I like to believe that photography has many different categories to specialize in. One category is food. A difficult category to say the least. It’s in the details.
Food photography is in a league of its own. Just like any other category it takes time, patience, sometimes solitude and a great tripod. Tethering is also a nice option to have so you can see your images on a big screen and make corrections as needed. A nice collection of accessories, which can be built up over time will definitely help your images. I once hit up my wife’s parents in Iowa to send me their old dishes and flatware as I knew they would look great in photos. The older and rustier is sometimes better. A box arrived with vintage forks, spoons, serving utensils and dishes. The funny thing is, they were just going to toss it all out.
I also grew a collection of different papers with various colors, shapes, patterns and textures to set plates on and use them as backgrounds. To create a nice depth, warmth or texture, I would utilize linens or towels. subtle browns and grays are nice and photograph well with food. They look great wrapped around a plate or cast iron pan. I’ve realized the more things the better as it makes your images more balanced and natural looking.
I’ve been tasked many times with documenting food and have realized the best image is colorful, well lit, and properly composed.