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10 tips to improve your coconut bowl photography styling

Food styling is the artful placing of garnish, the careful drizzle of some sauce and the precise placement of food in your coconut bowl. It’s all those things but it’s so, so much more, too. Check out these tips to improve your coconut bowl photography styling.

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#1 Use your coconut bowl

When you style food, it can often be lost on a huge big dinner plate or bowl. Rather than use a massive bowl where you would have to fill it with large amounts of acai or vegetables you can use a smaller coconut bowl to get the same effect with half the food required.

Plus the natural coconut bowl photographs really well due to its natural colours and grain which contrasts the food inside it making it a lot more appetising.

#2 Choose the mood

Think about the recipe first but immediately after think about the styling and photography. Most recipes will dictate the mood, for instance something wintery and comforting like a stir-fry or curry works best with warmer, homely styling, props and lighting.

In the same way, a salad or a smoothie bowl suits a lighter, brighter set-up. It’s important to establish the mood for your dish before so you can get all your props and surfaces together before you’re ready to shoot.

#3 Lighting your coconut bowl

Lighting is incredibly important in all photography but with food it is absolutely vital. It’s also important to remember that shadows can be a really great prop and can add a lot of depth and texture to your coconut bowl image.

Darker shadows usually suit wintery foods like Buddha bowls better while using a reflector to diffuse shadows work better on lighter recipes such as acai bowls and smoothie bowls.

#4 Choose your angle

Choosing your angle can make or break a food photo. Start low and move higher and higher until you get all the shots you need. There are certain dishes that just beg for a certain angle. A coconut bowl, Buddha bowl or salad on the other hand works well with a shot straight down so you see all the toppings.

#5 Pick your colours

Colour is of utmost importance in food photography. Often a dull-looking acai bowl, Buddha bowl or salad can be transformed with a sprinkle of nuts, Greek yogurt, fresh coriander or some chopped chillies.  Colour can also be accentuated or mirrored in the props you choose. Familiarise yourself with the colour wheel to really make the most of using colour in your photographs. 

#6 Add contrast with backgrounds

When photographing coconut bowls it is usually better if you go for contrast. So a pale coloured healthy food bowl gets a dark background where as a vibrantly coloured coconut bowl tends to be best with a simple white or grey background.

#7 Use fresh ingredients

Often with food photography you lose the luster of the food. Fruit can go brown and salads can look a bit wilted.  When it comes to salads or fresh vegetables, a spritzer bottle filled with water can give it a lot of life and make it look beautifully fresh. A spritzer also works really well for smoothie drinks with ice in them. It gives the glass that condensation-look which adds lovely texture and that 'yum' factor to your photo.

#8 Allow food to spill over your coconut bowl naturally

Getting a bit messy really helps to add movement to your coconut bowl and brings life and movement to your photographs. For acai bowl you can dribble some acai or Greek yogurt over the edge of the coconut bowl to create a really nice effect.

#9 Freeze your product for a few minutes. 

For coconut bowls that melt easily (like smoothie bowls), scoop them into the shape you want, and then put them back in the freezer. That way, each scoop will have the longest shelf-life possible.

#10 Explore the negative space. 

Sometimes crumbs, a leftover streak of sauce or a rumpled napkin tells as much of a story as a perfect-looking coconut bowl.

So there you have a few simple things that you can do to improve your coconut bowl photos. It's also a great idea to start a collection or a board of photos that you like and draw inspiration from them.

What do you like about them? What makes the picture interesting? Use it as your guide to create your own stunning images.

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