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Monday, June 10, 2013

Five Simple Food Photography Tips

When I started this blog, I planned on it being primarily a style blog. Since then, I have found it slowly growing into more of a food blog with style and other topics on the side. It's funny how blogging changes and transforms along with you!

I have learned a lot when it comes to taking pictures of my food, but I am by no means an expert. There are so many gorgeous food blogs out there, and I hope one day my photos might look similar! But there are some really easy tips I wish I had known when I first started taking pictures of my recipes. I hope these help you when it comes to capturing your culinary creations!

1. Shoot your food during the day (golden hour if possible!). The most important thing when taking any kind of picture is the lighting. In general, the more light the better. Even though your food isn't in motion (probably) it's important that your photos look crisp and a high shutter speed is crucial. Placing your food next to a window with lots of natural light will provide a natural, sharp, and bright look to your photos.

This can sometimes be difficult when you want to share pictures of dinner because your light is often little to none. Unfortunately, my advice is to make your dish earlier in the day and reheat it for dinner. Yeah, it sucks. I have tried so many times to take photos of a dinner dish only to have turn out really blurry, shadowy and icky. Bottom line, it doesn't work unless it's summer. My Eggplant Parm recipe was the first dinner recipe I could share for a long time because it was still light out when I made it!

2. Take it outside! What's the best way to get lots of natural light? Get outside! I take most of my pictures on my front porch. I don't have any windows in my house that provide enough light, so outside I go! I live right on a busy road, so this often means people can see me taking pictures of things like Nutella Mini Pies in mismatched socks and sweatpants. Whateva. Outside is where all my favorite pictures happen. I recommend a shady, but still well lit area. We don't want direct sunlight! This will result in harsh shadows and over exposed areas.

3. Invest in a few props. My must haves? A large wood cutting board, white dishes, a few cute dishtowels and a large piece of a neutral (I like white) fabric. I recommend only using these props for pictures (except for the dishes) because once you stain your dishtowels or muck up your cutting board...they are done. Stained towels and a well used cutting board just don't make for pretty food pictures. It's not just about the food, it's about the different layers, textures, and colors around the food. In the photo below I used a large piece of textured fabric, cutting board, cute little white plate and a white bowl.

4. Shoot a lot of photos with different angles and depth of focus. I take a lot of photos for every post I do. There is nothing worse than going through all that work of setting up your picture, taking the shots and then not coming up with a picture you love! In general, I like to show at least two pictures of the finished product (one close up, one showing the entire dish) and one shot showing the process. This can mean taking around 100 photos and having to narrow it down to three or four. I feel it's always better to have lots of options rather than not enough!

5. Not every cookie is a supermodel. You know how sometimes when you make cookies, and one batch is perfect, one is undercooked, and one might be kinda burned? Yeaahh, it happens, but you don't have to photograph all the cookies...choose the prettiest! Not every cookie is worthy of internet fame, even if it is just as delicious as the others. Put your best cookie forward.

 I hope these simple tips might help you in the future! If you have any additional tips or tricks, I would love to hear them!


  1. i NEEDED this! no, i don't take a whole lot of food pics but you always want the ones you do take for the blog to look good! thanks for the tips!

  2. Thank you so much for this... gonna try out these tips!

  3. I am trying lately to shoot my food for my blog...and my pictures are simple bad! Thank you for this awesome post and tips!

  4. Excellent advice! Your photography is beautiful!

  5. I will definitely use your advice! I take okay pictures in general, but I REALLY struggle with food photography. I've been thinking about making a few props in the near future.
    Again, thank you!

  6. Thank you for sharing this! This is great. Also, I tried your recipe for the blueberry peanut butter smoothie today and it was DELICIOUS!

  7. Now I'm gonna go have lunch...+ digest all this good info!


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