No, you aren’t seeing double, or triple, or quadruple… We do that on purpose! Repetition of shapes and colors reinforces the main subject and theme of the photograph, which keeps the viewer interested and engaged. By using similar shapes and shades, fewer distracting elements are introduced into the photograph, and more attention is placed on the main subject.
The two often go hand-in-hand: when we use multiples of the same object, both colors and shapes are repeated. While expert photographers may repeat a few of both in a single shot, I recommend starting with only one or two at first.
For food photography, repetition can be as simple as arranging multiple cookies, cupcakes, or crackers within the shot, or displaying many cheese cube appetizers on a serving tray. It can be more complex as well, such as matching the green tablecloth to the shade of the mint garnish, or arranging brown whole-wheat rolls inside of a light wicker basket.
I’ve displayed some of my photos employing repetition of shapes and colors below. I really like the pizza shot with all of the reds and tans!
Now it’s your turn to practice repetition! Feel free to post any questions, comments, or tips in the comments section below!