Improving your food photos better than ever
Basic Photography Food Photography
April 13, 2018

Food – it’s everywhere and everyone loves it. The rise in popularity of social networking sites has led to an exponential growth in the number of food photographers. To add to it you do not need fancy equipment to get started with food photography; anyone with a basic camera or even a good phone camera can get started with food photography. The scope of food photography in today’s world is unlimited. You can find professional food photographers with thousands of followers on Instagram and other photo networking sites. Food magazines and restaurants require food photographers to market their businesses. Food bloggers have their own devoted following. If you want to start with food photography, here are a few tips on how to get eye-catching food images.


The most important factor in food photography, as in any other genre is the lighting. If you have control over where and when to photograph the dish, use natural lighting as much as possible. Avoid photographing your food in strong daylight as it creates harsh shadows. You can use natural light coming in from a window. If the light from the window is too harsh, use a transparent cover to diffuse the light.


 You can also photograph your food outside when there is warm diffused lighting.  Generally golden hours or days with overcast are a good time for outdoor food photography. To reduce the effect of shadows use a reflector to direct the light to the food.

 Some cafes might be dimly lit to create a warm ambience. Artificial lights add color casts so set your white balance accordingly. You can also use flash and bounce the flash off the wall or ceiling to get better lighting.


Think of the food  you capture as a person with a story to tell. The background, textures and colors are a part of this story. Decide on what colors you want in the image; choose colors in a way that they enhance the appeal of the food. You can have a monochromatic theme where the colors in your image are of the same hue, thus creating a harmonious effect.


You can also use complementary colors to give a vibrant effect to the image. 



A background with too much activity will distract the eye of the viewer from the food. Arrange for a simple background with the decided color scheme. Rustic wooden surfaces seem to be the most popular choice among food photographers.


If you are at a restaurant or a café, you can use a few props such as a napkin of the café with its logo or props unique to the eatery in your image. Books and coffee cups go very well together. If you place your props in background you can use a small depth of field to give it a slight blurred effect.



Another important aspect in food photography is the angle. The most commonly used angle is shooting from above. You can use this approach for food with interesting toppings or when you have a lot of ingredients/food items to cover.



 For drinks and food with multiple layers it is better to shoot from the side so all the layers are covered in the image.


If you’re at a restaurant more often than not the background is noisy. In such cases you can use a 30 to 45 degree angle to cover only the food and the surface it is placed on.


There is a lot of room to experiment with food photography. Keep in mind how the light, shadows and textures play out while doing so. 

Basic Photography Food Photography
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