10 Food Photography Tricks To Make Your Pictures Look Delicious Every Time

Improve your skills immediately!

Cover image via Unsplash

1. Take photos using natural daylight

Try to always shoot your food pictures in natural daylight rather than under artificial lighting. Unless you're doing studio photography, artificial light from a lamp can make the food look orange and unappetising. 

Image via Shoot The Cook

2. Get creative and try a variety of camera angles

Show off your food in a different way than most people would see it. Things to try out include shooting directly overhead, tilted at a 45-degree angle, and from the side. Move around your plate and take a variety of angles so you can pick out your favourite later.

Image via Skyler Burt

3. Use a neutral background to ensure the food remains the star

Backgrounds that are too messy or colourful may distract the viewer from the food. Neutral backgrounds ensure the dish remains the star of the shot. There are three main types of background that enhance food really well, light backgrounds, dark backgrounds, and (brown) wooden backgrounds.

Image via Patrick Browne
Image via Pinterest
Image via chiasheng tai

4. Make use of a few props to tell a story

Take a little extra time to add props to your pictures to tell a story. Choose props that are low-key and not distracting so that the food remains the centre focus. Simple props to introduce include napkins, cutlery, and raw ingredients of the dish.

Image via Brooke Lark
Image via Calum Lewis

5. Crop the plate to mix things up

Don't be afraid to get in close and crop that plate! You're not selling the plate, you're showing off the food.

Image via Charles Deluvio
Image via Jason Leung

6. Introduce a human element

Adding a hand holding a plate or the food itself allows you to show scale and adds a personal touch to your image. This can make the food look more appealing and real to your viewers as they can imagine themselves eating it.

Image via Suzy Pratt
Image via Victoria Shes
Image via Sidney Pearce

7. Use the restaurant's interior design elements as a backdrop

If you're in a cute restaurant, make use of their interior design. Create an instant backdrop with unique wallpaper, neon art installations, brick walls, and so forth. Or if you're at a food truck or pop-up stall, use the street as your backdrop to tell a story.

Image via Toa Heftiba
Image via Suzi Pratt
Image via Suzy Pratt
Image via Karmen Wong

8. Keep your photos sharp and in focus

Blurry photos are caused by camera shake. There are different ways to solve this. You can use a tripod to ensure your camera stays completely still when shooting, or use a faster shutter speed with a larger aperture, or raise your ISO to decrease the amount of light needed.

Image via Foodies Feed

9. Play around with vertical shots

It's more comfortable to shoot photos in a horizontal format, which is why it's great to break out of the mold and try shooting vertically once in a while. It gives you a nice depth from foreground to background, and having a good mix of horizontal and vertical photos adds variety to your portfolio, blog, and social media feeds.

Image via Taylor Kiser
Image via Carly Jayne

10. Never use your flash on food

On-camera flash tends to look terrible on food. You'll end up with weird highlights on any area that has moisture, which makes your food look greasy. Opt for soft, natural light instead.

Left: with flash, right: with natural light.

Image via Chef Steps

Check out more awesome content from Canon:

Get more photography tips here: