Is it better to shoot wide, so we can crop in later?

Sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not.  I prefer not to if I can help it…

If you’re not a photographer, you might think there isn’t any difference in shooting wide and then cropping vs. shooting to the exact crop. There is a difference and sometimes it’s pretty great.

The sexiness of some food photography is created by the shallow depth of field caused by cropping in nice and tight.  If the photographer shoots wide and then crops later, that effect is usually totally lost.  Some viewers may no consciously see the difference right away, but subconsciously they will.  Depth of field is an important tool for food photographer and if you take it away, then the results may make the photography lean in the direction of mediocracy.

I try to use ever tool possible to make my photos beautiful, and I especially love shooting with shallow depth of field.  I use focus to direct the viewer’s eyes to the main subject and reason for the photo.  Composition helps.  Dramatic Lighting helps, but focus is sometimes the key to creating beautiful food photography.  You take that away and you lessen the effectiveness of the image.