Food Photography – What I’ve Learned So Far

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Food, Photography | No Comments

Now that I’ve been taking picture of food for about six months for my recipes, I wanted to share some things I’ve learned so far.

1) Love Your Subject

Beautiful Light at Barista

I can’t stress enough what a difference this makes. If you don’t love the food you’re photographing or at least think it’s pretty darn good, it shows. In the picture above, I saw the morning light streaming through a window at my favorite coffee shop because they make the best coffee in Portland. I startled two other coffee drinkers to take this photo but I loved everything about it. I loved the short vanilla latte I was holding and I loved the light.

Honey Nut Cheerios and Jam Bars

I took the photo above of Honey Nut Cheerios + jam bars a few weeks ago, a recipe failure. Well, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t awesome. I decided to work on my composition anyway, which I think was okay, but I think my lack of enthusiasm for the food shows.

2) For natural light, find the sweet spots in your home.
Unfortunately, I don’t have east/west facing windows in my home so photographing in natural light is limited for me but I’ve managed to find a few sweet spots in my house, depending on the season and the time of day.

I can only use this spot in the winter because a tree blocks the light the rest of the year.

Organic Asparagus

Depending on the weather, sometimes I use this sweet spot in my kitchen.

Kocheejang and Shrimp

Or sometimes I just have to use my tripod to get enough light into the picture.

Cookies with Milk

3) Try to Take the Photo “Right Out of the Oven”

Especially with dishes meant to be eaten “right out of the oven” or right off the stovetop, it makes a huge difference if you can take the photograph as soon as possible. The food has to look delicious! Have everything set up beforehand so you can just place the dish where you want it and shoot it.

Macaroni and Cheese works that way.

Macaroni and Cheese

Definitely anything with fried eggs.

Vegetable Fried Rice #2

Even if you used olive oil to cook with, food can start to look greasy and unappetizing after only a few minutes!

I still have a long way to go to take great food photos but I’ve learned so much and I’m exciting about getting better at it. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Love, Ana

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