Food Photography Tips: Dos and Don'ts

Food Photography is not as hard as you imagine. But it is not as simple as you always do. Since the era of digital, many of us start capturing his/her food. Lots of them use professional camera such as DSLR or mirrorless. The purpose of capturing the food we eat is to share in our social media. And then there are several people who consistently share food photos, other people start following him/her and term of "foodie" is born. Less of them are professional photographers but at least you can improve your photos by practicing. There are some questions about food photography, for example the angle, the setting of camera, lighting, plating, and so on and so far.

Well, some people use the additional lighting for food photography because they want to capture the details and focus on the object. Some people are naturalism, they capture food by using natural light and sometimes they hate low light atmosphehere. I want to share some tips and tricks about food photography, I hope they are will be useful for you. 

1. It is better using natural light than built-in flash

The easiest way of taking food picture is using natural light. You can use the sun light or cafe lighting to help you capture the photos well. Natural light (except in the middle of hot day) is soft light that may helps you to show the focus of the object. Light supports your viewer to see the things you want to expose. I don't suggest you to use built-in flash because it will flatten your object, no dimension and reduce the color quality of your food.

2. Find your best angle

Don't believe in only one angle. Explore the object, see the tempting spot of the object and capture it. You may do several captures to get your best angle. Imagine you are hungry and you can easily find the spot that you really hate because it makes you more hungry.

3. Look at around the object, see the light source

Be sensitive of the light source. See where the light comes from, decide your angle and create something artsy. Don't let the dark side becoming the majority of your photo. Use the light source to add more tempting spot of your object.

4. Use the relevant and supporting materials

When you really need spoon and fork to support your photo, use it. If they are disturbing, don't use it. Some people use the rustic table, old tools to make it vintage. The important point is that thing must be rellevant and supports your message to your viewer.

5. Don't colorize too much

Real color is important, strawberry is red and eggplant is purple. Don't make it over-saturated, minimize highlight and pay attention on the mid-tone. 

6. See the object, mark the comfort zone

Last thing you should know about food photography tips is mark your comfort zone. I mean, imagine you are the viewer of the photo, you may hate the over-close food photos, right? But sometimes you also hate if the photo is taken too far so there is lot of useless empty space. So crop it as comfort as you can do.

How about the camera and the lens?

Are you using your mirrorless? DLSR? Android? iPhone? You can use whatever tools to do food photography, but I will give other tips for the professional camera users. You can use DSLR or Mirrorless for this kind of photography, but the things you should know is use the setting of true color. Don't oversaturate or use modified picture style. Let the lightmeter is on the normal set (around 0), the real color but focus on angle, Depth of Field, Iso, Composition and other photography elements.

I also suggest the fix lenses to capture the sharpness and true color of the object. Why fix lenses? You can read here. The lenses I suggest are 35mm or 50mm. Their focal length are enough to object as near as the food.

Food Photography is not about the tools you are using, but it is about how you see the food. I mean, everyone can press the shutter of the camera, but not everyone can see the tempting spot of the food.


  1. great post, i'm also blogging about photography so would you kindly visit mine too thanks :)

  2. Really impressive post. I read it whole and going to share it with my social circules. I enjoyed your article and planning to rewrite it on my own blog.

  3. I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed... Fort worth photographer

  4. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Matterport San Antonio TX