Simple and easy food composition and food styling “rule” that helps to create stunning images. The rule of odds is well-known in photography but how do I use it in food photography?!
Yes, that was a click bait. A little. Maybe it worked if you read this. But please excuse me. I just couldn’t resist that word combination here. I might be a little bit odd. That’s okay. I hope?!
TYPICAL INTERNET DISCLAIMER
Before I start, I need to make a little disclaimer because photography is very subjective and these are just my thoughts. I don’t know everything and I’m still learning. Some of you who are reading this might think otherwise and have different opinions. However, I believe that a different point of view is just part of photography. Still, I’m happy to hear your thoughts.
Marketing Trick: Nothing New Here
Let’s start at the beginning. I’m obsessed with psychology and learning how the human brain works. Most of the books I have at home are about psychology or law (since I still studied law). The one topic that I stumbled on was the numbers and why designers and marketers use odd numbers. If I think about it, then it makes sense! Why else I always see prices like 9.99 and a lot of people love the number seven?!
Classical Photography Composition: Nothing new here?
What does it have to do with food photography?! A little. The rule of odds is quite well-known in photography to create a symmetrical composition. The idea is simple. You suppose to use the odd number of elements. Instead of using two you use three elements.
The best number of elements suppose to be THREE.
However, sometimes I like to use FIVE or SEVEN as well.
When I analyzed some of my images, I noticed that I use this rule quite often WITHOUT thinking about it! For example, I remember when I shoot that pancake image here, and I stacked six pancakes.
However, for some reason, I had some kind of gut FEELING that I have to take that one pancake away. So, I ended up with five pancakes?! Now when I think about the rule of odds, then it makes sense. Yes, in this image there are many other elements as well. However, I like to focus on 3 or 5 main components.
The same story with these buckwheat wraps (btw, recipe here). I remember that I cut the wraps in half and tried to use four elements. I even did some test shots, but it felt wrong, and I ended up using three. (Actually, maybe it was just a coincidence and I was hungry?! 😅)
How I use odd numbers in food photography?
Option 1: VERTICALLY VS SIDE by SIDE
I use a line to place the subjects vertically or even side by side. For example, the first thing that comes to my mind is a classic pancake or cookie stack that is placed vertically. Another example is three dessert glasses that are placed side by side.
Option 2: TRIANGLE
I try to create a triangle formation (read my post here as well about the similar topic) and place three elements into a triangle.
- Use 3, 5 or 7 main elements
- Place the main food subject vertically vs side by side
- Create a triangle with three elements
Classical Comment Begging 123 🙄
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