5 Ways to Improve Your Food Photography

5 Ways to Improve Your Food Photography

Food photography is great fun and really easy to get into. All you need is a camera (which if you own a smart phone, you already have) and some food.

Here are 5 simple ways to improve your food photography.

1) Use a window or one large rectangular softbox for lighting. 

Most of us eat our food at a table, and if we are lucky, the room is being lit by a large window. The light from this is what we have come to expect when we see food, the softness, direction and even the catch lights on our tomatoes. Following this rule will give appetizing light every time. 

2) Work with a food stylist

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and as photographers, we can’t do everything perfectly.  Almost all high-end food photography is taken as a collaboration between a home economist, food stylist and a prop house. Bring people in to help you achieve the best shot possible if you want to take it seriously. 

3) Get overhead

Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest have made this common practice. However, holding a professional camera over a table is a lot harder than holding an iPhone above one. In the studio, I either stand on pallets either side of the dish which is placed on the floor, or I use a large studio tripod. The most important thing is to have the camera completely level.

4) Create simple shapes in groups of three

This principle goes throughout photography. Creating triangles with objects and placing circles strategically has a great impact on your photography in general and food photography is no exception to this rule. Before the food is plated, grab the items and make a rough layout focusing on the shapes and patterns through the viewfinder. 

5) Isolate the product

Sometimes the food or raw ingredient is striking enough. Try not to overcomplicate things if there is a striking image right there in front of you

What tips for food photography can you share?

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3 Comments

chris bryant's picture

6. Don't eat the food.

Ignace Maenhaut van Lemberge's picture

6.1 This does not apply when shooting drinks.

Mariusz Strawinski's picture

Shoot as fast as you can so you can eat the food while it's still warm