There’s a hunger for food content on the internet, and this is evident by the number of content creators sharing their best cooking techniques and recipes on social platforms such as YouTube and TikTok.
Novice cooks and aspiring master chefs alike are taking their cooking adventures to a new level online and they are also stepping up their game when it comes to video production. Whether you’re recording a full culinary demo or shorter clips of how-to videos on essential cooking skills, having the right camera set up can bring your kitchen creation to life and evoke your audience’s sense of taste and smell through the lens.
Before you start shooting, decide what type of content you would like to create – a short 30s or a long form content for streaming or video uploads. Proper pre-production planning and scripting will go a long way to ease your filming process.
While you don't exactly need a storyboard per se, preparing a detailed shot list will help you visualise the final product. Ideally the list would include the types of camera shots and angles (for instance, close-up shots of ingredients and certain cooking steps), and the on- screen graphics that you have in mind. When cooking a traditional or local dish, for example, it would help for the viewers to read the names of the ingredients that they may not be familiar with, by adding subtitles or sidebars to explain what they are and their origins.
It’s also common practice to add graphics of text on screen to show the recipe early on in the video and open with a shot of the dish to entice viewers before going into the cooking demonstration.
It's important to decide which steps of the cooking process you would like to include in the video in advance to save time during recording. To help with this, you may also want to prepare a script where you can plan which process will be shown visually and which parts will be explained verbally. You can choose to have some piece to camera shots, where the host speaks directly to the camera as they cook, or include voice over narrations in post-production. Either way, planning the shots with the script will ensure you don't miss out any content when you shoot.
You’ll also have to consider the location of your shoot and the best time of the day to shoot as this will affect the light you need based on the layout of your kitchen indoors or the outdoor cooking station, and the shots you have in mind.
One of the challenges of creating engaging cooking videos is maintaining your viewers’ interest. While it is important to show every step of the recipe to get the dish to perfection, there’s no need to make the viewer sit through mundane routines of chopping onions and peeling potatoes. You can prep these beforehand and have them ready-prepared to go into the pan during recording. Another easy hack is to edit certain sequences to condense your hours of cooking into minutes of bite-sized content in post-production. To ease your creative process, a timelapse created with either an in-camera timelapse function or the interval timer shooting, makes a great option to allow you to highlight the most important procedures and focus on the most visually appealing aspects of your demo.
And let’s be honest here, the main appeal of food content lies in the aesthetics and what we see. You will need a lens that will allow your viewers to get up close and personal with the sweet smooth drizzle on your fabulous cake. The NIKKOR lenses are prefect for giving your food the extra eye candy to complement a 4K Ultra HD video.
To capture your creations’ mouth-watering details, go with the NIKKOR Z f/1.8 S series of lenses. The NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S brings out your final product under any lighting conditions whether you’re shooting indoors or outdoors, while the NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S wide-angle lens can capture your entire table as you introduce the ingredients. If you want to create a sense of depth with the items on the table while still emphasising on your dish as the main focus, the NIKKOR f/1.8 S lens are able to achieve a beautiful bokeh effect.
As you frame your masterpiece with different compositions for variety, switch between close-up, medium, and wide shots as you cook according to the shoot list and do the same for the final product.
No matter where you are in your journey of gastronomic inventions, let your food videography be a scrumptious reflection of your skills as you whip out your best domestic creations baked to perfection.