Ever wonder how the food magazines or top food accounts on Instagram make their photos look so delicious? Discover how you can banish boring food shots with 10 easy food photography tips for bloggers.
I cringe every time I see a new food blogger posting food pictures on their blog with underexposed, yellow-toned photos done at night with a phone camera.
The food looks so… unappetizing.
If you’re stuck trying to figure out how to make yours pop and stand out this post will share some super easy food photography tips and tricks.
The result: mouthwatering visuals that will make your readers stick around!
So, let’s get to it!
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How To Take Good Food Pictures – What You’ll Need
Before we jump into the tips for taking food pictures, you’re probably wondering what kind of equipment you’ll need.
You can take gorgeous food photos with your phone camera. Although a DSLR camera can give you the fancy bokeh (fuzz background), learning the basics of using your phone camera can help you greatly.
Here are a few other things that I like to have for the best food images:
- A space with good lighting
- Variety of plates, napkins and other accessories
- Fresh ingredients
- A quiet moment without distractions (no kids running around!)
Now let’s learn how to take better food photos and get you started on producing a gorgeous food blog.
10 Food Photography Tips For Food Bloggers
When you’re adding food photos to your food blog posts or promoting them on social media, you’re going to want to use your best shots.
In general, we’re interested in attractive visuals and this applies to food blogs too.
Food blog images should whet the appetite of site visitors.
Do you need a DSLR camera to take beautiful food photos?
It certainly does help. If you know how to use one and have access to one, use it!
Taking your photos in RAW format gives you more power to edit your food photos to look perfect.
However, you can also take photos with your phone and produce just as beautiful of a shot.
These tips will work for both DSLR and phone photography.
1. Food Pictures Look Great In Natural Light
Natural soft light makes food photos look appetizing.
The best place to set up to take food shots is by a window.
However, not all natural light is good. The bright midday sun can be harsh on food photos, creating rough shadows.
So try to take photos when the light isn’t streaming in through the window at full blast.
2. Select A Background That Highlights Your Food
Cluttered backgrounds that distract from your food dish are not the best choice for food photos.
Do this instead: select a wall or flat surface. Both work well at making your food dish the spotlight and focal point.
Flat surfaces can be anything from a table, bench, cutting board, marble countertop and even the floor (if you have a nice wood floor for example).
The best colours are white – for crisp clean images, or black for dramatic food compositions.
3. Use Props To Style Your Food Photo
Next in our list of food photography tips for bloggers is one that sometimes we forget about – the props around the dish we’re photographing.
These can be:
Don’t go overboard with too many props. They can detract from the food itself.
4. Pay Attention To Composition
How you place your subject in the photo is important too for good food photography.
Remember the rule of thirds in photo-taking and about leading lines and symmetry.
Consider how you place your food and props in your photo – does it look pleasing to the eye?
Does it lead the viewer’s eye to the food?
5. Plate Your Food In An Attractive Way
With this photography tip for food bloggers, I recommend you start thinking of a chef in a top restaurant.
Notice how they make your food look gorgeous on the plate?
Pay attention to how you place the food on your plate, including garnishes. It won’t be as appetizing if it’s a jumbled mess covering the whole plate.
Take a look at some of the best food magazines for inspiration.
6. Experiment With Manual Mode On Your DSLR And Phone Camera
When taking food photos for your blog, you may feel rushed. The tendency is to take an automatic photo and use that.
However, if you switch to manual mode, you can focus on producing photos with bokeh (where out-of-focus light is blurred).
You can focus on the food subject and blur out the rest by using an aperture of 2.8 or lower.
This can be done with your DSLR or even with a phone camera. There are apps that mimic DSLR cameras such as ProCam.
7. Get Up Close On Details
We have a tendency to get wide shots of food scenes.
When you start to focus on the details with close-up shots of the plated food, things get interesting.
Dripping sauce, a close-up shot of an ingredient that looks appetizing… this is what you should be focusing on.
Adding photos like these to your blog content will make things interesting.
8. Edit Your Photos
I can’t repeat this enough.
Please don’t take a photo and add it to your post.
It inevitably ends up looking awful because it’s not adjusted for light, colour, brightness and even sharpness.
Have you ever checked out a food blog and found photos taken in dim light? They haven’t been edited and look brown-toned or flat.
Photo photos that do well need rich colours that grab people’s interest.
There are many online photo editors that are inexpensive and easy to use if you’re not comfortable with Photoshop and Lightroom.
Try Pixlr-E – one of my favourite photo editing tools online (the entry upgrade is super affordable monthly price for what you get).
9. Keep The Style Consistent
This is one of the most important food photography tips: be consistent.
Donna Hay, the Australian food stylist and recipe developer, became famous in the 1990s and early 2000s by consistently shooting bright, colourful food photos on white backgrounds and plates.
When you’re consistent with your photos, you’re consistent with your blog branding.
10. Keep Practicing Your Food Photography Skills
Taking food photos for your blog that look amazing takes time.
You’ll learn over time that you may need to pick up some food styling tips and tricks – especially when dealing with ice cream shots!
Sometimes the best way to learn is to just keep doing. So have your camera nearby when you’re making your home meals.
Optimize Your Food Images For SEO
There are two reasons why you’ll want to optimize your food photos:
- Speed: fast-loading photos that don’t slow down your site
- For your blog SEO: to end up being found in Google Images
So how do you do this?
Here’s what I do when I add any photo to my blog content:
- I save it at 70% quality as a JPEG that is sized to the minimum size requirements for my theme
- Ensure that I’m using the blog post title and a couple of descriptive words relevant to the image instead of the original name (e.g. DSC20394.jpg). This is so I can easily identify the image in my WordPress media folder, and for SEO purposes.
- Add the relevant alt-text
And now you’ve got optimized images on your food blog posts!
| RELATED: Tips For How To Optimize Your Blog Images For SEO
Start Adding Gorgeous Food Photos To Your Blog Posts
My hope is that after you’ve read these tips and started applying them, you’ll find site visitors lingering on your posts longer.
I’m also hoping you’ll have more shares and pins of your posts.
People eat with their eyes, so give them something that will want them to try out your recipe and read more.
Before you go, check out this other food-related content:
- Over 115 Food Blog Post Topics To Spice Up Your Blog Content
- 150+ Tasty Food Quotes For Your Instagram Posts And Captions
- 500+ Food Instagram Hashtags To Boost Your Content Visibility
QUESTION: What is your favourite food photography tip that you’re going to work on next?