This is an older video, published back in February of 2015, but the lesson is timeless. The video’s creators call it “the one thing holding you back from compositional perfection,” and it’s this: style to the camera.
This simple-but-powerful tip was shared by Skyler Burt of WeEatTogether.com, and this is what it means. Instead of setting up a beautiful scene (or what you think is a beautiful scene) before you pick up the camera and frame your shot, set up the camera first. Then you can style you food shot “to the camera,” building your scene one element (or “layer”) at a time.
Burt can’t emphasize this point enough. Keep referring back to your viewfinder and take a picture between each layer until your composition is “spectacular.” This will help you avoid missed focus between shots, address out-of-place elements that seem fine with the naked eye, and speed up your workflow.
Of course, Burt says it better than we could, so check out the video for yourself below: