Take Mouthwatering Photos With These 5 Food Photography Tips


food photography tips

You’ve slaved for hours in the kitchen whipping up an awesome meal for your family, so why not revel in it a little bit and take a few photos?

Capturing the beauty of the colors and textures of the food you prepare isn’t as difficult as you might think, either.

With this quick list of five food photography tips, you’ll be ready to show off your culinary skills on Instagram in no time!

Take Photos From Different Angles

photos from different angles

When photographing food, some people tend to take the images from a top-down perspective. That’s fine and all, but that’s how we always see food.

Instead, change things up a little bit and get down low to take a profile shot of the food you’ve prepared. Doing so often reveals interesting textures, patterns, and lines that delight the eye.

When you’ve done that, try a different angle, then another, and then another. The more photos you take and the more variety you have, the more likely you are to end up with that slam-dunk photo you want.

Simple is Better

simple is better

Most foods have enough going on that they’re captivating on their own. As a result, resist the urge to add extraneous things to your food photography.

Instead of photographing an entire table of food, just focus on one dish. If you have cutlery and glassware in the shot, try taking a photo without those elements.

Remember, food photography is like portrait photography – the star of the photo should be the food, just like the star of a portrait should be the person.

Eliminating extra things in the shot will help you keep the attention on the gorgeous dish you’ve just prepared.

Natural Light is Where It’s At

use natural light

Natural light is wonderful for all types of photography, and food photography is no different.

But even natural light can stand a few modifications to have the most impact on your photos of food.

An easy tip is to place your food creations near a window and utilize the natural light that’s coming in the window to light the scene. But to get a softer, more even light, you need to diffuse it.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a special photography diffuser, either. Simply hang a white sheet over the window, and it will soften up the light beautifully.

The result? Beautiful, even lighting with no dark shadows on your food!

Document the Process

document the process

Many photos of food show the finished product, but the journey to get to that finished product is often worthy of a photo or two as well.

Take photos of the different ingredients you use.  Highlight preparing the food as well. Show the food in the process of cooking, too, as that will help the viewer’s mouth water even more. This is just one of many different types of photo projects you can do from home.

Add Oil and Water

add oil and water

To make food look extra tasty and fresh, professional food photographers will brush oil on things like vegetables and use a spray mister to add drops of water to things like fruit.

If you utilize the same process, you can create photos of food that have more life and realism. The food in your photos will also have an increased level of visual interest, and command the attention of the viewer.

Bonus: Work on the Depth of Field

work on depth of field

One of the factors that determine the depth of field – the area of a photo that’s in sharp focus – is the aperture. The smaller the aperture number (i.e., f/2), the shallower the depth of field and the larger the aperture number (i.e., f/11), the larger the depth of field.

When you photograph food, try shooting in aperture priority mode, that way you can change the aperture to manipulate the depth of field from one shot to the next. Don’t worry – the camera will make adjustments to other exposure settings to get a well-exposed image.


By changing the aperture, you can get a shot with a very shallow depth of field that throws the background out of focus, up to a shot in which everything in the image is sharply in focus.

Combined with the other tips outlined here, you have plenty of ways to create mouthwatering photos of your food!


Established in 2009, PhotographyTalk is an education-focused photography website dedicated to helping photographers realize their potential. With in-depth tutorials on a wide range of topics, photographers of all skill levels can find new ways to improve their photography. The site has been featured in many publications, including Forbes, Huffington Post, and Inc. Magazine.


Looking for more great tips on photographing food? Check out this post: How to Instagram Food.

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