Food Photography Tips – The Ultimate Beginners Guide

Food Photography Tips

Food is a big part of most peoples’ lives, and just as we like to capture a beautiful landscape, we also want to capture a beautiful plate of food.

These days especially, more and more people like to take photos of their food and share with their friends and fans on various social media platforms.

Some of these photos look arguably more appetizing than others – here are some food photography tips for those who want to become better at food photography …

1. Shoot From Interesting Angles

food photography tips

One of the most effective food photography tips is to shoot from an interesting angle.

Simply placing your food in the center can make the photo look flat and boring, whereas if you shoot from a 40 degree angle, straight above (bird’s eye view), or a low-side angle it will bring out different textures and details of the food.

Play around, try different distances and angles and see the many unique effects they create.

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2. Correct Lighting Is The Key

Finding good lighting is the key to amazing food photography, it will make the difference between an unappetizing photo and one worthy of a page in a cook book.

While there is plenty of lighting gear that will help you get the perfect lighting, using natural light will often do the trick if you prefer to shoot without too much equipment.

Place your plate close to a window with lots of light – using a big white paper will help lighting up the background.

Rather than using flash for lighting (you run a high risk of making the photo look flat and desaturated), use a reflector to catch the lighting and angle it to create a more even, smooth and soft light. Reflectors are easy to carry along and pack down really small, and they can really do wonders to a photo.

If you’re shooting at home, a light box is even better as you can do more with it.

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3. Invest in Quality Camera Equipment

food photography tips

Sure, point-and-shoot cameras have improved significantly over the past few years, and these days many people don’t bring anything else but their smartphones with them on their vacations.

But they haven’t quite caught up yet with the image quality that a DSLR camera offers, and if you want to seriously get into food photography then a great camera and lens is a good investment.

Another thing many forget or aren’t aware of is that the lens is even more important than the camera body. You can have a great camera, but if the lens is bad your photos won’t look much different from an iphone camera.

Finally, when it comes to food photography, one of the most important camera equipment is a tripod.

The tripod will make sure your photos are steady, and you can play around with the shutter speed without worrying about a blurry photo – which is especially common if there are hands in the photo!

Make sure to get a tripod that can handle the weight of your camera and lens!

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4. Shooting Manual Mode & Using Depth of Field

food photography tips

Once you’ve gotten used to your camera and picked up the basics, it’s time to start using the manual mode. It takes some time getting used to and understand it all, but once you get the hang of it you will never want to go back to auto mode!

One of the best food photography tips is to use a wide aperture (such as f/1.4 or f/2.8), as this will blur out the background of the photo and focus on the food itself. It make the photo look more clean and focus on the foreground with the food.

Macro lenses are a great choice for food photography as they capture the beautiful little details in the food as it allows you to get up close.

If you want to find out more about which lenses to use for food photography, check out this article.

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5. Remember The Table Props

Since your main focus of the image is the food, it’s easy to forget about the little details around the plate, such as the table props. Many a times has a misplaced plastic bag ruined the photo for professional food photographers.

The composition and colors of the props will either enhance the food or make the photo look messy and full of clutter.

Some basics (which they go into further detail in this article) is to use white or natural wood as surface, some pretty linen and kitchen towels to bring out the color and texture of the food, silver cutlery (matches any food), bread baskets, matte-finished plates and bowls (to avoid unwanted reflections from the light) and a nice chopping board.

Overtime you can buy more props, but that is really all you need to create a beautiful picture.

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(photo credit: 1 – 2 – 3)

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