Food photography – an introduction

Are you a cook who wants to exhibit your work? Are you amazed by that scrumptious recipe you came up with for Christmas and you wished you had a photo before it is served? Or are you a mom with interest in photography and cooking? Are you a photographer who is looking for something new to shoot? Well, read on for some of the tips about food photography. While at it, please consider this as an introduction not more. The pro photos you see in cooking books use gear and lighting that might be off you and my budget. How to photograph food and recipes and get similar results in your kitchen using your DSLR, a tripod, and a flash?

Change perspective

As a general rule, like when shooting kids and animals, don't shoot from above. This is a composition that we are used to. Create a new perspective, get down low and don't shoot down on a plate from directly above. You will get a better shot by shooting from close to plate level or 30 degrees above it - max. Bring on that tripod. You are better with it eliminating photo softness and shakes.


We are always seeking good lighting when it comes to photography and food photography is no exception. Place your dish by a well-lit window where there is plenty of natural light. You can always add artificial light by bouncing off your flash off the ceiling or wall to give a more balanced lighting. If hard shadows remain, you can treat those in Lightroom or any other post processing software. 

Photo background and setup

You don't have to be a French cook to make a dish WOW decoration. Just keep the arrangement simple and consider - ina addition to the food itself - the composition that you are including in the frame: plate, bowl, cloth, and table settings around it. Don’t over do it with accessories but rather keep it simple by choosing one or two extra elements such as a glass, a flower or a candle. These elements should constitute your blurred background. For that consider a shallow depth of field (an aperture of f/5 and less depending on your camera and lens). 

Furthermore, the food setup should be balanced in terms of shapes, colors, etc. One of the best ways to learn composition is to get some cook books and try to re-create the same

Try close - macro close

You don't have to shoot the whole thing. Try focusing on just one part of the dish. This is an effective way of highlighting the different elements of the food. Read about How to Shoot Macro on the Cheap in by blog.