Food Photography Tips - How To Take Better Food Photos

If you’re looking to capture pictures of your food with high quality for your company, or simply want to add some photos to the blog you have, these are a few guidelines to help you create better food pictures.

The food should be styled.

This might appear to be a little too much to ask, but planning your food properly can make an enormous difference in the photos you take of your food. In professional food photography shoots, food stylists will typically be hired to keep the food appearing at its finest. Many of the food might not be actually real!

Luckily, you don’t need to travel this far. Be sure that the food is appealing with all the essential features visible, e.g. when you take a photo of a burger, ensure that the lettuce doesn’t cover the hamburger. Choose a plain plate so that it doesn’t hinder the meal.

A garnish that is related to the subject could improve the look of the photograph. For instance, for a cheese sandwich, sprinkle some cheese onto the side on the platter.


When lighting food, we want to be careful not to create harsh shadows or highlights. To achieve this, we should choose a soft and diffusing light source. A shaded area that reflects natural light is a good option. If you want to use artificial light, consider lighting reflected by large umbrellas or softboxes.

Avoid lighting your subject from the front as the light will cover all shadows, creating an image that is flat and without any texture. Instead, illuminate off to the sides of your subject in order to show the texture and the details in the food.


Food photos can be taken right down at the bottom or straight across the sides, and from almost any angle. The angle you select is dependent on the food item that you’re taking pictures of.

When the most information is located on the surface of the food, like the soup bowl typically, it’s better photographed from the top. Food items with details on the sides, such as the sandwich or burgers, for instance, should be taken by looking from the other side.

If you want food that has detail on both the sides and top it is possible to apply 45deg angles. There’s no reason to not get some photos of the food from different angles. Try to get some details shots that are close-up.

Field depth

Photography is a field that is subjective, however, depth of field (the size of the image focused) is most likely one of the most personal rules for food photography. Some photographers opt for the most shallow depth of field using only the leading edge of food items in focus.

Some photographers like that all food items are in focus. If you would like all of the food to be in focus, however, the background is not to be in focus, you might need to use a tilt-shift lens, especially if are taking photos of foods from an angle. A tilt-shift lens permits you to shift the focus plane to ensure that instead of being in line with the sensor of the camera, it is angled.

Tilt-shift lenses can be quite costly, therefore if are budget-conscious, you can recreate the effect using Photoshop. It’s not as appealing as a genuine tilt-shift photograph but you can apply Photoshop plugins like Topaz Lens Effects or OnOne FocalPoint to blur specific parts of the image (the backdrop) while making the rest of the photo in focus.