Food Photography

99 Food Photography Tips To Blow Your Mind

We’re all at different stages of our food photography journey and we’ve all had amazing advice from people who’ve walked the walk before us. What I love the most about the food photography community, is how generous the creatives are with their support for one another’s journey.

Here is a collection of 99 food photography tips, that is personal to each creative and jump started their journeys in some way. The goal? For you to find that powerful tip that takes your food photography up a level!

 

In no particular order divided up into Food Photography Tips, Lighting Tips, Photography Hacks, Propping & Styling, Creative Mindset.

 

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

 

Food Photography Tips

1. Experiment With Different Heights

Experiment with height and creating different levels. Use a cutting board to raise up some of your scene. Place something on a cake stand or use glasses in different heights. You don’t even have to go higher, placing things on a wrinkled kitchen towel create texture and breaks things up by creating visual differences or layers. Adding height can create a natural frame that you can work off, especially if shooting straight on or at different angles ~ Amanda, A Cookie Named Desire

 

2. Consistent Portfolio

I went to a seminar where a photographer was talking about the power of a portfolio – and boy, is that true! It is extremely important to have a consistent portfolio to land gigs, and it’s important to know that your portfolio should be a reflection of who you are. If you show your unique character – and every single person is unique – in that space, people will for sure pay much more attention ~ Gabriela Klafke

 

3. My Tripod Changed the Way I Shot

The best tip I have ever received is to use the tripod. That changed the way I shot! ~ Deeba, Passionate About Baking

 

4.  Absorb Beautiful Imagery

Continually look at good food photography. 10-15 minutes a day spent absorbing beautiful images from blogs and searching on Pinterest really refreshes my creativity and inspires me to create through my own lens. My goal is to saturate my subconscious with images that make me sigh so that when I start shooting I know what will move me emotionally. ~ Erin Beutel

 

5. Learning to Balance Depth of Field and Shutter Speed

A skill that will allows you to capture a combination of different moments with very different styles. Learn the dance and let that be your guide to telling stories through sharpness, focus and of course exposure.  ~ Leen Al Zaben

 

6. Exporting, Uploading, Sharing

Technology can be so tricky. In my personal experience with transferring, exporting, uploading, sharing photos the quality can become diminished 🙁  and distorted, if you are on a wordpress platform for example– beware! Sometimes you have to edit specifically for whatever media or print form you are using. Experiment beforehand by seeing a sample in print or a preview of your images on the site so your final product will be exactly as you want it. ~ Des, Oh So Delicioso

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Eirin Helland - Luminate Photography

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Amanda - A Cookie Named Desire

7. Shoot Tethered

I know a lot of food photographers and bloggers don’t like to shoot tethered because they feel constrained by the cord;  however, shooting tethered has been a game changer for me.  It allows me to see the final photo in real time so that I can make lighting and styling adjustments and remove any unwanted edges that I simply could not see on the camera screen. ~ Lynn

Lynn Mahony
The Road To Honey

8. Capture Your Overall Vision on Paper

Plan out your ideas for your photo shoots by using sketches.  Don’t worry about details, just create quick sketches to capture your overall vision on paper . When sketching, focus on the story you want to tell, think about the props to use, choose the colour palette and make notes about the lighting direction and all aspects related to the composition. This will help you to bring to life the mental image you had when first planning the photoshoot and photograph it, instead of shooting away and hoping to get a good image in the process. ~ Laura, Lau Sunday cooks

 

9. Use Negative Space

Give the viewer some room to breathe, i.e. don’t zoom in all the way, let there be some negative space in the picture.It’s soothing on the eyes and mind. ~ Manon Krikke 

 

10. Find The Your Dishes Biggest Strength

To help me when I am going to shoot it’s crucial to ask myself what is the biggest strength of that dish or food? Is it the freshness, the texture, the colour, the shape? And, very important too, what kind of felling does that food bring, can be comfort, freshness, coziness, heath…

This combination is what will move all my work to the final picture, throw light, angle and composition. ~ Joana Leitao

 

11. Knowing How To Frame Your Shot

Use a tripod. I recently started using a tripod and I’m able to set up a better scene and I know exactly how to frame my shot. I thought it would make a big difference in reducing camera shake (it does) but the difference it has made in styling has been the best bonus for me. ~ Sharon, What The Fork

 

12. Decide On Your Angle Before You Begin Styling

Use a dummy and decide on an angle BEFORE you start styling. Too many times I have started setting up the food and styled it – just to find out that the angle is not right – have to change it – and then do all the styling one more time. ~ Eirin Helland

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Pang Wannawanit

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Betty Liu

13. Texture, Think Layers 

The thing I think of the most when I’m about to take a food photo is texture. It’s what has taken my photos to the next level.
I aim to try to have about 3 layers of texture in my photo – napkins, cutlery, herbs, spices or ingredients. Things that are in the dish look great when layered into the photo. ~ Amanda

Amanda 
Sweets and Greens

14. Use Stand In Food

Do what the Hollywood shooters do when working with movie stars – set up on a stand in, get the lighting and composition sorted mark the plate with blocks, throw the stand in food away, re plate with the hero food, put it in the blocks, take the blocks away and shoot as fast as, you can. Voila freshest food – shot fast. ~ Tim Hill 

 

15. Study Images and Recreate Using The Resources You Have

STUDY the photo that I love– light, styling, camera angle etc., then try to find the way to get the result using the resource I have — youtube has tons of clips to watch. Once I get a grip of the method, I can make it my own using my recipe. ~ Pang Wannawanit

 

16. Always Have a Full Back-Up Battery

Have a backup battery full charged for each shoot. One of the worst things that can happen during a shoot is having to delay it for hours because of your battery dying. This is definitely a necessity and time saver if you’re shooting in RAW! ~ Jessica, Jessica In The Kitchen

 

17. Use a Tripod For Razor Sharp Images

Use a tripod to shoot your photos. Nobody is attracted to a blurred dull photo. To get those razor sharp crystal clear photos you need a tripod which is controlled by a remote. You’ll see a huge difference how your tripods help you get those perfect sharp images which can be very appealing. So a tripod is a must, not just while you are shooting in low light conditions, but even otherwise. ~ Joythi, Curry Trail

TIP 18. Don't think in 'food', think in colours, shapes and textures ~ Baerbel #99FoodPhotographyTips

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19. Have a Brief

I can’t stress this enough how important this is as this not only ensures that I’m following what the client wants/hopes to achieve but also shows the clients vision for their brand/company. So many times I ask prior to a shoot to provide a brief or a concept and if I’m lucky I’ll receive a very detailed one. Most times though, the client tells me at the shoot how they want it to look, without much preparation done beforehand.  ~ Todd Beltz

 

20. White Balance for Brighter Cleaner Whites

Editing and white balance. I use Lightroom and for almost every photo I cool it waaaay down, this always helps the whites seem brighter and cleaner. If I feel it’s cooling down my food/products too much I take the saturation up a few notches. Also I typically increase exposure, always sharpen as much as possible, increase contrast a bit, make my shadows and black more dramatic. From there I continue minor adjustments as needed. ~ Des, Oh So Delicioso

 

21. Invest in a Good Prime Lens

A good prime lens will make a world of difference to your food photos. I started with a 50mm f1.8 and used this inexpensive lens exclusively for almost 2 years however I noticed a a huge improvement in my food photos when I started using a 90mm f2.8 macro lens and now I use this lens for 95% of my food photos. The longer focal length compresses the background and creates a really beautiful look.  ~ Jo, The Luminous Kitchen

 

22. The Nifty Fifty

For me, it would be using a tripod, using evening natural light (this is not deliberate, it is simply because I take pictures after work) and the “nifty fifty”. ~ Sandi, Cooking On Canvas

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Kelly - A Side Of Sweet

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Laura, Lau Sunday Cooks

23. Practice, Practice, Practice

Visualise the shot, be creative, attention to details and light. All are a must in food photography, and probably won’t finish here…practice, practice, practice. ~ Patricia, Kan Arts Photography

 

24. Make The Photo Yours In Some Way

Make sure you make the photo your own in some way. Give it a look and style that is reflective of oneself, your philosophies and attitude towards everyday life. ~ Matt, Yeast Of Green

 

25. Draw Your Set-ups

A tip (given by a known food photographer here in France I met at a workshop) is to draw… your setups. He said that most professional food photographer have generally their preferred setup and they only adjust it to their subject. So drawing your setup gives you a… “base” that you can build your photography session on. ~ Chaimae, Une Pincee de Sel

 

26. Invest in a Tripod For Beautiful Overhead Shots

Investing in a good tripod is worth it, especially if you want to do beautiful overhead shots! The integrated arm has totally changed my food photography. ~ Kelly, A Side Of Sweet

 

27. Take Photos on a Full Stomach

Take photos on a full stomach.  It’s no good taking photos when you’re hungry because you’ll probably eat the dish before you get the perfect shot. ~ Lauren, Heathy N Happy, Bakecycle

 

28. 75 and 25 Degree Angles

I usually take photos from top, front, at 75 degree and 25 degree to determine the hero angle. ~ Lew, Malaysian Mom

 

29. Be a People’s People

I believe that our business is based on human connections. You are your brand. You market your business everywhere, all the time. Be kind, open and friendly. All day long. Whenever you talk to people. When you talk you can tell them about what you do, what makes you do it. ~ Inbal, Pretty Things Photographer

