Back to blog

Food Photography Tips and Tricks For Content Creators

Author profile imageLars Salling·May 14, 2023
A beautiful photograph of a black jar containing sticks of cinnamon with sugar raining from above.

Been wondering how to take good food photos for your content in order to make your food content more appealing on the internet?

Good pictures of food for your social media or cooking blog can make a world of difference in the way that people will perceive your content, as people tend to enjoy having a visual cue when interacting with content - especially when it revolves around food content such as reviews, guides and recipes. While looks may sometimes not be directly linked to the tastiness of a dish, we still experience food in other manners than just taste alone and its appearance is certainly one of the biggest factors we take into account when rating food dishes, making the way we portray it in photos a very important part of sharing food content on the internet.

This article is a collection of food photography hacks and tips that you can use to heighten your food photography skills in order to take your content to the next level. These are some of the most fundamental food photography techniques that you can use when doing food photography and we still advise that you do your own experimenting in order to find a style that suits your style and audience.

Make the food look appealing

Before starting to focus on the photography part, you should make sure that the food that you are gonna be photographing looks the best way possible. Plating food is a skill in itself but is a crucial part of making food look good both in the real world as well as in photos. We created a list of some quick tips and tricks that you can keep in mind when plating your food for food photography:

  • Don’t overfill your plate. A crowded plate of food will often make the food look less appealing and draw attention away from the smaller details in your food dishes. Rather keep your plating simple and allow each component in your dish to show itself.

    A nicely plated dish containing fish.
  • Play with color. Add components and garnish to your food dish that may provide an extra layer of beauty to your dish. For example the use of edible flowers can provide a vibrant touch to your dish or using darker or lighter colors for contrast.

  • Be creative. Plain photographs of food can often get boring and repetitive. Organizing and displaying the food on your plate in unconventional and creative ways can make your food photography more interesting to the audience.

Focus on the setting

Food photography comes down to a lot more than just the food itself. Making a proper setting for the photo that you are about to take is a crucial part in taking your food photography to the next level. The setting helps convey a lot of context and meaning into your photo and can appeal to different types of audiences - a high-end restaurant setting with clean and minimal colors can for example make your food look more luxurious and exclusive while a home-kitchen or dinner table can make your food appeal to home cooks.

A cutting board with a sliced bread on top of it

Use different props to create a context for your photo. If you are taking photos for a recipe it can be a good idea to include some of the equipment that was used to make the food in order to make a connection between the food and the process of making it.

Use a good camera

Food photography often involves getting close up on your subject in order to catch textures and details of the food. This requires having a camera that can pick up on all of those details. Luckily we’re living in an age where most of us walk around with such a camera in our front pockets, as smartphones have become better and better at taking extraordinary photos. For a lot of people, doing food photography on iPhone is sufficient in creating images with good color and depth of field.

If you wish to take your photography to the next level, it can be a good idea to acquire a DSLR camera which can give you more control over your photos when paired with a good lens.

Play with lighting

Lighting for food photos can have a big difference on your photos. Just like with your food plating, playing around with lighting can change the way that your food appears on images - for example by having the light source come from different angles or at different light temperatures. Try to experiment with different light sources that are present when you are taking the photography - for example if you are in a restaurant there might be sunlight coming in through the windows or different lighting depending on where you position the plate of food on the table.

A steamer containing dumplings

You can also get inspired by observing how other people do food photography lighting in social media or recipes in order to see how different lighting methods can have different effects on the end result.

Get creative

Like mentioned in the previous chapters, being creative with the way you take photos of your food is one of the best ways to find your own style and make your photos more unique and distinct. Playing around with different types of light, settings, platings and camera settings can make your food photography stand out in the midst of hundreds of thousands of other food photos.

Ready to start your own food blog?

Wasabee is the easiest way to get up and running with a food blog and provides both hosting and an admin panel for creating recipes.

Get started for free

Frequently asked questions

What is the best lighting for food photography?

It's a good idea to experiment with different techniques when doing lighting for food photography, for example by using different light sources, color temperatures and angles. Food photographers often use softer and natural light when taking photos of food.

Can I use an iPhone for food photography?

Cameras on newer iPhones and smartphones have come a come a long way recently and have reached a point where they are able to compete with high-end camera gear. It is perfectly viable to use your iPhone's front-facing camera for food photography and can be a convenient way to take photos of food when visiting restaurants or travelling.

How do I take unique food photographs?

Being unique in your photographing comes down to multiple factors such as the setting you are taking the photo in, the lighting and the equipment that you are using. A good way of becoming unique in your style of photography is to play around and experiment with all of these things until you find a style that suits you and the context in which you are taking the photograph.