If you like to take pictures of food for a blog, or just to share with your friends on Instagram, you can improve your food photography with just a few tweaks:

Lighting Is Key

It’s important to be careful with lighting for food.  The lighting you use for food is backlight as it will help show off the texture of the food and even show steam coming off hot food.  If you want your food to look super fresh, use appropriate backlighting to avoid plain, flat images.  If you do nothing else, do this.


Backgrounds Should Be Interesting

While you want the food to be the main thing in the photo, backgrounds are important too and should be interesting.  A good idea is a blurred table-scape featuring the food in focus, as well as perhaps some of the ingredients that are in the food in whole form, to bring out thoughts of the flavours in the viewer.

The Food Is the Star

The fresher the ingredients, the more colourful they’ll become in the photo.  If the food looks bland and colourless, it will look bland and colourless in the photograph – and there isn’t much you can do to improve it that will look realistic.

The Little Something Extra Matters

People eat with their eyes which is why plating matters so much when it comes to presenting food.  This is also true of photographing food.  Adding a little touch of contrasting colour in the form of a garnish can make the colours of the food pop and look even more appealing.

Keep It Simple

Like with most photos, simple is always better even though it looks more difficult.  When the cooked food is bland, add a little extra to the photograph, to make the idea of the flavours stand out.  For example, black bean soup is, well, black.  You could juxtapose that with a topping of Pico de Gallo to bring out more colours, and perhaps a shot that shows only part of the dish, with a jar of black beans in the background, blurred.

Include the Raw Ingredients

Sometimes food looks better before you cook it because all the colours get blended in.  Therefore, showing the raw ingredients in different stages of preparation can sometimes make a plain looking dish come to life.  You want the viewer to feel as if they can taste the flavours, so what better way than including the raw ingredients?


Take a Cooking Shot

Sometimes nothing is better than seeing the bubbly action of cooking going on.  This works very well for shots of stew because you can better see how great all the ingredients work together.  Plus you can take the image before the food is fully cooked as the colours are brighter.

Try Different Camera Angles

Sometimes the food looks better if you change the angle of your photograph.  Switch up the camera angles, and the lighting, and make it look even more special than it is.  The light will catch the food differently and make the colours stand out.


Finally, sometimes – even if you’re trying to restrict the calories in your food to promote healthy living – a picture will look better if you toss a little oil onto the finished product, as it will help the food stand out better.  Mostly, just try different techniques to find out what works best.  See more examples of great food photos..