Thank you for the compliment.
The biggest "secret"-equipment.
I have a professional DSLR with several lenses to achieve the looks that I need. I also have accessories to shape and soften the light. Unfortunately, it is very expensive for a lot of hobbyists. Don't let that deter you.
A lot of the point and shoot cameras made in the last 5 years are really good and should not be scoffed at. There are also simple household items that can be used to help you get the look you want.
That being said, here are a few suggestions.
-Whenever possible-use natural light.
-Always make sure your camera is set to the proper color temperature/white balance (Sunlight, Florescent, Tungsten, Cloudy Day, Flash or Shadow-for most cameras. Light has a color temperature and can cast an orange to blue tint to pictures if the camera is not set correctly.) Auto white balance doesn't really work great for all kinds of light
-Use a macro lens to get a shallow focus depth and to get close to subject/object
(If you use a point and shoot-zoom anywhere from 1/2 to max. zoom and then step away from the object until you get the framing you like. Most p&s cameras have a 3 ft. minimum focus. Any closer and it can't focus properly. You may have to steady the camera from blur by using a tripod. No tripod? Use the top of a chair backrest to steady the camera as you hold it. Or place the object at the end of a table and shoot from opposite end and use a couple/few books to get some angle/height and to steady your camera. You can also place the object on the ground as long as you can get good light on it)
-If you can-make the food "pretty"(Use nice plates, add color w/ garnishes, arrange the food, use props...etc.)
-Go to Wal-Mart or your equivalent store and buy a sheet of white poster board for around 2 dollars to use as a "bounce" card (You can reflect some soft light into darker or shadowy areas with the white card. It can soften shadows and can add just enough light into under exposed areas. Cut it down to a workable size, bend it, hand hold it, wedge it between books or tape it to a 2 Litre bottle of Pepsi to help it stand up to reflect the light where you need it.)
-Experiment with cropping
Anyone email/PM me with specific camera/photo questions.
Thank you so much for your advice! It is greatly appreciated! P.s. You've been repped!