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Miha is a food, lifestyle and interiors photographer. Born in Bucharest, she spent her childhood summers on her grandparents' farm in the Romanian countryside. Climbing apple and cherry trees, helping raise the family pig and chickens, and eating farm-fresh food every day, she never wanted to go back to the city. Even though her family moved to New York when she was 11, the colors and beauty of those childhood days on the farm still inspire her today.

Upon graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in photography, Miha spent several years as a Photo Editor before concentrating on her own photo work full-time. Mihaís roster includes editorial, advertising and publishing clients and in 2008 PDN selected her as one of "30 Photographers to Watch."

Miha lives in LA with her husband Marc and son Medby.

Tips for Photographing Food:

Context

Decide whether or not to show the food in context based on the size and appeal of the subject. Here, the blueberries dwarf the muffin, whereas showing the muffin on its own hides how small it actually was in real life. Don't be afraid to cheat a little, in order to get the results that you want.

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© Miha Matei

Color

Stick to simple color combinations. It will make for a more graphic photo and make the food pop. Opposite colors on the color wheel work well, as well as complementary colors.

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© Miha Matei

Lighting

Use natural light whenever possible. Placing the food near a window and exposing for the food/foreground makes the background brighter and gives it dimension and depth. You will have to use the manual settings on your camera (so read your camera how-to instructions!), but it's well worth it.

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© Miha Matei

Angles

Choose your angles based on what you are photographing. Photographing your food at an angle, might make it look as if it was falling off the plate, spilling out of a glass. It may create too much tension in the composition.

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© Miha Matei

Perspective

Try shooting your food from above or straight on, in order to play up the composition or show texture. If your dish has height, get down low and photograph it as if you're taking a portrait. If your table setting is pretty, try standing on a chair and photograph it looking down. It's the element of surprise that delivers exciting photos.

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© Miha Matei

Behind the Scenes

Take photos of the food being made. In my opinion, the kitchen is the soul of the food and often where everyone ends up at a party, so you might catch a glimpse of guests mingling, hands prepping, or ingredients waiting to be used. Sometimes what goes into making the food is the most exciting part of cooking, not to mention the memories that are created when a family cooks together.

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© Miha Matei

Small food, big plate

Sometimes chefs like to showcase their food as art, on a big plate that makes the food stand out. That's great if you're at a restaurant and you see the food in context of the whole table, but I find that photographing food on a big white plate makes the food look small and far away. In the photo here, the food stylist had plated the dessert in the middle of the plate, and it looked tiny, but when moving the food to closer to the side of the plate, we were able to focus on the food as well as crop it in a more dynamic way. You want the food to look accessible and immediate, so your audience connects with it (and leaves feeling hungry!).

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© Miha Matei

Fresh

Try to photograph the food as fresh as possible. Pay close attention to sauces drying up, salad wilting, baked goods deflating, etc.

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© Miha Matei

Bigger than life

Zoom in close so that the food is the main focus of the photo, but not so close that there is no context for it and it's bigger than life. For this shot, it was important to show that this was a mini bundt cake. Having the plates, napkin and fork in the shot help to put the cake into context. Had we shot the cake on its own, it would have been difficult to know big it was in real life.

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© Miha Matei

Decorations

Photograph the decorations on your table before guests arrive. Don't forget to get the details, too! You've worked hard to set it all up and you want to remember it as you planned it.

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© Miha Matei

Visit Mihaís web site to view more of her tantalizing photos!