LIGHTING TIPS

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Justin, Salt Pepper Skillet

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Nick Tresidder

30. White Sheet In The Window

A white sheet in the window where I photograph was one of the best purchases I ever made. The light is always amazing! ~ Monica

Monica Hering

31. Look At Your Shadows

Look at your shadows. Shadows tell you what the light is doing. ~ Nick Tresidder

 

32. Tweak Your Light

I would say its “light”. As with all types of photography, light plays a very important role in food photography. Just by tweaking a little with the source of light, you can make a good photo to an awesome photo. My personal preference is always natural light, and so I try to take photos as much as possible during daytime. ~ Sudeshna, Bengali Cuisine

 

33. Always Side, Back or Top Light

Always back, side or top light. Don’t have the light source coming from the same angle or direction as the camera. ~ Craig Ferguson

 

34. Artificial Light Can Be Your Best Friend

We hear it all the time; “I only use natural light”, “natural light is the only light to use,” etc. I absolutely do not agree. We have seen Rachel’s posts comparing natural light to speedlights, and the differences are almost not noticeable when done right. Using artificial light can make beautiful food photography possible at any time of day and in any conditions. It is consistent, predictable and always there for you even if it is pitch black outside. If you a photographing your dinner; chances are you don’t want to cook early just so the light will be perfect. Putting together a quality light and soft box can change everything. ~ Justin, Salt Pepper Skillet

 

35. Understanding Natural Light By A Large Window

Using natural light by a large window, understanding the light and using the manual settings on the camera to capture a certain look, and then being able to touch things up in Lightroom have all truly taken my food photography to the next level. ~ Ashley, Fit Mitten Kitchen

 

36. Put Artificial Light in Your Window

Take a look at your favourite window. Where is it usually when you shoot? How big is it? Is it high up shining down or does it come lower spreading light fully from the side? What you’re going to do is mimic your window light as best you can. Put your light source exactly where you window light normally is. That way you’re familiar with where the shadows normally are and it gives you a better reference point to finesse the light. ~ Jonathan Thompson

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Claire, The Simple Sweet Life

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Jonathan Thompson

37. Use Side or Back Light To Add Shadows and Depth

Light, no matter what you choose, seems to look best when you have it coming in from the side or even from the back. Light used this way adds interest and shadow giving the food more depth. ~ Jackie Sanders

 

38. Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment With Natural Light

Don’t be afraid to experiment with artificial lighting. Natural lighting is great when it’s available, but it can be stressful trying to fit all of your photography in during daylight hours when you’re juggling a full time job, a social life, and anything else you might be up to. Artificial lighting can be a real game changer and a massive stress reducer! ~ Claire, The Simple, Sweet Life

 

39. Use Aluminum Lids and Mirrors to Play With Light

I shoot with my Canon 5D my lovely lens are 50mm. Rather than using reflective professional panels, I use large blacks and white bristol boards, polystyrene panels, aluminum lids and mirrors to play with the light. ~ Sonia

TIP 40. Fit the light and make the most of it ~ Betty Lui #99FoodPhotographyTips

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41. Use One Main Light Source Until You’ve Mastered Lighting

Whether you’re using natural light or studio lights, start with one main light. Food photography is a natural subject, so usually the aim is to try and keep things looking natural. There’s only one sun in nature, so one main light just makes sense. This light sets the atmosphere for your shot. If it is low, it might feel like early morning or late afternoon – higher up is brighter and less atmospheric. Once you have set the main light you can build up the shot with fill-in light. I like to experiment with bouncing light off polystyrene boards, tinfoil, gold foil, copper foil and even little mirrors to reflect light into the shadows of the shot – this helps to keep things simple and subtle. ~ Karene Wedekind

 

42. Use The Golden Hour To Shoot

In food photography, I consider that one of the most important element to take in consideration is the Light. The light can change and affect how your picture looks like, you should have enough light, to see the details in your pictures, but it shouldn’t be too hot, or the colours of your pictures won’t look nice. I personally like to take my shots with natural light, especially in the morning. ~ Mahmoud

 

43. Find The Windows Of Gold

Follow the light around your house throughout the day to find the windows of gold. Every house will have at least one sweet spot where light comes through beautifully. ~ Amanda, My Goodness Kitchen

 

44. Say No to Front Flash

Be it P&S or DSLR, do not use Camera’s inbuilt Flash. They create boring, dull , unreal, unappealing & funny coloured images. I can really fall short of adjectives.  Professional photographers do use  an external flash to bounce light  but they never do it on the subject. ~ Sandhya Hariharan

 

45. Don’t be Afraid of Shadows

Don’t be afraid of shadows and using black boards to emphasise the shadows in your inmate.  Soft shadows created by effectively diffused natural light can give your image depth and create a lot of visual interest. ~ Jo, The Luminous Kitchen

