artificially lit environment, but it does require some additional lighting expertise.

Natural light, particularly on a cloudy day, is bright enough to highlight the textures of your food while remaining soft enough to prevent harsh shadows.

7. Play around with framing

Not every food photograph employs the same framing. How you frame the food in the photo should be determined by its aesthetic appeal.

There is no right or incorrect way to frame a food image, but there are a few considerations to make:

8. Try taking pictures from various angles

Consider what aspect of the food you want to highlight. For instance, to highlight the texture and juiciness of the beef in a biryani, it may be best to cut it in half and take the photo from the side.

However, not all foods will respond well to side-shots. To best display, the intricate details of the arrangement of elements, shots of items like biryani plates should be taken from above in a flat-lay style.

Avert shooting your food at an angle that is front-facing and downward. This is a common error people make when taking food photos because it’s the first angle they see when a plate of food is put in front of them.

9. Focus on different areas to create a depth of field

The distance between objects in the frame and how the focus highlights the closest portions of the food are both factors in depth-of-field. Try experimenting with close-ups, focused shots, and backgrounds with less focus.

Playing around with your photographs’ depth of field can help highlight foods with more texture; this effect is particularly effective with pasta dishes.

10. Edit your culinary Biryani images like a pro

After taking your food photos, you should use a photo editing program to make a few minor adjustments. A paid tool (like Adobe Lightroom) could be used if you have the money, but there are a ton of free photo-editing software options available.

Always exercise caution when editing. Your food images may appear unnatural and unappealing if you over-edit them. However, minor adjustments to the color harmony and shading will make your photos appear more polished and expert.


Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to light the Biryani?

We always recommend using natural light, especially when you are a food photography beginner. Use soft light and light from the side instead of the front. Watch out for harsh shadows that really can look like patches of mold.

Can I take good photos of Biryani with my phone?

Yes, and you don’t need a costly DSLR camera to capture great pictures of food. The majority of food photos you see on social media today probably came from a smartphone. If you just try to make a few photos, your smartphone will fine.


More food photography:


Biryani photo ideas

Not sure how to make biryani for your photoshoot? Check out some recipes:

Chicken dum biryani
Quick carrot biryani
Vegetable Biryani
How to make easy pork biryani

Conclusion

The art of biryani photography is not a precise science. While these are some general guidelines for taking better pictures of food, don’t let them prevent you from experimenting with lenses, lighting setups, and compositions that can give your photography a distinctive edge.

There are a ton of amazing and fascinating ways to play with food. Your food images will stand out if you approach the concept of the food photo in a unique way.

What is your take on how to photograph biryani? – Let us know in the comments.

By Furoore team member Silvain

Silvain is a French/German national and has been with the Furoore Team since the beginning. He likes to write about various photography themes, especially food photography. If you leave a comment, he will come back to you to answer any questions you may have.

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