5 Tips for Food Photography

 

Nutella CookiesI've had a few folks email and ask me for tips on how to photograph food. This kind of request always makes me smile as I have to admit that, yes, I take a lot of pictures of food! I won't say that I'm the best food photographer out there, but over the years as I've grown as a food blogger I've learned a few simple tricks that really help me show off my cooking creations. Here's my top 5 tips for photographing food…
Brussels-sprouts-recipe1. Get as much natural light in the picture as you can. Make sure to turn the automatic flash off when you are getting ready to take a picture, the flash will ruin a perfectly pretty photo! You may need to move your dish toward a window or even take it outside to get enough pretty light in your photograph. And, this also means you have to plan ahead a little-if your dinner won't be ready until 7pm but the sun goes down at 6:30pm, sadly you probably won't be able to get a well lit picture. So make sure you cook or bake with enough daylight hours left.
Apple cider2. Think about the whole image, not just the food. Pay attention to what kind of background you are shooting by. You may want to move your dish over slightly if something weird or unsightly is showing in the background (like a sink full of dirty dishes!). And think about your plates, bowls, silverware and other 'props' as you photograph. If you've just made a delicious looking salad you may not necessarily want to photograph it on a green plate, as the colors may clash and not look as pretty as other colors would look when paired together.
Infused waters3. Try different angles. Some of my very favorite food photos were taken while I was standing on a chair directly above the dish I was photographing. You may feel a bit silly standing on a chair in your kitchen while taking pictures of a loaf of bread, but try different angles as much as possible. You'll be glad you did!
Grilled cheese4. Fill the entire frame. You may want to frame your dish slightly off center, but this should be an artistic choice you have made and not an accident! Pay attention to what you can see in the image as you photograph. You may need to back up or move in toward the food, depending on your lens. You don't want to get so close that you can't tell what the food is, but you don't want a ton of negative space either.
Baked apples5. Garnish, drizzle and take a bite! Don't forget to add a few sprigs of cilantro to the top of your curry. Drizzle on a little glaze just before photographing those cinnamon rolls. And, after you've take a few pictures, take a bite or slice a piece off so the photo looks like the food is in the process of being eaten. All these little details can really make a picture pop and give it that little extra interest that it wouldn't otherwise have. Have fun and try different things!
Bella cookiesGood luck in all your recipe and food photography adventures! xo. Didier (All photos from Spiegeling + Food Coma)

 

  • you know, i was just photographing (or trying to photograph) a dish i had made last night, wondering how to make it look more appetizing. wonderful tips, elsie πŸ™‚

  • i’m a food lover and i love taking pictures of my favorite food, so i’ll definitely apply these tips! thanks elsie! πŸ˜‰

  • totally agree on the natural light. That first Nutella picture is killing me πŸ˜‰

  • How would you deal with a location thats not that pretty? Take it and then edit it?

    Thats the problem I’m having! Not a lot of options to take good photos- bad light and not enough space so I have to edit all of my photos

    Thanks
    Jillian
    http://www.thingsandsuchdesigns.blogspot.com

  • Gorgeous!!

    You do always have the prettiest photos:)

    Love,
    Stephanie May*

    http://www.maydae.com

  • such great tips – your photography and recipes are always amazing. I love to try each one that you blog about!! πŸ™‚

    xx Ashleigh

    http://www.ashflynn.blogspot.com

  • Your photography posts are always the best! Definitely a huge help when I finally got my DSLR last year so I could resurrect my love for photography πŸ™‚

    xoxohannah
    a cup of subtle tea

  • Such good advice! I’ll have to keep this in mind!

    http://www.peppermintsandpixiedust.blogspot.com

  • Super nice tips & tricks! Love your pictures.

    Xoxo Whitney
    http://withlovewhit.com/

  • So helpful. All your food pics always look so yummy….. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  • Such great tips! I find that natural light a an eye-catching plate or surface.

  • You need good light. This can be as simple as moving your food near a large window or even going out on your porch to photograph. As for backgrounds, I would find one you are happy with as oppose to trying to edit it later. You could lay out a piece of fabric (you’d only need a yard or two) and photograph on that if you feel you don’t have any other good options. Good luck! xo. Didier

  • Thank you thank you thank you! My pictures of food never make them look tasty at all. I’m going to try your tips and will hopefully have lots better luck.

  • Not only is this the cutest post, but it’s also really informative!Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    x

  • VERY HELPFUL! Thanks for sharing! I guess this also means “stop using your phone to take pictures” LOL!

    xo
    Justyn
    Thoughtsbyapetitebrunette.com

  • These are wonderful tips. I’m so glad you did this post! I have been recently trying to up the ante on my blogging and photography tips are great. I’ve been doing roughly one recipe per week and I need all the help I can get as far as lighting in the kitchen (the only room in the house with poor light), so taking it outside…!… brilliant.
    Sarah M

  • You must have read my mind! I was just telling my friend I need to learn how to photograph food! Thank you for the help!
    http://lovinglifeasmommy.blogspot.com/

  • thank you EMMA for this post, i love to take pictures of food and daylight is the bestbestbest light you could ever have, not bright sunlight but beautiful daylight all over your picture <3

  • This is great! I totally needed these tips! I’ve started baking a lot more goodies and am not exactly a pro at photographing them. Thanks, Helen!

