February 17, 2014

Best Food Photography Tips

Best food photography tips

Hello! Today I’m doing something a bit different than my usual recipe posts (there will be plenty more where those came from, so hold tight). As I first started my food blog, my biggest concern was the whole food photography thingy. My previous photography experience consisted of a handful of photos shot maybe twice a year at holidays as a general obligation to my posterity. Heck, I didn’t even know what a DSLR was… So yeah, I was pretty worried that my food photos might turn out looking like Martha Stewart’s tweets…

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HOWEVER, after five months, I’ve found out that there’s a whole lotta awesome free tutorials and tips for new food photographers like me! Disclaimer: I am in no way saying I’m a great food photographer at this point, but hey, I’m gettin’ better, and that’s what counts, right? So today I want to share a few of the best food photography tips and tutorials I’ve found–the ones that have helped me the most. Because if I can take a decent food photo, anyone can do it. For real, yo.

To give you an idea, here’s where I started:

I took this pic with my point-and-shoot five months ago. Not Martha-Stewart bad, but still, definitely, definitely not good.

Best Food Photography Tips

And just this weekend, I took this photo. Consider it a sneak peek of a really delicious recipe coming soon!

Honey Walnut ShrimpSo like I said, I’m not great yet, but there’s improvement here! I hope you’ll find these food photography tutorials as helpful as I did.

Pinch of Yum

pinch of yumLindsay and her husband Bjork offer a ton of helpful advice for new food photographers, and not only that, but they also give lots of helpful tips for food blogging in general. Much appreciated and super classy, Lindsay and Bjork. You guys are pretty cool. They break things down in layman’s terms and give a lot of practical advice with DIY options, because, you know, there are those of us who just can’t justify purchasing a $300 camera accessory…

On Pinch of Yum, you can learn about how to use artificial lighting for food photography, time-saving tips for photographing food, and great household items that can improve your food photos. Rad. 

Photo credit: Pinch of Yum

Dinner with Julie

Dinner with JulieDinner with Julie is mostly dedicated to recipes and cooking, but I found one post on Julie’s blog where she offers some simple and frank tips for anyone wanting to take some food photos. I love how not-complicated she makes everything seem, and she offers some pretty neat-o tricks of the trade for making your food look mouthwatering. For example, pour liquids (like milk), right before taking the photo, so you can capture those little frothy milk bubbles in your picture. Cool. Or, create your own steam by soaking a tampon in water and microwaving it. Stick it behind whatever you want to look piping hot and it will steam for ages. Yeah, I know, sounds kinda weird….but still an awesome tip!

Photo credit: Dinner with Julie

Learn Food Photography

learnfoodphotographyThis site offers a ton of great articles–from the basic, to the nitty-gritty–on food photography. One particular article I really like is the mother load of food photography tutorials. It offers 45 food photography tutorials from bloggers and photographers all over the web! I haven’t had a chance to get through all of them yet, but really, this post is golden. It’s like a one-stop supermarket for food photography help.

Photo credit: Learn Food Photography


fstoppersFStoppers has a section solely dedicated to food photography, and I really, really love these short articles. Taylor Mathis, the writer, really knows what he’s talking about, and yet he keeps it simple enough for a beginning photographer like me to understand. You can learn everything from what kind of photography gear you should buy, to how to find your best natural light source, to food styling basics, and a whole lot more. He also has a lot of great resources for food photographers available for purchase.

Photo credit: Taylor Mathis, from Taylor Takes a Taste

Your Kitchen Camera

yourkitchencameraWhat I really like about this website is that it offers a lot of food styling tips. This is something that has really been a struggle for me as I’ve gotten into food blogging, and it is sooo helpful to have these guys lay out the basics for you. While reading some of their posts, I often find myself thinking, “Oh yeah! I’ve totally seen that in great food photos… that totally makes sense!” I’m totally going to start trying out some of their tips. Here are a few of their posts that I found truly enlightening:

When Food Styling, Use Props to Balance Your Food Photos
Using Crumbs as an Effect When Food Styling (oh, like that’s on purpose?! Cool!)
Understanding Light for Food Photography
Finding the Best Angle and Setting for Food Photography

Photo credit: Chef Christopher Cina

Kevin & Amanda

kevin & amandaKevin & Amanda write a number of great photography tutorials, not all of which are 100% specific to food photography, but all of which, I’d say, are helpful. If you just recently bought a DSLR camera, I highly recommend reading their Quick Guide to Understanding Your DSLR Camera. Seriously, that post totally helped me understand what aperture, exposure, ISO, and shutter speed all meant! They explain the photography basics so well, which I definitely need, because, I’m gonna be honest here, my DSLR might as well be the cockpit of a jet plane, with how well I know how to use it… hey, I’m working on it! A few of my other favorite posts include:

What Lens Should I Choose?
What Settings Should I Use?
A Quick Comparison of Aperture & Bokeh 

Photo credit: Kevin & Amanda

Who’s with me on this?! Let’s learn together. Have any of you found any great food photography tips or tricks? Please share!

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