7 Best Tips For Photographing Food

Welcome to my Tips For Photographing Food page. It can be a lot of fun to set up food and beverages to create images that look as good as they taste. Here are some tricks that professional food photographers use.

Food Photography Tips 1: Get the Styling Right

The choice of background and props in food photography is an essential part of a successful food image.

In food photography, the use of appropriate props, such as place settings, can help to set the mood and create a cohesive image. When choosing props, it’s important to consider how they will work with the food.

The colors, textures, and styles of the props should complement the dishes and enhance the overall aesthetic of the photograph. By carefully selecting and arranging the props, you can create a visually appealing and well-balanced image that showcases the food in the best possible light.

Food Photography Tips 2: Use Stand-Ins Sparingly

Real food tends to look best in photographs, but there is a certain food that just won’t behave. Here are some examples of stand-ins that professional stylists use:

  • With melting ice cream under hot studio lights, you sometimes have to cheat a littleā€¦ and use mashed potato with food coloring instead. (You have to be careful though. If your image is used for advertising ice cream, by law you have to use the ice cream being sold in your photo!)
  • Another problem food is poultry such as chicken and turkey. If you cook it fully, it gets burnt spots, and after it sits out for half a while, it tends to wrinkle, which doesn’t look yummy at all. One solution that food stylists use is to cook the turkey for 40 minutes, pin back the skin, then paint it an attractive roast-turkey color, using cocktail bitters and gravy coloring. Needless to say, these birds are tossed out after the shoot!
  • Try slipping pieces of dry ice under a pile of sizzling sausages or smoked ribs to give them a steamy, fresh-from-the-smokehouse look.
  • For coffee, if you’re that much of a perfectionist, use an eyedropper with detergent to put little bubbles at the edge of the surface as though the cup was just poured. Another alternative is simply to microwave it for a fresh look.
  • Letting cereal get soggy in milk, of course, is a major styling no-no. Cereal holds up better if you put it in Elmer’s Glue.

All these clever tricks aside, one of the biggest challenges remains to keep the food looking fresh and savory.

Tips For Photographing Food 3: Choose the Right Lens

Considerations when choosing a lens for food photography are the ability to control depth of field, hence a fast lens, as well as the ability to focus closely.

Various food photographers have their own favorites of course, but good ones to experiment with include:

  • a fast macro lens if you want close-ups of the food only;
  • a quick wide-angle lens if you prefer to include more of the preparation of food and the kitchen itself;
  • if you can afford it, experiment with a tilt-shift lens (they’re useful for any studio still-life photography);
  • for more creative shots, play with a Lensbaby.

You may also like: How To Take Sharper Pictures ( 10 Ultimate Tips )

Tips 4: Use the Right Camera Angle

As a photographer, it is your job to create a sense of depth and dimension in your photos, even though they are two-dimensional images. One way to do this is to avoid shooting from directly above the food, as this eliminates the ability to see the sides of the food and reduces the feeling of depth in the image.

Instead, try shooting from slightly to the side or at an angle to add more dimension to the photo. This will make the food appear more three-dimensional and will create a more engaging image for the viewer.

Shooting food from a low angle can create a sense of height and can make the food appear more appetizing. However, if you go too low with the camera, you won’t be able to see the top of the food, which will reduce the sense of dimension in the image.

To create a more three-dimensional photo, try shooting from a slightly elevated angle that allows you to see the top of the food as well as the sides. This will give the viewer a better sense of the food’s shape and appearance.

Choose an angle somewhere between 10 degrees and 45 degrees above the table surface.
Here are a few tips:

  • Walk around the subject to find the very best angle. Don’t ever be satisfied with the first placement or view.
  • Use your lenses creatively. When taking photos of food, you can use a prime or zoom lens to get close-up shots or wider angles. To capture the best angles, try rotating the camera along all three axes. This can help you show the food from different perspectives, such as looking directly down or shooting across at its level.
  • Tilting the camera slightly can also add interest to the photo. It is worth noting that the ideas in this paragraph were originally suggested by a photography expert.
  • Use the compositional rule of thirds just as you would for landscapes and action shots.
  • Take advantage of the fact that your subject can’t get tired or walk away. Take your time to zoom, hover, poke and prod to get the shots that please the senses the most.

Tips 5: Experiment with Depth of Field

Along with lighting, depth of field tends to be a very trendy component of food photography. A shallow depth of field usually produces a more artsy feel to the image, but make sure that you pick out the plain of focus with great care.

To take an appealing photo of food, try to choose an angle that is either straight on or slightly angled to the front of the plate. This will allow the viewer to see the food clearly. When choosing a specific area to focus on, try to select a part of the food that stands out, such as a single pea on a bed of rice. This will give the viewer a point of interest to focus on.

Tips 6: Master Food Photography Lighting

Food photography lighting is probably the most important aspect that you have to master for scrumptious-looking images. Lighting goes a long way in setting up the mood of the image.
Experiment with different methods of food photography lighting to make the food look as three-dimensional as possible.

Things to look out for when lighting food include finding ways to add as much texture as possible by lighting the food from different angles. Flat light makes for flat, uninteresting photographs.

Tips 7: Draw on your General Photography Experience

Make sure to pay attention to white balance and color casts in your shots. It’s also a good idea to shoot in RAW format to give yourself more control over the final result. And don’t forget to have fun and add your own artistic touch to your images through post-processing.


If you found this “Tips For Photographing Food” page interesting, make sure to visit the pages too, and if you have any questions or any suggestions you want to share, please let us know by commenting down below or you can contact us.


Leave a Comment