Food Photography Tips for the Aspiring Photographer

Styling food for photography isn’t as difficult as you might have expected. Here are some food photography tips which can help you enhance the pictures that you take with foods. It doesn’t matter where your picture will end up – photo album, facebook or magazine – it is still your work of art. Hopefully, these food photography tips can help you enhance the pictures that you take with your digital camera.


  • Place some background of simple patterned or solid papers. Experiment on what works best when talking about similarity and contrast. Also, be sure that you have sufficient paper to cover the full field of view.
  • Try including serving pieces, napkins, whole place settings, tablecloths or placemats. Set the table with drinks, silverware or even candles to create the perfect mood. If you are on a tight budget, you can always look for these items at thrift stores or garage sales.
  • When dealing with multiple food subjects, choose only the best examples. You can’t afford to let a blemish ruin all your photoshoot.
  • When taking pictures of vegetables, glassware or fruit, mist those with water to simulate condensation, making them all look more enticing. Also, shiny food looks more appealing than dull ones. So, do anything that will make your food shine to make a more fascinating photo.
  • Combine different elements from the food you are taking pictures of or include some condiments within the frame. Slice thinly some cucumbers and place on top of the yoghurt soup in order to exude the feeling of freshness. Experiment because some ideas will work, while others won’t.

Food Photography Tips: Taking Your Pictures

  • When creating interesting photos, experiment with different angles and perspective. For example, taking a picture from a lower angle can create an interesting shot as the food’s height and density increases, making the food more sumptuous.
  • With your lens and your feet, zoom to place the food in position. Whether you are using zoom lens or prime lens, you can still get closer in order to magnify a certain detail of the food or you can loosen the shot in order to depict the food as part of a larger meal.
  • Rotate on all dimensions. Some foods look best when shot from directly above, while some foods have fascinating side profiles which can be obtained by shooting the food from its level. Tilting slightly the camera counterclockwise or clockwise can also add some attention into an otherwise uninteresting photo.
  • Take advantage of the possibility to take plenty of pictures when shooting digitally.
  • Using the rule of thirds. Generally speaking, the rule of thirds can help in creating a strong photo and this is not applicable for action shots and landscapes but for food also. Place your subject in 2/3 of your picture while you reserve 1/3 for its background.
  • Take advantage of the truth that your subjects are immobile. Some people think that you only have a few minutes to take pictures with food after being served, it isn’t always the case. You can always zoom, walk around, hover do anything just to get the picture you need.

In food photography, you should remember well-known techniques in order to get your desired shot. You should be able to apply all other general picture-taking techniques that you have learned or have recently read. Go for good exposure, soft shadows plus good color representation. Feel free to experiment with the different apertures and focal point of your cameras. Also be attentive to color casts, white balance or think of shooting pictures RAW. If you are not steady enough to take a picture of the food, using a tripod can be your best solution. Also, do not be scared to include some artistic styles to your pictures using imaginative post-processing.