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  • Cindy Ellis

Better Food Photography

One of my favorite food quotes is "laughter is the brightest when food is the best." When we are at the dinner table or preparing food are great opportunities for great photos of food and relaxed people.

  • Natural Lighting often looks best when possible. Set up a table by a window. Diffuse the light with a white transparent curtain.

  • Move in close and fill the frame. By filling the frame you can limit the background distractions. You may need a tripod (and self timer) to eliminate camera shake. Remember the closer you are to an object, less is in focus in front and behind the object.

  • Focus one element of the food like the burger not the fries or plate. Make sure your focus is locked on that element to ensure that that element will be in focus. If you want more in focus consider using the higher aperture number like 11 or 16. As your aperture number gets smaller, the depth of field or the amount of the photo in focus diminishes.

  • Go wide and from above. Shoot from above and include an entire table setting or entire table.

  • Bounce flash. If you need to use flash consider using a bounce or indirect flash. Direct flash can cause reflections off plates, silverware, glasses.

  • Don't limit yourself to only shooting a full plate. Shoot a plate being eaten and shoot the leftovers. Shoot the cook placing the food on the plate.

  • Don't forget to take a photos of the food preparation. Beating, mixing, and flour flying can make a great photo. Decorating the cake or cookies is always a great photo opt especially if the entire family is involved. My favorite photos are the utter destruction of the kitchen following the meal preparation.

  • Want to learn more about food photography click below from Nikon Learn and Explore. First link focuses on making food look more tempting and the second link focusing on the lighting needed for great food photography.

lighting of food photos

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