How to Take Excellent Food Photos for Your Blog

by Alli

Believe it or not, it doesn’t require a professional photographer to produce beautiful, mouthwatering food photos you often see on Pinterest or in your favorite food blogs.

You can definitely take those photos yourself, although there are a few things you’ll have to keep in mind.

If you’re an aspiring food blogger, the tips below should be helpful for you.

Food Photos

1.  Pick the right gear

Ideally, you will need a digital SLR or mirrorless camera. It won’t be necessary to go for the most expensive camera, but you do need to pick one that will give you the ease of use and flexibility that fits your photography skill level.

Food Photos

Lenses also play an important role in getting the photographic results you want, so you will want to invest in them as well. For food photography, experts usually recommend a macro or telephoto (or both).

2. Learn the basics

Food Photos

Despite what smartphone makers would have us believe, a professional-quality picture is not something you can just produce with the press of a button. A professional camera is still your best bet for stunning food photos, but using them will require basic photography know-how to be utilized effectively. If you have no idea how to use a DSLR or mirrorless camera, your only option is to learn.

Scour the web for informative articles and instructional videos to learn more about how to navigate the menus and controls of your camera, as well as different shooting settings to achieve properly exposed photos.

3. Be mindful of the lighting

Food Photos

Once you’ve learned how to shoot, take the time to learn about lighting and how to achieve the best lighting setup for your shots.

Food Photos

One of the secrets to taking appealing food photos (or any photos, really) is good lighting. Setting up a backlight will bring out the unique texture of your subject and make it look better on camera. Also, when used on dishes that are hot or in the cooking process, lighting will help emphasize the steam, making it look more appetizing.

4. Use different perspectives

There is no single best angle in food photography, so feel free to experiment with various angles when shooting your subject. Don’t just stick to one angle, because that won’t always yield the best results. Take photos from different perspectives so that you have more to choose from, then pick out the best angle for the specific dish you are trying to photograph.

Food Photos

Combined with a proper spread setup and framing, this can yield an interesting and eye-catching outcome that helps draw more attention to the food.

5. Buy quality ingredients (especially when shooting raw produce and meat)

Food Photos

If you plan to shoot images of raw fruits and vegetables or even raw meat, using sub par ingredients will greatly affect the aesthetic quality of your output. And no matter how good your lens is, it can’t magically make your food look better—especially if the food is not in good condition to begin with. So, always make sure that the veggies, fruits, and meat you use are fresh and not darkened, wrinkled, or soiled.

6. Keep the spread uncluttered

food photos

When designing your photo spread, avoid adding too many distracting elements that can overwhelm the viewer of the photo and take the focus away from the dish. For starters, you can just focus on taking a photo of a plate of food, then build your spread around it. This will enable you to create a more well-designed spread and experiment with more test shots.

7. Get creative with props

Props - Food Photos

Props can make your photos more appealing. For food photography, one of the simplest and often most accessible things you can use is a wooden chopping board. You can also use small items (such as raw ingredients or bottles of spices) spread artistically around the dish to add “production value” to the image.

Choose props that will make your food stand out more. When in doubt, choose plain and solid colored plates over patterned ones, as they’re usually easier to photograph.

8. Take photos of the different stages of the cooking process

Food Photos

Another way to keep your food photos interesting is to take photos of the food throughout the different stages of the cooking process. It’s instinctive that we take photos at the end after we have already plated it, but taking photos of the food while it is being washed, cut, boiled, or fried will add a touch of realness to the set, making it appeal more to your audience.

9. Add a human element

Food Photos

Incorporating the human element in photography is a great way to take your photos to a whole new level. It can also help make an otherwise boring image more interesting, or allow you to connect with your audience.

In food photography, this is usually accomplished by photographing a hand posed in the act of preparing or sampling the food—stirring the food with a wooden spoon, sprinkling herbs on the dish, and more.

10. Post-process 

Basic photo editing can help you make your food photos even more attractive, so make sure to not skip this step! Even if the raw image doesn’t look particularly good, a simple crop can do wonders, as well as a few tweaks on contrast, saturation, and sharpness.