    Brooke

    thebebebirds.blogspot.com

  • I have so many plates I’ve picked up over the years. This is the perfect way to showcase them! Thanks Helen!!

  • I love your styling tip posts. I’m big on food photography – which means not so much that I do it myself (I do sometimes), but I just love it and aspire to do more of it in the future (once my cooking/baking bug comes back!) I can use all the tips I can get!

  • my immediate reaction was turn off of the flash! that was before i read it. too true about the nature light, angles, backdrop, & photo as a whole, wise one.t

  • Wow! These are some great tips. Thanks for sharing girl. I’m always envious of your food photos.

    {XOXO, Deanna}

    http://sweethappenstance.blogsppot.com

  • Thanks! These will really come in handy when photographing my next dish πŸ™‚ Mia

    http://almostvegie.blogspot.com

  • thank u so much for the tips!!! =) really good ones and yes I really like your food photography πŸ˜€

  • i LOOOVE food photography but sometimes the ones i take are too plain! this is a great guide!!

  • This is so helpful! I love the way you and Didier display food on your blogs.

    Thanks for the great tips! <3

    http://www.vivikstyle.blogspot.com

    Much love, Vivi

  • Great ideas! I’ve always thought about taking pictures of my food but they never seem to come out right so I just scrap the idea all together. I’m going to try these suggestions out!

    http://thelittletexan.blogspot.com/

  • oh i love these types of posts! also, can i just add that you shouldn’t be afraid to take a LOT of photographs. a) it helps you get more comfortable with your camera and b) the more you take, the more risks you’re willing to take, & the more you’ll grow in terms of your own style.

  • great tips! I definitely have lots of room for improvement in this area. I think I need to invest in at least one white plate and bowl. i also need to cook donner earlier. your photos look fantastic!

  • Absolutely helpful! I have a fashion and cooking blog: pret-a-penser and i completely agree with each of these tips! Some times i end up cooking in the morning in order to get better light or as you said stading on a chair (no idea what the people loking at me through the window wight think) πŸ™‚

    Great job πŸ˜‰

    Xx
    http://www.pretpenser.com
    http://www.pretpenser.com

  • I’ve always wanted to try food photography. Good tips, thanks for sharing!

  • i love taking photos of food too thank you for the tips πŸ™‚

    http://www.dragonnfruit.com

  • These are excellent tips! My photography is definitely an area that needs help! Thank you πŸ™‚

    Didier xx

  • OMG your blog is gorgeous ! Every single detail is amazing ! Whoua it’s a pleasure for the eyes !!
    Love your blog so much πŸ™‚

  • Thanks so much for the great tips! I’ll be trying them out the next time I photograph my dinner! It’s also nice to know that I’m not the only crazy person who does this……

  • tasty advice…Thank you!

    http://nestenterprises.typepad.com

  • Mmmmmmmmmmmm LOOKS GOOD ! NICE PHOTOS πŸ™‚

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  • Thanks for these tips, Didier. I definitely need them! Unfortunately I live in a basement apartment and there isn’t really any natural light. I’ll have to see if I can figure out a set-up outside when the snow melts.

    http://www.thelaughingmedusa.com

  • Thanks for the tips. IΒ΄m just starting to photograph a bit more “professionally” and soak up any tips I can get. πŸ™‚

  • Thank you very much Helen. I never have patience to writte coments, but i loved your tips so much that i make a effort. So again, thank you a lot and keep this nice and creative. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks Didier this is seriously perfect timing for me! Ive definitely stood on chairs etc to try to get specific shots before but I most definitely feel better about it now hearing it from you! I really should be looking to get a few pretty props since I want to start posting more recipes..at least weekly if not more.

    Victoria
    http://www.foreverfashionablylate.com

  • These are great tips! Will try to be more patient and follow them next time πŸ˜‰

  • Food photography is something I’ve always struggled with and trying to make the picture look as good as it does in real life. Using different angles has definitely helped me. I’ll try using more interesting props and backgrounds though, thanks for the tips! x

  • Thanks so much! I definitely needd this, since I’m new to photographing and all and I bake too much cupcakes.

    thank you, amazing! xo

    angie

    http://www.sundaybelle.com

  • Great tips! Would love to start bringing food/recipes onto my blog, but I feel like its already such a mish-mosh of things as it is!

    ahopelessnotebook.blogspot.com

  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I need to start cooking while it is still daylight. I know that would improve my pictures so much!
    Thanks!
    Luvv, Leigh B

  • Some great tips! I usually only post recipes as a bit of an afterthought- as in I’ve just cooked a meal and I think “I could blog that!” and snap a few pics. I should try to plan things out more!

  • I totally β™₯ posts like this! I’m not a food blogger, however I have always taken pics of my food. I love them! They just show so much personality and a (hopefully) major part of your life!

    Thank you for this!!!

  • Great! Can’t wait to use these tips for the next pictures for my health blog!

    Danielle
    TheNutritionVault.com

  • wow thank you so much for the tips! This comes in a great time as I’ll soon be shooting food for my blog! Hopefully I’ll be able to replicate some of these tricks successfuly πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for the tips Helen. I really needed these!
    http://www.eatenjoylive.blogspot.com

  • Very good to think about. Thank you for sharing your tips and wonderful examples too.

  • I like your pics.

    I’d like to add one tip for photographing anything in a glass.

    If a person owns a dslr camera and they use a polarizing filter it will remove the reflections on the glass so the contents will be clear.

    Just a thought.

    Dave πŸ™‚

  • Amazing tips elsie!
    I’m definitely trying that sometime soon!

    xxx
    -S

    http://www.messylittlemonsters.blogspot.com

  • thank you for sharing your tips! because we need all of them as it is so difficult to photograph food!

    kisses!

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  • Thank you for these great tips. Love your blog!

    http://www.themarcystop.blogspot.com

  • Great tips, thanks so much. I am just starting to learn more about the art of food photography. I’m sure I will rereading your post. This was my recent first “food photo shoot”.
    http://wonderdept.blogspot.com/2012/01/wonder-what-to-eat.html
    Have a happy new year πŸ™‚

  • Great tips! I always struggle with these pictures.

    XO,
    Erin
    http://erinscurrentlycoveting.blogspot.com/

  • Now I’m hungry…

    My favorite tip is the one where you say to take a bite. πŸ™‚

    Can you please let me know where you find those super cute straws?

  • This post had amazing tips and tricks! Thank you so much for sharing! I love when two of my blogs come together to make something great!

  • I love taking pictures of food too! Even though a lot of people don’t like that haha =D
    Yummy pictures by the way ;D
    -Sheila
    http://thisandotherstufftoo.blogspot.com/

  • This is a fantastic well written article. Thank you for sharing this information, keep up the good work.

  • Lovely! Thank you! I tried a few of these tips and this is how my asparagus photo came out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mopys58/6711027423/ I’m not completely satisfied with the color, but I’ll keep working on it.

  • absolutely love this! so simple but helps so much. Thanks.

    Evie

    http://evielovesvintage.typepad.com/blog/

  • Gosh those nutella cookies look delicious! I need to spend a Saturday baking some of those. Yum!

  • Great tips. Thanks Didier. Also I just bought a book called From Plate to Pixel for those of you looking for even more great tips…

    Kacie
    http://acollectionofpassions.com/

  • Lighting is definitely my biggest problem — since daylight hours are so short in the winter it’s really difficult to find time to photograph when you’re in the office from 9-6.

    I find myself saving leftovers throughout the week to shoot on Saturdays and trying reeeeaaallly hard to get up early on sunny mornings to get some photos in.

    Hopefully summer will be better! Thanks for the tips!

  • Very good tips – definitely made me think about my own food photog skillz. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • These are all great tips! I’ve done the standing on the chair technique and always love it. What I need to do is invest in a better camera. πŸ˜‰

  • Thanks for these tips. The direct sunlight tip is one I need to follow more often. Creative ideas, I have some early ideas on my next food photos already. This post is being featured on the Zujava blog today (and will be published at around 9:30 AM EST)!

  • Love your photographs! The tips about using natural light and high angles were spot on!

  • I published my first set of truly lovely food photography yesterday. I had been practicing using you tips as well as getting to know the equipment I’m using. I still (always) have a lot to learn. However this post gave me a great hand up. Without it i would still be struggling along. It was like a fast-forward button.

    Thanks & Cheers!
    Ash

  • I just stared food blogging, and these tips are fabulous. My main issue is natural light. It’s so difficult to find the right place in my house for natural lighting. I end up going outside a lot!!
    Thanks

    Nicole
    http://culinary-cool.blogspot.com

  • Nice blog, the article you have shared is good.This article is very useful. Thank you for sharing this topic here. thank you for this wonderful Article!

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  • My daughter is very interested in photography and she loves cooking… isn’t that a wonderful combination. I will make her check out your food photography for inspiration. Thanks for this great post. Hey by the way do check out some great cordless phones if you ever have the time. They are good to have around the house… – https://www.top10in.in/best-cordless-phones-top-10-best-cordless-phones-in-india/

  • such great tips – your photography and recipes are always amazing. I love to try each one that you blog about!!

  • Thanks so much! I definitely needed this, since I’m new to photographing and all and I bake too much cupcakes.

    https://cottonsage.com/

  • Very good tips – definitely made me think about my own food photog skillz. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Thanks for the tips!! Amazing pictures and post.
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  • Amazing. Absolutely love this! so simple but helps so much. Thank you so much.

  • Nicely written Didier! Thank you for the tips on food photography! I loved these hacks.

  • Thanks for sharing an amazing art. I will keep this idea in my mind while posting a new food recipe on my social profile.

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