 

46. Create Moody Shots With a Box

There is some gorgeous light to be had inside a deep box. Utilise these deep shadows by moving your set up into the box. This will give you a nice moody feel. ~ Rachel Korinek

FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY HACKS

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Darina Kopcok

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Sina, The Kosher Spoon

47. Manage Reflections When Shooting Beverages

My tips is for managing reflections when shooting beverages. Trace your lens cap in the middle of a large piece of white foamcore/cardboard. Cut out the circle with box cutters. Put your lens through the cardboard when you shoot. This will help manage harsh reflections on the glass that appear when you are shooting liquids. ~ Darina

Darina Kopcok 

48. Make transportable Background Graphics

You can print background graphics out onto vinyl, so rather than lugging around massive pieces of board, you can neatly roll a light, durable, transportable background graphic with exactly the right colour tone and texture that you’re after. I will often buy a hi-res file from a photo library (wooden boards for example) and then duplicate and blend it until it is the size I’m after at 300dpi for print quality (often about 1.2m square). Most signmakers will have a machine that will output onto matt digital canvas material. Shop around, the price differences can be huge. ~ Fran Flynn

 

49. Spray Your Cutlery With Anti-glare

Spray your cutlery with anti-glare spray for instant matte. ~ Sina, The Kosher Spoon

 

50. Polarising Filter To Control The Glare

Use a good circular polarising filter to control the glare, it also helps make the colours pop. ~ Charne Baird

 

51. Corn Syrup To Make Things Stick

My most valuable tip is to use corn syrup to make things stick that might not otherwise. For example, I brushed corn syrup on the exterior of these cake pops before dipping them into the sprinkles to ensure they would stay in place. ~ Leah Nolan

 

52. Go For Uniform Illumination on Bottles

For better more uniform illumination remove labels from the back of the bottles, WD40 is great for getting rid of hard to remove glue while nail varnish remover can be used to remove lot numbers and expiry dates that are printed directly on to the glass. ~ Keith, Green Shoots Photography

 

53. Consider Shooting on The Floor

Consider even your own floor as long as it is nice and clean, you can use your wood floor (or any other surface floor) as a background or backdrop to some really great pictures. ~ Alice, Living in Durham

 

54. Use a Rocket Blower For Styling Crumbs

In order to get crumbs and pieces to look natural on set, gently blow air from your Rocket Blower onto the pieces for a natural scattered look. ~ Rachel Korinek

Props &  Styling Tips

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Zuzanna Ploch

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Marta, The BudMasS Kitchen

55. Invest in Quality Backgrounds

Invest in just ONE quality background board.  A beautiful background will transform your food, but make sure your food is the STAR.  Nothing replaces the look of real wood, so search for recycled wood planks, and sand them and stain them a non-glossy colour.  Start with something you can use for everything.  This will actually help you create a signature look as well.  Not sure what kind of background to use?  Look for inspiration in food magazines and cookbooks.  Stay away from vinyl backgrounds as they often reflect light in an unappealing way, and when you shoot up close, you can tell they are fake. ~ Leslie, Bessie Bakes

 

56. Props Should Compliment Your Food

The food is your hero, so don’t overthink the styling. As in everything – less is more. Use the most beautiful ingredients you can get. Beautiful food guarantee beautiful picture. Props should only compliment the food. ~ Zuzanna Ploch

 

57. Use Brown Paper to Add Texture

Use crumpled brown craft paper as a surface to place items on to photograph to add texture interest. I recently received some items shipped to me that had pieces of very nicely crinkled brown paper used for padding inside the package. I liked the look of the crinkled brown and used in to photograph vintage pewter spoons full of spices with spices and bay leaves scattered over the textured paper surface. ~ Marie Kaz

58. Oil and Ice is Your Best Friend

Oil will add the shine to food that may of been out of the oven too long and doesn’t look as fresh, and icy water will keep your herb garnishes fresh. ~ Bec

Bec 
Daisy and the Fox

59. Colour is Most Important

Talking about food photography I would say that colour is the most important to me. The food is all about colour and even when the dish it self does not have a powerful one, I like to add it with props and surfaces. ~ Marta, The BudMaaS Kitchen

 

60. Keep Greens in a Wet Napkin in the Fridge

For fresh looking ingredients such as salad, lettuce, veggies with green ends. I always store it in a wet napkin in a fridge and I take then out right before i am ready to shoot them, sometimes I also wash them in cold water as well, so there are some small water drops left on the surface. ~ Monika

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Bec, Daisy and the Fox

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

61. Scatter Ingredients For Work in Progress

I like my photos to be “messy” like a work in progress, using either some breadcrumbs or some powder sugar or flour near the pastry, or something of a kind. That’s because I’m kind of chaos in the kitchen, and I like to portrait that in a “cool” way without overdoing it, bring more of a real situation to the photo. ~ Ana, The Good Old Fashion

