Ten Tips For Great Food Photography


Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Since beginning my food blog, I have picked up some tips on how best to photograph food.  Currently, I use a Canon Power Shot S5 IS and it does a credible job in photographing the foods that I prepare to showcase on the blog.  My daughter, 11 year old Maria is the talent in the family when it comes to photography.  She shoots most of the photographs used on the blog.  For both of us, there has been a learning curve on how best to photograph foods.  We came across these ten simple tips for photographing food and they have been very useful in creating more appealing food photographs.  If you ever get the urge to photograph some of your memorable dishes, keep these tips in mind:


1.   Settings:  Choose a setting that enhances and doesn’t detract from the food.  Simple and plain backgrounds do the best.  Make sure there is no distracting clutter in the background (unless that is your intent).  Use plates that contrast or harmonize with the food.


2.    Light:  Natural light is the best for food photography.  An ideal set-up is next to a large window with a light curtain diffusing the light.


3.    Color Balance:  Learn to balance color, particularly when natural light is not available.


4.    Don’t Move:  Keep the camera still.  Sounds simple, but it can be really difficult.  In low-light situations, long exposure will be very sensitive to any camera movement causing the photo to be blurred.  If possible, use a tripod or try resting the camera on the back of a chair.


5.    Shoot A Lot:  Practice, practice, practice!  Shoot a lot of pictures and don’t be afraid to try different angles when taking photos of food.  Some shots are best taken from above and others look better when taken from the side where you can get a full appreciation of the texture of the foods.


6.    Zoom In:  Photograph food as close as you can.  Use the macro setting on your camera if it has one.  Usually a macro setting can be identified on the camera by a flower symbol.  This will allow you to photograph the food close-up without the blur.


7.    Preparation:  Don’t forget to take photos of the food being prepared, not just the final product.  Sometimes they can yield a more interesting photo.


8.    Be Quick:  Work quickly!  The faster you take the picture the more appealing the food will look.  


9.    Details:  Make sure you check the edges of your plates and glasses for any smudges and wipe them away before photographing.  Again, the camera will pick up any minute particles or smudges.  To add color to a drab dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley, basil or dress it up with a lemon wedge.


10. Don’t Shoot:  Learn that some foods will never photograph very well.  Meals that are all one color or that contain brown sauces are difficult to capture in an appealing manner.