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10 Food Photography Tips To Keep In Mind

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With the world shifting to the “like what you see” perspective, it becomes important for businesses to showcase items in the best light. Due to this shift, food styling and food photography have become booming careers in the restaurant as well as influencer industry.

Food Photography Tips

Whether you are a food blogger, a food influencer, or an aspiring professional food photographer, you must know a lot goes into the perfect piece of cake (the picture, I mean).

Food photography means your subject would be food. You need to click the food to make it look the most pleasing. Naturally, there’s a lot you need to know. If you’re a beginner who wants to know the tricks of this delicious trade, then you have stumbled upon the right place.

I have a few food photography tips that you should keep in mind before going on a spree of clicking beautiful and aesthetically pleasing pictures. Below is the list of 10 food photography tips to keep in mind.

1. Find The Good Lighting

food in natural light

If you know the slightest about photography in general, you must know that lighting can make or break the picture. The same is true for food photography as well. You need to find good lighting for your pictures. If you can find good lighting, make it.

Many food photographers prefer working with soft and diffused natural light. Emphasis on the “soft and diffused.” You might find good natural light for your photos, but don’t add a burst of brightness. Soften and tone it down with the help of a diffuser.

That being said, if you can’t find gorgeous natural light, just use artificial light (duh!). The truth is you have a time constraint when working with natural light, a hiccup easily avoidable when using artificial light.

With artificial light, you can control many aspects of the picture, like the intensity and the white balance. Remember to use a good quality flash along with a reflector.

Other than that, try lighting up your pictures from different sides. The most common and safest way is to use the front lighting. But you should experiment with side, back, and top lighting. Click pictures with different kinds of lighting and compare which one suits your subject the best.

2. Always Use Fresh Looking Food

fresh looking salad

This is a kind of basic one. If you are shooting a salad, there should be no wilted greens or an injured tomato in the frame. The same goes for any other food. It shouldn’t look like it was made ages ago.

You should shoot the food in a way that you don’t have to do excessive editing to hide the flaws in the images. So bear in mind to always use fresh ingredients when thinking of food photography.

3. Experiment With Angles

Cake angles

This one is a photography tip and not just limited to food photography. Clicking photos in just one angle can make your gallery look boring. It’s great if you find that one angle that works great for you. But it’s also important to look for angles that make your subject look interesting.

A top shot of a cake might look pretty, but you can also try clicking the picture from a lower angle or a side angle, showcasing the cake’s layers and decorations. The angles should also align with the lighting angle you’ve used. This is how you’ll get the perfect shot.

4. Leave Spaces In The Photos

negative space in food photography

This tip might be food-photography specific. When going about food photography, there are usually two ways people go about it. The first one is taking close-up shots showcasing all that’s good in the dish. The second is to take a shot with a frame filled with the dish.

Both ways are fine as they make the dish the primary focus of the photograph. But there is also one more way to click a picture. That is leaving negative spaces in the photograph.

Negative spaces also help focus on the main subject while letting you try different food placement. You can try placing the food in the center or trying a side placement.

Negative spaces also help when you are shooting something for a brand. It allows the brand to add the logo in the space, which is another thing to consider.

5. Consider A Good Background

food with outdoor background

Backgrounds are as important in food photography as in any other photography niche. A good background brings focus to your subject. It should be clean, arranged, and preferably blurred.

Some people picture their foods on window sills for that natural lighting and a beautiful backdrop. This is also why many people shoot their photographs in the open, amid nature.

But sometimes, the background is what you want; it just doesn’t fit. In that case, you can just use background changes and change it to what suits the subject best. You can check the depositphotos website for an array of backgrounds for your photos.

6. Don’t Use Too Much Food For Plating

plating for food photography

Let’s take a leaf from a high-end restaurant’s serving book and use it in food photography. Food photography is a pursuit in which less is more. Let me explain. A plate with food might look great to you but hungry, but it doesn’t have that aesthetic appeal.

On the contrary, a plate with little food and much decoration has a lot going on. I am not saying use ‘tiny’ proportions, just enough to showcase the food. Make sure the presentation exceeds the quantity.

7. Style Your Photos and Add Props 

food styling

Styling your photos gives them an edge and makes them look interesting. You can try beautiful serving plates, bowls, cutlery. But make sure they are not too eye-catching, or they’ll take the focus away from the food. Remember, neutral tones go a long way, and if in doubt, go for white.

You can use different placements and arrangements. A great way to style photos is by adding props. You can add wooden spoons. Also, keep in mind that your plates should look clean. Your food should be in the center and the rest of the plate; spotless.

If you want, you can scatter something on the table, but it shouldn’t look messy; rather, go with the picture’s tone.

8. Try To Catch The Food In Action

pouring maple syrup over pancakes

Many people click pictures of the food once it’s all done and the food is ready to be eaten. But a less-explored yet great aspect of food photography is to catch the food in action, i.e., when it’s cooking.

Try to click the picture when adding a sauce or garnishing the dish so that you create an experience rather than a picture. Your picture should show the emotion as well as the food.

9. Try To Create A Story

Autumn themed pumpkin spiced latte

When I say try to create a story, I mean let the audience know more about the picture when they look at the picture. One way is to decorate the frame with things related to the dish.

A classic example is using small pumpkins and orange leaves for an autumn dish. For a Christmas dish, you can simply add small frosted trees and stockings.

Simple additions make the audience immediately understand what your dish is about. You can use traditional pots or serving plates for region-specific things. Hence, giving them an origin story subtly.

10. Edit The Images For The Perfect Finish

image editing

The aim is to click a picture so perfect; it needs no editing. But alas, we don’t live in an ideal world. If you feel like something’s lacking, just touch up your photos. Adjust the brightness, saturation, or any other aspect you want to adjust.

One tip is don’t go overboard with any of it. Also, you need to understand what tone goes with what kind of photos.


So, we have come to the end of our article with this. These were some food photography tips to keep in mind when you pick your camera to shoot a burger. I hope you found this article helpful.

Did you think the tips are helpful? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be happy to hear from you. Now, it’s time to take leave. You take care and click great pictures. Bye!

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