 

62. Adding a Human Element For Visual Appeal

Adding a human element to the photographs makes it visually appealing. E.g. holding a coffee mug or stirring a pot or pouring beverages while having a breakfast layout. ~ Shibani, Pearls of Feast

 

63. Invest in Signature Props

If you’re just starting your prop collection, try to buy neutral colour palette that you can use over and over without the pieces becoming to memorable. Then invest in signature props that will make the dish pop. Handmade ceramics work wonders for adding details to your shot. ~ Rachel Korinek 

64. Small Props Don’t Compete With Your Food

When prop shopping steer towards smaller props ( ie. smaller dinner plates, bowls ) because you can fit more items in the frame and they don’t compete with the food. This one would have saved me heaps of time and money! ~ Helen

Helen  
Hungry and Fussy

65. Local Bric-A-Brac Stores

Very new to food photography and for me the most enlightening moment for me was realising that the local bric-a-brac stores full of old style china, plates and linen worked wonders with the prop issue.  To-date my blog relied on my current kitchen hoard, but wasn’t cutting the mustard.  I have recently found lovely old spoons, boards and baking trays and will be utilising these I hope to good effect.  Somehow the worn textures, historic connotations make the food more everyday real, reminders of well loved recipes our grandmothers and mothers made – the tastes we take through our history. ~ Judi Castille

 

66. Think Before You Buy Props

Don’t waste your money on food props (especially when you are new to food photography)! Use the ones you find in your house or ask your family, friends, neighbours to lend you some pieces you might be interested in! Using ingredients as props is also a simple (and cheap) way to get interesting photos. I have spend way too much money on food props that I have used once (some of them not even once) since I bought them!  They looked cool in the shop but not on my pictures! So  think before buying them! ~ Julia, HappyFoods Tube

 

67. Natural in my styling

Over-styling and over-fussing are a thing of the past in my styling – my photos become so much more relatable if they have a bit of messiness or realness to them. ~ Michele, Our Italian Table

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Ana, The Good Old Fashion

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Helen, Hungry and Fussy

68. Less is More – Take One Thing Off

Coco Chanel’s words – get dressed, and then before you leave the house – take off one thing…in other words, less is more. I have lots of beautiful props and I can be guilty of wanting to ‘overdress’ the shot. ~ Melanie

Melanie
Kitchen Diva

69. Stimulate as Many Senses as Possible

For me as a props stylist, are some of the greatest creative, collaborative opportunities ever. The alchemy and magic that happens when creative talents come together is the energy that  inspires me to strive to produce amazing food images. So my tip is aim to produce an image that stimulates as many of the senses as possible.  “Wow, that looks great.” ” I want to make that. “  I want to eat that.” “I know what that will taste like.” ~ Tony Hutchinson

 

70. Plan Your Story

The best advice I got was to plan ahead and think of what I’m trying to say. Tell a story, don’t just plop a dish down with a few props. Also not to overdo with the props. Less is more. I’m trying to think about the food, type of cuisine, etc.before I do my shot. ~ Marisa, All Our Way

 

71. Add Contrasting Colours

Put a yellow piece of cake in a dark plate. If the food is dark, use white plates. Or simply add a green plant or a flower in the picture. A photo with contrasting colours is more interesting and eye catching. ~ Daniela, Danis Cooking

 

72. Start With The Hero And Add

Keep it simple, less is more. You will be tempted to add everything plus the kitchen sink…don’t. Start with your hero item and slowly add in additional elements. With each item you add in, step back and objectively ask yourself does this does this enhance what I’m trying to photograph or does it clutter the image? ~ Stacy Howell

 

73. Visualise The Photo and Styling

For me the best tip is visualise the photo, think about the styling, what props would be best, think about new ideas I want to try, and if it makes me drool, it´s perfect. ~ Julieta, Filosofia de Sabor

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Des, Oh So Delicioso

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Todd Beltz

74. Think Outside The Usual Garnish Box

My tip is to use garnish it really makes the food “pop” and become alive on photos. And I’m not just talking about green herbs like parsley, cilantro, chives, but anything you can put on food and drinks that plays up the different dimensions and textures of the featured food/drink, like grated cheese, parmesan, crumbled feta/goat cheese, chopped up nuts, even tomato cubes, corn, seeds (pepitas, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, etc.), pomegranate arils, ground pepper, chili flakes, coarse sea salt, grated chocolate, coconut flakes/chips, cranberries, etc. The options are quite endless if you think outside the usual “green-herb-garnish box”. ~ Stella, Stellicious Life

 

