10 Food Photography Tips for Beginners

Tips and Tricks

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Food photography is an element of still-life photography that many small food-related businesses thrive on. Be it restaurants, food trucks, food bloggers on social media, small bakeries, or cafés. This is why it is crucial to ensure that your images’ quality is so good that the inanimate sight of scrumptious-looking food will make your mouth water.  

Food makes an excellent subject for photographers. Food art, plating, and decoration are an artistic representation of showcasing food in the most creative ways possible. However, a good quality camera is also an essential element to have in order to achieve optimum results. 

You may have to invest in a good quality camera if you want to achieve the ideal result in photography moreover you can add you also need to edit captured to improve its quality at its peak for that you can use these alternatives of CorelDraw for best photo editing.

You don’t have to go out of your way to spend your entire budget on getting heavy and expensive gear. Instead, you can take professional-looking pictures with a simple mirrorless camera or a less expensive beginner DSLR while using a 70-100MM wide lens to help you take beautiful close-ups of your food. 

You may be at a beginner level but with a bit of practice, you can grow, that’s why I want to share a few tips on food photography, especially for beginners, that can help new food bloggers, start-up restaurants, small bakery owners or home-based food business owners to kick start their journey as food photographers. 

Think In Terms Of Natural Light

Of course, your food should be placed under a good amount of light so that the focus remains on the subject. Still, Life photos live off the foundation of natural light, so don’t hesitate to shoot your pictures during the day, put your food plate near your window, or even go outside and use the sun’s natural light to take beautiful shots. 

While artificial lights will give your photos good exposure, they sometimes tend to create a bright sheen of white light that veils the natural colour of the food, so the key to balancing the light exposure is to use natural daylight.

Make The Colors Pop

Select foods with vibrant colours that will make the ingredients stand out. For example, if you want to photograph an Asian Cuisine, then why not pair a bowl of white rice with a vibrant coloured orange smoked salmon on top, and to make it truly stand out, put some garnish of green onions, red and green chilli flakes and sesame seeds to make the rice bowl look full.

Then, place it on a wooden surface against a plain background and click your shots from your desired angle in the natural light. 

Desserts are another way to get the colours to stand out in your dish. Decorate the top of the chia pudding with lots of bright-coloured fruits. Strawberries and cherries make the desserts pop out beautifully. 

Use Shadows

Casting dramatic shadows on your food create a moody effect and give depth to your pictures, so don’t hesitate to play a little with clouds in the right places. Likewise, natural sunlight can help create beautiful shadows in photographs. For example, a shadow appearing at the side of your plate will make the colours of the food pop even more. 

Tell A Story

Every food has its origin, so why not tell a story and let your audience develop an emotional bond with your food? 

Pumpkins, for example, are the food of autumn, so bake a pumpkin pie and decorate its surrounding by giving it a feel of autumn with maple and dried autumn leaves. Then, use a warm-toned filter to create orange light to achieve that feeling of the fall season. 

Or make hot chocolate, a classic winter drink that brings comfort and warmth and gives off a moody vibe, surround it with dark props and throw in a warm blanket near your mug and decorate the top of your hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows and a cinnamon stick. 

Follow the Composition guidelines

There is no such thing as following the rules in photography so rigidly. However, following the composition guidelines helps make a huge difference and enables you to develop your style, especially as a beginner. 

These guidelines and principles include The Rules of Third, The Golden Ratio, Dynamic Symmetry and The Golden Spiral. 

  • The Rules of Third: The rules of thirds are a grid guideline that breaks the image down into three parts, horizontally and vertically, allowing you to place your subject according to the grids and help you create balance in your photo.
  • The Golden Ratio: To create harmony and aesthetic in the subject placed on the surface, Golden Ratio Rule is applied to enhance the visual composition of the image. 
  • Dynamic Symmetry: A dynamic ratio allows the dark and light objects to be placed alongside each other to create a contrast and give an emotional effect to the overall image. 
  • The Golden Spiral: Also known as the Fibonacci spiral, this particular spiral brings harmonious effects to images and can be found all over nature. The golden spiral ratio makes the still life image look dynamic and balanced. 

Find the perfect Angle

Pay attention to all the angles you can shoot from and test out various positions to make the most of your image in order to attain good results. 

Don’t hesitate with the props

Various props from your main dish help give images an artistic look, so decorate the scene around your food. For example, you can throw some coconut shavings around the glass of coconut smoothie on a dark brown or black surface. 

Keep the exposure and highlights low.

While your goal is to make the colours pop, cutting down on exposure light, saturation and highlights will let the natural colour of the dish shine through. Often, too much exposure makes the areas with lighting appear white as the light becomes too harsh and unappealing to the eye. 

Let the Artist in you Shine with Food Styling.

Food styling is essential to bring a photograph to its maximum results. In addition, food styling allows the images to look dynamic and versatile. 

Stacking the loaf cake slices on top of each other, a motion of chocolate syrup being drizzled on top of the food, use of small plates, napkins and stylish cutlery with contemporary designs gives an overall pleasing look to your set. 

Things to avoid

Now while we have discussed a good amount of tips and ways in which you can photograph your food, here are a few things to avoid in food photography. 

  • Using harsh exposure.
  • Not using fresh ingredients.
  • Not adding a story to the photo.
  • Not using enough colours.
  • Using too much food on the plate.
  • Too many props surrounding the food.
  • Using a non-minimalist or patterned background.
  • Avoiding the composition guidelines.
  • Adding fake textures.
  • Not making use of the natural sunlight.


We hope these tips and tricks for beginners will serve as a guideline to help you kick start your food photography journey, whether it is for a start-up restaurant, a humble little café, a food blog or a bakery, these tips will stick with you on every step of your road to becoming a food photographer. 

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