5 Tips For Food Photographers

Food provides an excellent subject matter for food photographers, and some of the outcomes of outstanding photography are works of beauty in their own right. When you take food photographs, it’s more than just a fast snap on your phone for Instagram or Facebook – it’s much more than that if you want to do it right and really create something of your work. Here are some of the best ideas and strategies for photographing your food and transforming it into a work of art to be proud of.


Use Natural Light Where Possible

The appropriate lighting is one of the most crucial factors in making anything look attractive in a picture, whether that’s food, a person, or anything else. Consider all the movies you’ve seen, the documentaries you’ve seen on TV, the most exciting concerts you’ve attended, your favourite works of photographic art… Whatever the topic, they all have one thing in common: the lighting is perfect. Having the proper lighting allows you to showcase your subject matter to its full potential.

When photographing food, natural light is preferable if at all possible (it may not always be possible, of course, depending on your location and budget). Natural sunshine is superior to artificial lighting since it doesn’t leave an odd orange or yellow glow that will then need to be erased via editing (assuming this is even possible; sometimes it’s not, meaning your images will always look less than perfect). The more natural your subject looks, the more others will appreciate the photograph.

Make Use Of A Neutral Background

When you think about it, the backdrop of each food shot will be equally as important as the subject itself. Although you want the food to stand out, the backdrop should be as unobtrusive as possible so that no one sees it. You don’t want anyone’s attention to be diverted from the primary food subject by the backdrop you’ve picked. Your backdrop doesn’t have to be completely plain, but it should complement the subject of the photograph. For example, if you were to be photographing ideal funeral food, you might want to include funeral urns in the background. If you were photographing a wedding cake, some flowers or confetti might be appropriate.

Getting the background right and making it as unobtrusive as possible will take some time, which is why you need to plan ahead and decide what you want to include (and not include) in advance. Another example may be photographing pub style baskets or canapes – in that case, going to Cocktails Bars Nearby would be a great option. A classy yet neutral background that can fit right in. The more natural the background looks, the more the food will blend in and look appropriate in its setting. It will also entice people to imagine having that food in that particular setting, such as seeing a plate of pasta in a cafe that’s cozy and inviting.


The following are the three best backdrops food photographers can use when they don’t have (or don’t want) a specific theme:

a. Wooden brown backgrounds

b. White backgrounds

c. Dark backgrounds

To get the best contrast, use a light-coloured backdrop when photographing dark food and a dark-coloured background when shooting light food. Wooden backdrops are fantastic since they allow you to use tables and chopping boards while also setting the environment for the picture.

Of course, natural backgrounds can also be ideal. Consider shooting your food on an outside table in a natural location for a unique environmental twist on food photography. Courtyards, backyards, picnic and even an outdoor kitchen areas are all excellent locations for food photographers. They create a fascinating environment and help to convey a narrative. The very best photographs are those that tell a story, after all.

Consider The Best Angle

Taking photos of your food from the optimal position and getting the angle just right might be the difference between a decent photo and a brilliant one. Photographing from above is definitely a sensible option in many cases, especially if your food is in a bowl or is well placed on a plate – shooting from the side means you’ll lose out on the beauty of the arrangement, and that can make the photo seem lifeless and unexciting. When photographing from above, you’ll be able to include all of the little details that would otherwise be missed, as well as incorporate silverware and other ‘props’ if desired.

Of course, if the food looks better from the side (anything with layers is a good example, and anything in a glass, whether food or drink, is frequently better photographed from the side), then shoot it that way. Don’t always attempt to photograph from above if it’s not going to provide you with the necessary detail.

Choose A Hero Object

A basic food photography setup should begin with a hero object, which is the main point of your photography session and the thing you want to showcase. In most cases, this is the main course. So, figure out what your hero object is before you begin. In most cases, you’ll already know, but sometimes you’ll need to think about this.

After that, surround the hero object with food-related props. Ingredients, sauces, oils, and culinary tools can all convey a narrative about how the meal was prepared. Herbs, glasses, tins, jars, cutlery, textiles, and linens can all allude to the dish’s origins or the season in which it is served. Of course, don’t go crazy – that will make the photo too busy and take away from the hero object rather than adding to it – but do include a few items in the foreground and background. These will enhance the narrative of the photo while also adding physical depth to your composition.

Think About Colour

Because food photography is generally confined to a single place setting or a single table, using a lot of vivid colours may overload the viewer. Avoid using dazzling colours on the tablecloth or place settings. A white platter is generally more visually appealing than a colourful one, and it enables the food to take centre stage. Pay close attention to white balance as you shoot. Food photography looks best when the colours are natural and precise.

This might seem to be a lot of information for food photographers. To help you produce the best food shots, like everything else, requires hard work, experience, and experimentation. Never stop learning new methods to enhance your photos, and don’t be afraid to try new things with the props you’re using or mixing up the lighting for a whole different look.

[All images were downloaded from unsplash]