How To Beef Up Your Food Photography

When it comes to food photography, there is much to consider. How appealing a dish looks in the photo may be the deciding factor on whether the reader clicks on the article. Here are four things a blogger needs to consider when taking photos. Blogger and food photographer Alice Seuffert of Dining with Alice calls them the four fundamentals of food photography.

  • Natural Light
    • Don’t use flash
    • Turn off indoor lights (overhead)
    • Switch up the angles of light; consider lighting from the front, side, backlit, above (frontlit)
  • Depth of Field, Background, Rule of Thirds
    • Pay attention to what is in the background, get creative with it
    • You can use:
      • Large floor tiles
      • A jelly roll pan
      • A cutting board
  • Style Food to Create Emotion
    • Avoid showing: chips on dishes, fingerprints, hair, etc.
    • Tips for styling:
      • Garnish dishes with herbs, toppings, etc.
      • Display family-style portions (more than one serving or heaping dishes)
      • Photograph multiple portions ( i.e. two different sized bowls of pasta)
      • Use a smaller bowl inside a bowl to “pop” food out
      • Use small dishes, rather than trying to fill large ones
  • Use Props + Background That Makes Sense
    • Think about what readers are doing when they are eating the dish
    • For comfort food, use excess butter and for pancakes, use larger portions

Food 1

Low-Cost Household Props to Use in Photos

To make food photography both realistic and visually pleasing, add props to your photos. Get creative with the household kitchen items you have, including:

  • French pot for displaying soup or other meals
  • Foam board to use as a background
  • Tiles to use as a background
  • Pizza stone to display food
  • Ramekins to display smaller portions of food
  • White dishware works best (can have patterns with color)
    • Textured dishware adds detail
  • Dish towels for staging
  • Fabric (i.e. burlap, plaid, etc) for adding color and staging the photo
  • Silverware for realistic effect
  • Vintage kitchen items (from second-hand stores) to add character

Food photo practice

8 Quick Tips About Food Photography

  1. Use natural light
  2. Pay attention to background details
  3. Use photo filters
  4. Use various props/surfaces
  5. Photograph multiple servings
  6. Use big portions
  7. Garnishes make food look fresh
  8. Take numerous photos from every angle (above shots are great)

Food photo practice 2

Words of Advice

  • Name your photos based on article title
  • Use online storage system  (i.e. Google Drive, iCloud, etc.)
  • Take vertical AND horizontal photos
  • Look at food sharing websites and Google; mimic those shots
  • Check out a food photography book: Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum

This session was presented by Alice Seuffert, a parenting and food blogger from Minnesota.

Featured image courtesy Flickr user iweatherman.