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How to Photograph Food

January 01

4 min. to read

Images sell - it is even more important when it comes to basic needs of human being, such as food.

Photographing food may sound like an easy job on paper, but it really isn’t. There are several factors involved that play an important role in making your food photographs standout.

If you want to be more than just an Instagram poster, make it a point to go through our tips below:

Use the light around you

Photography is all about capturing natural light. You need to work your way to make room for light to fall right on the food so that no corner of the dish stays dark. However, you must also try to avoid over-lighting as it may distort the photograph. Additionally, try shooting from a 45-degree angle, with the light coming from the opposite side. This won’t let your shadow cast on the food. If the setup still looks dull even after adjusting light, then using a white napkin as a reflector will work just fine.

If the light is too intense then try creating a shade and cut off the intensity of light because too much brightness will hide fine details.

Interesting Backgrounds

Photographers while capturing food often make the mistake of forgetting about the background as they are too busy concentrating on what is on the plate.

The belief that others are going to concentrate only on the food is not right. You need to sink deep into your imagination and come up with creative ideas. Creating a background that is in contrast with the food can enhance a picture.

Background should be chosen keeping in mind the type of food you’re capturing. 

Capturing Fine Details

Capturing in-depth details is important. In order to do that you need to use quick shutter speed (1/125 - 1/250), set your aperture at f/8 or better. Don’t finalize the shot by shooting with just one angle, but experiment with different angles. You can use a tripod for better results.

When you’re all set, hold your breath as you click the shutter to avoid a shaky picture. 

Work on the Presentation 

Make sure your food looks good enough to be photographed. Poorly arranged food makes the picture look dull and unfocused, so try to decorate your food nicely and neatly.

Rearranging the plate helps too. Don’t keep the position of the dish fixed, this will expose the dish into new highlights which makes the picture look all the more interesting.

Don't be afraid to close-in the food. Distance is an important factor while you’re capturing food. Try to shoot from different distances and also choose the zoom feature to get fine details.

In addition to this, you should look at enhancing the overall result by using a reliable photo editing tool like Luminar. A good editing software like Luminar would allow you to make your photos look perfect.

How to Photograph Food | Skylum How-to(2)

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Team Skylum


Our team of passionate photography enthusiasts at Skylum has been committed to assisting you in discovering the world through your lens for over a decade. We're dedicated to providing photographers like you with easy-to-use tools and valuable resources to help you capture your vision and produce beautiful photos. Our articles are filled with friendly tips, industry insights, and inspiring stories from other creative individuals in photography. Together, we can help you grow your photography skills to new heights. Join us on this exciting journey of exploration, creativity, and growth.

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How to Photograph Food | Skylum How-to(14)