75. Simple = most effective

My top tip: Don’t over complicate your shot! Keep it simple. Simple = most effective! ~ Shannon, SLR Photography

 

76. Realistic and Personal Styling

Realistic, personal and natural styling is more admirable and warm. Clean images, simple, with bold and clear colours. I like to see drops, crumbs, little pieces, grooves, stains. To see every single grain of sugar or flour falling on cake or in a bowl,  set a very slow shutter speed on camera (on tripod)  and fire several flashes from hand with external flash – from the side of shot. ~ Eva

 

77. Include Ingredients as Props

When it comes to styling, I think including one or two of the ingredients used in the recipe as props with the final product is another life changing element. This will make the photo more layered and more appealing visually. ~ Diana, Dreams Factory

Creative Mindset Tips

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Jodi, Happy Hearted Kitchen

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Sarah, Wandercooks

78. Set Your Focus On One Thing at a Time

I try to focus on one thing at a time when I’m shooting, whether it is lighting or composition or getting to know my camera better (playing around with the shutter speed, aperture, iso, white balance…) You can set a goal every time you shoot, for a period of time, choosing any aspect of food photography until you feel comfortable with it, then you can set another one and so on! You’ll see a huge difference in a short period of time!, but I would say my best tip would be to always have fun and enjoy the journey into food photography, I have it as a MANTRA! I know I’m a beginner but in x period of time I’ll be at another point in my food photography and so on, and so on. Being patient because you know you’ll get where you want to be. ~ Alejandra, Simply Crudelicious

 

79. Forget All The Rules and Create

Follow your heart, the passion for food. I mean, sometimes you should forget all rules, all logic and just create. ~ Helene

 

80. Taking a Moment,  And a Deep Breath Can Work Wonders

Breathe. Photoshoots can often be quite hectic. I don’t know about you all but my kitchen is usually a disaster and there is food and props everywhere. I can feel rushed or overwhelmed sometimes. I always find that taking a moment,  and a deep breath can work wonders. Reset and come back to the shoot. It’s always after these moments when I end up seeing a different angle or a new way to style. ~ Jodi, Happy Hearted Kitchen

 

81. The Real Creativity Comes When You Step Away From Auto

Once I learned how to use the settings on my camera and what all the fancy photography language meant (ISO, shutter speed, depth of field, etc.) and could get away from the auto settings, that’s when the real creativity set in. It was freeing to understand what each element means/does and use them to capture the look I was aiming for. Don’t be afraid of your camera! ~ Erica, Flours In My Hair

 

82. Interest and Passion Are Key Drivers

Choose a professional field that you are really interested in – if you have to specialise in something, it is important that you like it. Specialisation requires continuous self-improvement. For a long period of time to find the motivation to work, to develop, you should do what you really want and really like. Besides in our life we spend quite a few time working 😉  Shame to spend it on activities that are not interesting for us. ~ Aneta Nowakowska

83. Set Aside Time To Shoot For Yourself

Practice as much as possible. Set aside time every week to shoot for yourself, whether it’s just for fun, separate material for your social media, or material for your portfolio. Go to the farmers market, pick out ingredients that intrigue you, go home and give yourself an assignment. Keep a collection of photos from other photographers that you admire and try to recreate these images with special attention paid to the mood and lighting in these photos. ~ Jenny

Jenny
Hello My Dumpling
99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Alejandra, Crudelicious

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Bea Lubas

84. Imperfection is Also Beautiful

Don’t stress if the outcome is not as per planned. Not every picture needs to be perfect. ~ Huma Kalim

 

85. Grow Through Getting Uncomfortable

Get uncomfortable. That’s when the magic happens and you find the opportunities necessary to grow your skill. ~ Sarah & Laura, Wandercooks

 

86. Don’t be Afraid to Scratch Your Original Set-up and Try Something New

So many times I’ve set up a scene and ended up somewhere completely different from where I started. And honestly, those are usually my favorite shoots because I know I pushed myself to find the best shot even if it meant spending twice the time. ~ Aubrie, The Blonde Chef

 

87. NEVER GIVE UP.To be a better photographer you’ve got to be stubborn.

Very stubborn. Always go that extra mile.Always keep trying. Most of my best pictures wouldn’t exist if I gave up at the first attempt. So appreciate the failure and let it motivate you! ~ Bea Lubas

 

88. Continue To Look For New Things to Master

Never stop learning and perfecting your craft. If you think you have mastered something continue to look for new things to perfect. ~ Melissa, The Whimsical Wife

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Melissa, The Whimsical Wife

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Kym Grimshaw

89. Don’t Let Seeing Different People’s Great Work Intimidate You

Study a lot of styles, but never copy them. Also, don’t let seeing different people’s great work intimidate you. ~ Farouk, Beyond The Eats

 

