Food photography Tips

Food photography is an aspect of photography to consider. It falls under the still life photography genre. Food photography is a specialization of commercial photography and applied in the advertisement, seen in magazines and food menus.

There are many factors that make food photography a nice, beautiful niche, there are things you should do that would make your food presentable, appetizing. Your light, composition, angling makes your food virtually interesting.

This is a continuation of my previous article on the kinds of  photography: 10 Kinds Of Photography


Taking a shot of food is actually a challenging thing to do. It requires using special angles, getting your appropriate light, composition, and styling and shooting. Starting food photography does not require lots of spending.

In taking food photographs, you require only one source of light unlike in other aspects of photography like Portraiture. When you go to your social media, you would see lots of pictures on food photography which are quite tempting, restaurants, groceries and food industries make use of these photos and are highly involved in food photography. Thus the quality of your picture needs to meet the standards of your clients and customers.

Taking food photos is what anyone interested can do, you don’t need to be a professional to be qualified for it, as a beginner, you could decide it’s the niche you are interested in, even you don’t necessarily need a camera to do it, even a smartphone will do.

Below are tips you have to apply for food photography to get quality photos.

1. Get Your Food Ready:

You might think that I am talking about cooking your food, anyway, it’s part of that but I mean to set and arrange your food the way you would want it to be when you shoot.

This is usually called plating and is seen as irrelevant by some, but the way your food is presented goes a long way to suggesting how attractive and tasty your food will be. Also, food that is well set is rated higher by customers and clients.

When taking pictures of certain foods like vegetarian and fruity foods which are kind of natural, you have to consider your environment and the background you would use in the picture. Also, color balance and line of precision are important to consider in the kind of food photograph you are taking.

Also, you consider your table, plates, and boards, making sure they rhyme with the texture and color of your food and the background. Decorate and use presentable boards, good plates. Also consider adding your glass and spoons, forks.

2. Lighting:

You need a good light source to be able to make your food appealing and tempting. Good lighting showcase and amplifies the color balance, texture and talks about how natural your food is, deciding part of the food to highlight. Ensure your food is lit well

Place your light at the side of your food, this helps to highlight many things in your food, like how juicy and maybe how oily your food is, light brings out the bright spots in the food texture. The kind of light you use is also important. Soft and natural light or even window light accompanied by some flash from your camera is ok and is recommended for most food, they bring out the shadow.

You could also use reflectors especially in studio pictures, this will bounce, diffuse and block natural or artificial light you might not need. The diffusor would help to soften the light or a clean soft cloth, soften some hard shadows caused by direct sunlight.

Try not to source your light from above as they leave a harsh spot on your food, hiding away the texture in a food.


3. Composition And Angling:

Your composition and angling are also important. Where you place the camera while shooting will affect the story you are passing through about your food. Some food looks great when you shoot from your right, others don’t. you could also shoot from above.

You can adjust your camera or light to get your desired picture. Balance your light and remove some unwanted shadows.

For most food photoshoot, place/source your light and maybe reflector behind the food. This is mostly called backlighting. If your light is window light or natural light, setting up your food in this way often bring shadows, hence the need for reflectors. The (reflector) mostly silver is expected to bounce off the light coming from behind to the food. Some food is best taken from above such as salads.

You could also use the diffusing reflector for your shoot, especially when shooting food on a reflective surface or plate. The reflector tends to diffuse out the light. The diffuse reflector channels a softer light on the food.

4. Focusing and depth of field:

Focusing on your food is very important in food. Poor focusing and sometimes camera shake often cause blurriness in your picture. The depth of field is also applied in food photography. You could focus on the main dish while making the other dishes look blurry even though you could still see it.

Try experimenting with focused, close-up shots and less focused backgrounds. Playing around with the depth of field of your photographs can help to add emphasis to your food especially pasta food.


5. Styling:

The way you present your food can make it unappetizing. Good styling makes your food delicious at least to the eye. Just as setting your food well is important, taking a styled shot is also important. You could make your background more creative. You can add tablecloths, napkins and even use a painted flat piece of wood as your table.

Consider your vital factors like the rule of thirds, your grid lines, the shape and balance of your food. You could also apply negative space, giving your viewer some breathing space.


6. Closing Up On Your Food:

To get this rightly, you would need a good lens such that when closing up, your image is not blurred. An 18-55mm lens kit is ok., but you could also use better lens kits like a 90mm lens is certainly better than a 50mm lens kit. Also, most beginners take shots with their cameras looking down on the plate from above. You can get better shot by shooting from down close to plate level (or slightly above it).

Here is a video review.

Are you a food photographer, share your additional tips here with us. Pls, add your comments below.

Author: Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

About Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

View all posts by Arinze →

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