10 Tips For Tasty Food Photos

  1. White Balance – Use natural light when you can but if you must shoot with restaurant lighting or bare bulbs in the kitchen be sure to adjust your white balance. You can do this in camera or in post as long as you do it. I don’t care how tasty the food is it will look very unappetizing with that orange, green, or blue hue from artificial lights.
  2. Background – Pay attention to the background you want your viewers checking out that plate of baby back ribs not Uncle Larry’s back side or the screaming baby at the next table.
  3. Perspective – Normally you see your food from the top down while you are eating; or more like a 45 degree angle. So most people say that’s the way you should shoot it. Boring! Liven up your shot with a new perspective; try shooting from a lower angel, tilting your camera, or tilting the plate.
  4. Zoom In – Don’t be afraid to get in close and show a little detail in your food; those textures add to the taste and feel when you’re eating and they will add to your final shot too. Getting closer also helps to eliminate busy backgrounds keeping the viewer focused on the food.
  5. DOF – Use a shallow depth of field to control what part of your picture gets the most attention. Focus on that steak and let the baked potato fall softly into the background.
  6. Oil Up – You wouldn’t want to actually eat most of the delicious looking food in magazine photos. There are a lot of tricks out there to make things look even better than they are but wouldn’t taste so great. Oil can be your friend when you need something to look a little fresher. Brushing it with extra cooking oil or even baby oil can add a much-needed shine.
  7. Stuff It – Want that sandwich to look taller and fuller than just a piece of turkey between two slices of bread? Stuff it with wads of plastic wrap or paper napkins then carefully place extra turkey, cheese, and lettuce to hide the stuffing.
  8. Prop It Up – Keep that hot dog and corn on the cob from rolling over by stabbing a few toothpicks in the back for legs. That will keep it from moving while you turn the plate for that perfect shot.
  9. Don’t Move – Use a tripod or sit your camera on the table, use a shutter release cable or the self timer. This is especially important in dimly lit restaurants or late evenings by the fire.
  10. KISS It – Keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with your props; maybe a drink or a fork and knife, just a simple table-cloth or vase of flowers. After all the food is the super star here.
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4 thoughts on “10 Tips For Tasty Food Photos”

  1. I appreciate this post. Last month I had to do a photo shoot for an article on a local restaurant, and had to shoot pics of a few of their best dishes. I also take photos of food from time to time for my blog, so these tips will come in handy. 🙂

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