90. We All Have to Start Somewhere

My ultimate tip and the one I keep telling people is START SOMEWHERE. It’s so simple but I honestly wish someone had told me that sooner, I dithered around the thought of starting a blog/food photography for so long because I didn’t think I was good enough or ready. Truth is I still don’t feel good enough or ready! But start somewhere, anywhere – and just keep going. ~ Kym Grimshaw

 

91. Stay Calmly Centred

When part of what I am styling or photographing just doesn’t seem to fit, or I can’t get the photo to look as I had hoped in my minds eye, being as centred as possible is a huge help. The moment I start down a path of frustration I know everything will fall apart. Instead of getting agitated that my image isn’t how I’d pictured, or I’m not seeming able to create exactly the look I was initially going for I remind myself that creativity is a process. It evolves, it grows. Being stuck on or hyper focused on something going exactly as planned is rarely a recipe for evolving creativity. When something in your image isn’t quite as you want it but you’re unsure how to proceed – take a deep breath, let go of expectations & let creativity pour from your heart. ~ Shanna, Kiss My Bowl

 

92. Two Hour Rule

If within two hours you haven’t gotten what you had in mind or something that makes you smile, let it go. May be you should give it a try tomorrow, or change your idea. Don’t force it, don’t force your mind. ~ June

 

93. Don’t Wait Until Your Work is ‘Perfect’

There is no such thing as perfect. Photography is such a huge subject that it will take a long time for you to learn everything that there is about it.  It takes a lot of time and repetition to be a great photographer. Even then “being great” is  a relative term and everyone has their own version it. It doesn’t matter how much you know about exposure, white balance, lightroom, your camera/lens, etc., just start now! Shoot everyday and go back and look what you did on your computer. Write down what you liked and what you didn’t. Learn from it and repeat the next day, everyday! ~ Aysegul Sanford

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Jo Anderson, The Luminous Kitchen

99 Food Photography Tips: A collection of food photography tips from photographers at all stages of their creative journey. Tips about lighting, hacks, props, styling and mindset. Click to read.

Aysegul Sanford, Fool Proof Living

 

94. Have a Brief

I can’t stress this enough how important this is as this not only ensures that I’m following what the client wants/hopes to achieve but also shows the clients vision for their brand/company. So many times I ask prior to a shoot to provide a brief or a concept and if I’m lucky I’ll receive a very detailed one. Most times though, the client tells me at the shoot how they want it to look, without much preparation done beforehand.  ~ Todd Beltz

 

95. White Balance for Brighter Cleaner Whites

Editing and white balance. I use Lightroom and for almost every photo I cool it waaaay down, this always helps the whites seem brighter and cleaner. If I feel it’s cooling down my food/products too much I take the saturation up a few notches. Also I typically increase exposure, always sharpen as much as possible, increase contrast a bit, make my shadows and black more dramatic. From there I continue minor adjustments as needed. ~ Des, Oh So Delicioso

 

96. Invest in a Good Prime Lens

A good prime lens will make a world of difference to your food photos. I started with a 50mm f1.8 and used this inexpensive lens exclusively for almost 2 years however I noticed a a huge improvement in my food photos when I started using a 90mm f2.8 macro lens and now I use this lens for 95% of my food photos. The longer focal length compresses the background and creates a really beautiful look.  ~ Jo, The Luminous Kitchen

 

97. The Nifty Fifty

For me, it would be using a tripod, using evening natural light (this is not deliberate, it is simply because I take pictures after work) and the “nifty fifty”. ~ Sandi, Cooking On Canvas

 

98. Be true to who you are, your own style, and be proud of it.

~ Teri, Buy This, Cook That

99. Don’t Stop Until You’ve Exhausted Every Angle, Every Possibility

 

If you’ve made it this far, share your favourite food photography tip from the list. What got you most excited!?

 

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41 Comments

  • Reply Karene October 28, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Rachel, this is going to be fun reading! I’m amazed at the variety of tips you got – how so many food photographers gave such different advice! It shows what a HUGE field food photography is!

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:26 am

      That is so true, there is so much to learn and so many ways to look at the craft. Was really fun putting this together.

  • Reply Shannon October 28, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Wow!!! This looks amazing – what a great blog – cannot wait to read them all then apply them to my shoots 😉 THANK YOU ALL & Thank you Rachel, this is the best idea! 😉

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:27 am

      You’re welcome Shannon and thanks to all the generous creatives that shared their tips with me.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way October 28, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I skimmed the list and looked at the highlights. This is such a good resource — experience is the best teacher and we are gaining from the experience of others. Thank you, Rachel!

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:27 am

      It really is Marisa!

