ALTHOUGH HE'S the first guy to say that rules are meant to be broken, food photographer Steve Legato offers these tips to make your food pictures pop.
* Get the light right. If your dish is at 6 o'clock in the frame, light needs to be coming from between 9 and 3 o'clock - from the side or behind the meal.
* Don't use the flash. Unless you want the food to look boring, gross and flat.
* Use daylight if you have it. Say yes to the table by the window.
* Diffuse if possible. In harsh restaurant lighting, a plain piece of white paper, held at a 45-degree angle toward the light, can serve as a makeshift reflector, lightening the dark contrast and shadows. Or, you can use a translucent piece of tracing paper held over the dish to soften the hard overhead light.