Food photography tips: 5 ways to get professional looking photos

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  • ‘How do I photograph food in the best way?’ is a question we get asked a lot. While there’s not one answer, we do know lots of little tips and tricks that can make your food photography stand out.

    To help share our ideas we teamed up with Fujifilm and one of their photographers, Chio Fernandez, to run a hands-on workshop for keen foodies and photographers. Here we share the advice they gave participants on the day.

    1. Food Photography Lighting

    Fujifilm photographer Chio says daylight is the easiest and least expensive way to get good results.

    To get maximum daylight, shooting outside is best. If you’re inside then getting as close to a window as possible will help. If it’s still too dark Chio suggests choosing an aperture (the camera function that selects how wide the diaphragm of your lens will be) that lets plenty of light in.

    In summary when it comes to the best lighting for photographing food, remember:

    • Daylight is best
    • Photograph food outside if possible
    • If you’re indoors try to bring your food near to the window
    • If your room is dark use the aperture on your camera to let more light in

    2. The Best Angles To Shoot Food At

    Food photography is no different to any other kind of photography, the angles all depend on what look you want. A lot of the time this is dictated by the kind of food you’re photographing.

    There are three main angles food photographers use:

    • Front on
    • A 3/4 shot
    • Overhead

    Front on photography is best for single items that have height, so that you can really see how much is on the plate, platter or stand. We think the best things to shoot front on, are things like burgers, stacks of pancakes or cakes.

    When it comes to 3/4 food photography you can get great shots of things that have both height and depth. Some things we usually shoot at a 3/4 angle are cheeseboards, cocktails and sharing platters.
    This angle gives a great sense of a number of dishes or can help illustrate the finishing touches or garnishes on your plate. We like to photograph tarts, tray bakes and breakfast spreads from overhead.

    3. Best camera for food photography


    Using all of the rest of our tips will mean you can get lovely pictures using your phone, but if you’d like to up your game a little bit Chio suggests the Fujifilm X-E3 camera. Shooting on a camera will mean all your pictures are of a much higher resolution, which means cropping them will be much easier.

    The Fujifilm X-E3’s easy-to-use functions mean you can programme all the settings to suit the subjects you shoot the most of, and the in-built WiFi sharing function makes it easier than ever to share images to your phone.

    4. Food Photography Props and Backgrounds

    Having a few pretty props can help liven up your food photography no end, and that doesn’t mean having to buy expensive china or costly cutlery.

    If you’re on the hunt for props try:

    • Sourcing old fashioned cutlery and crockery from charity shops
    • Picking up mix and match plates and serving dishes from car boot fairs

    Backgrounds also play a huge part in setting the scene and ‘telling the story’ of your photos. There are quick and easy solutions to making backgrounds look fab for your food photography. Give the following a go:

    • Use large wooden chopping boards to fake a background
    • Buy a roll of marble patterned contact paper (we got some from Wilko’s) to imitate a luxe-look worktop
    • Enlist the greaseproof paper again for texture, scrunching up the piece and tearing the edges

    5. The Best Food To Photograph

    We couldn’t talk about food photography without talking about the food itself. There are of course some things that just look more beautiful on camera than others.

    If you’re looking for a quick-fire guide to the best food photography tricks, remember:

    • Avoid brown food where possible
    • Use colourful garnishes in keeping with the recipe theme
    • Don’t be afraid to add more ‘ooze’ with more melted chocolate or another poached egg, for instance
    • Give food a quick paint of olive oil to make it shine
    • Arrange plates or items in odd numbers

    So, there you have it. Those are our favourite tips and tricks for getting beautiful food photographs at home. If you’ve got any ideas to add, or want to ask us a question then simply leave us a comment in the box below.