  • Reply Ana Zilhão October 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Wonderfull work Rachel! It’s very good bunch of tips, and worth a lot. Thank you for the feature, I have to say that all the photos are great, and its a really though call to decide which ones are the best, but I have to say that Pang Wannawanit, Bea Lubas and Kaylie, Paleo Gluten Free one, really catch my eye. Really great shots. They are all to be congratulated 😀

    All the best

    – Ana

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:28 am

      There is such a range of tips for sure. I was surprised at how many mindset tips people shared. Goes to show how powerful (and destructive) the mind can be. Yes they are great shots.

  • Reply Patricia Barbosa October 29, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Fantastic work Rachel! Glad seeing loads of great professional sharing their work! Saw my advice, too. Many thanks 😊😉

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Great! So glad you found it helpful.

  • Reply Jodi October 29, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Hi Rachel! Thank you for this post, it is going to be so much fun to read through 🙂 Just a quick glance and I’m inspired already! x

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:29 am

      That’s what I love to hear Jodi! I even included my favourite image of yours.

  • Reply Kelly - A Side of Sweet October 29, 2016 at 2:05 am

    So epic! Thanks for featuring my tip – and my photo! xo

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Of course Kelly! It was my pleasure.

  • Reply Jo ~ The Luninous Kitchen October 29, 2016 at 2:17 am

    You are such a superstar – what an epic post!!! I can’t wait to go through each one and learn from this beautiful community.

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:31 am

      It is such a beautiful community indeed and so generous. What quite the task to put this together, but I am super humbled with the response and willingness to share.

  • Reply Sophie - The Green Life October 29, 2016 at 3:54 am

    This is such an epic post!!! So many amazing tips in there! Thank you so much for putting this together Rachel! <3

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:32 am

      It was really fun to see what everything had as their most valuable tip! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply Shibani October 29, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Rachel, this is awesome. What a spectacular effort compiling these tips.
    They are so so helpful.
    Thanks

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:32 am

      It sure was an effort, but was a really great experience. Glad you got something out of it too. Did you have a favourite?

  • Reply Laura October 29, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Wow! This is amazing Rachel!! Thank you so much for your huge commitment to this community and enthusiasm to help others photographers! Laura xx

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Thanks for the kind words Laura! Thanks for being involved!

      • Reply Jorja November 6, 2016 at 4:29 am

        I’m not easily imsespred. . . but that’s impressing me! 🙂

      • Reply free coins in world chef April 21, 2017 at 5:07 am

        Bravo Paolo! Dì una cosa poco carina sul Presidente degli Stati Uniti, così penseremo che non lavori davvero per la CIA! Un depistaggio niente male!Eh, ci stavo quasi per cascare, ma dovrai fare di meglio, agente Attivissimo!! 😀

  • Reply Helen Tzouganatos| Hungry & Fussy October 29, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Great post Rachel. I kept nodding my head in agreement going down the list. Great tips for everyone from amateurs to pros, you never stop learning. I love receiving your posts in my inbox, so much valuable FREE information!!

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:34 am

      That’s exactly it Helen! We don’t ever stop learning. It’s like fashion, the journey never stops (unless we do). You’re kind words mean a lot to me.

  • Reply Zuzanna October 31, 2016 at 5:27 am

    This list is so great! I think I will read it over and over 🙂 So many valuable tips – thank you for ghatering all this information in just one post 🙂 And love to see my photo among so many great other 🙂

    • Reply Rachel October 31, 2016 at 10:35 am

      You’re welcome Zuzanna. Your styling is so playful, I love it. You’ll have to bookmark this one then!

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  • Reply Leah Nolan November 3, 2016 at 2:49 am

    Thank you so much for including me! I loved reading each tip. 🙂

    • Reply Rachel November 8, 2016 at 8:20 am

      You’re welcome Leah! Glad you enjoyed the tips.

  • Reply Julia @ HappyFoods Tube November 4, 2016 at 7:27 am

    What a great post with amazing tips! Love number 27 – take photos on a full stomach! I can’t concentrate when I am hungry! 🙂

    • Reply Rachel November 8, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Aren’t they Julia! Yes, quiet a few people did say that. I personally don’t find this distracts me, however taking photos when one is hangry is the enemy of creativity!

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  • Reply Ferawati November 10, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing & valuable tips….. It’s useful for me as newbie, & interested in food photography

    • Reply Rachel November 15, 2016 at 7:45 am

      So pleased that you found a few good tips to implement!

  • Reply Sina Mizrahi / the kosher spoon November 11, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    This is such an amazing list Rachel. I wish it was available when I was starting out. I spent long nights googling, hungry for tips and tricks and you’ve laid it all. Thanks for including mine!

    • Reply Rachel November 15, 2016 at 7:46 am

      I know me to Sina. That’s why this is so valuable for creatives at all stages. Thanks for being a part of it.

  • Reply Dewi July 14, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Thank you so much for these amazing tips.. much appreciated

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