Food Photos

And lastly, practice! The whole process may seem like a chore at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that it’s nearly as easy (and enjoyable) as preparing all of those delicious dishes!

Food Photos - Ginger Lime Grilled Ribs - Nautical Baby Shower - Fried Peach Pies

How to Take Excellent Food Photos

 

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22 comments

Liza Summers August 15, 2017 - 6:24 am

Hi Alli,

Thanks for sharing these tips. I really like how you presented all the things about food photography.

Kudos!

Reply
candy August 15, 2017 - 8:27 am

Will be saving this to refer back to all the time. Great tips and ideas for getting the best shots.

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Sarah Honey August 15, 2017 - 8:29 am

These are all really great tips about food photography. Staging can be the hardest.

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Tomi C August 15, 2017 - 10:11 am

Thanks for these tips. The human element is so essential to a great pic especially given the visual nature of our work. I am not the best at food photography so these tips will definitely come in handy.

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vanessa palma August 15, 2017 - 11:04 am

I love these tips! Props are my downfall. d to overdo it when I really should let the main item stand out.

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Jen Temcio August 15, 2017 - 12:33 pm

You have certainly mastered food photography. Your images are stunning. I am still having trouble with my camera settings not letting enough light in. I need to use your tips and do some trial and error.

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Betty Boiron August 15, 2017 - 12:39 pm

I love food pictures! And your list of tips is great. Props can make such a difference.

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Christy Maurer August 15, 2017 - 3:28 pm

These are such awesome tips! I am pinning this for future reference! I’ve got to get more comfortable with my camera for sure!

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Sarah Bailey August 15, 2017 - 3:41 pm

These are some great tips, I am not a food blogger and I remember having to take the first pictures of food and my friend was saying get on the level with it and she was right it made such a difference.

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Jenn @ EngineerMommy August 15, 2017 - 7:12 pm

Getting great photos of food can be tricky for sure. I love the idea of adding a human element. I think it makes a big difference.

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Pam Wattenbarger August 15, 2017 - 7:12 pm

Those photos are beautiful and I agree with all your tips. I was trying to do some food photography at a restaurant and forgot my camera. I had to use my phone and the results were not pretty.

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Joely Smith August 15, 2017 - 9:13 pm

You are right – a phone camera just does not capture the images the way a professional camera does. Your images are OUTSTANDING! All of your tips were helpful to me!

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Agnes August 15, 2017 - 9:40 pm

Love all your pictures here. I am making a big effort to improve my food photography skills and it is a work in progress. Will be sure to remember these tips.

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Franc Ramon August 15, 2017 - 10:03 pm

These tips would definitely help make great food photos. I would be taking note of them for my next food photos.

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Debra Hawkins August 15, 2017 - 10:38 pm

I have both a digital SLR and a Mirrorless camera. I am still trying to master photography with the mirrorless!

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Paula Bendfeldt Diaz August 16, 2017 - 8:00 am

These are all excellent food photography tips! I am always trying to improve my food photography and will take some of these into account.

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rebekah August 16, 2017 - 3:40 pm

this is super helpful! I have been wanting to incorporate more food on my blog

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Our Family World August 16, 2017 - 4:56 pm

I am not s goof blogger but these tips are really helpful, I can use these tips for DIY crafts.I am planning on enrolling in online courses for photography.

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Louisa August 17, 2017 - 1:57 am

This is extremely helpful! I’ve been thinking of delving into food blogging for a while and often wondered how to get the best food shots.

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Weekly Recap and Pretty Pintastic Party 170 - An Alli Event August 18, 2017 - 3:00 am

[…] Looking to take better food photos? You don’t want to miss this post. […]

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Janice Snow March 11, 2018 - 9:22 am

You’ve quite succeeded in your post. My mouth is actually watering after seeing all those delicious-looking food some I don’t even recognize but will love to give it a bite. LOL! Yum yum… Now I’m hungry. here I have tried some food photography

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Debra August 25, 2018 - 3:01 am

helful tips. definitely going to put them in use

Reply

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