Find your angles: food photography tips

July 24, 2018 | United States

There’s no better feeling than sharing the perfect meal with your friends and followers on social media. But if you want the likes, then you need to make sure that your sought-after dish looks as great as it tastes. Fixable problem. We've got some great photography tips that are sure to get your pics noticed.

1. Clear the clutter

There’s nothing like a stray straw wrapper or balled up napkin to make your food pics look like week-old leftovers. Either zoom in tight or clear the background to make sure that the attention is on your fabulous dish, not some stray trash.

2. Light up your life

One of the first food photography tips the pros learn is that light is your best friend (and your worst enemy). Too little light can make your super soup look like a dark void, too much can turn it into a blazing circle of brightness. For best results, use natural, diffused light. That means stay out of the direct sun and also dark corners.


3. (Careful) shadows are your friend

As far as food styling tips go, paying attention to the shadows your meal is making when you frame your shot is an important one. At noontime you’re likely to have little or no shadow directly below the dish while in the early morning or late afternoon long shadows will stretch across the table. Both can be signature looks, if you’re intentional about them. Remember that “overshadow” isn’t a good thing, though, so don’t let the star of your shot get blocked from the light.

4. Control your angles

Speaking of developing a signature look, are you the type who likes the overhead shot of a plate? Great. Those can look amazing. But don’t forget that you can play with other takes on the same shot.


Maybe the steam rising from your cappuccino is even more gorgeous than the foam on top. Or you realize the three-quarter overhead view lets you capture the barista’s art and a lipstick line that makes your coffee look extra luscious. Perhaps you want to get really arty and shoot that mug from underneath the glass table you happen to find yourself seated at. When it comes to how to take good food pictures, the choice is yours.

5. Play up the contrast

Whether you’re using a filter that pops the contrast on your images or carefully selecting the colors of your set pieces, thoughtfully considered contrast can make your food pictures look extra perfect. Think light vs. dark or play complementary colors off one another to really engage your audience visually and keep them coming back for more.

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6. Frame your shot

Not everything has to be front and center. Take a cue from master painters and try shooting only half the plate (maybe the half you haven’t snacked on) or at least setting it off to one side of your frame. You won’t know if you love or hate the idea until you try it.

7. Keep it classic with triangles

Speaking of painting, one of the most fundamental rules of composition is to give the eye a triangle to travel around. All you have to do is create three points of visual attention within your frame that aren’t in a direct line with one another and voilà! Insta-interest. Use props like salt and pepper shakers and silverware to create the right shape without distracting too much from the main event.


8. Get in close

Someone once said if the picture isn’t interesting, you aren’t close enough. Zoom in tight or play with those funny plastic filters you can clip onto your phone to really focus in on your food. Your photography will improve just that much, and so should your audience’s engagement.

Feeling ready to take some amazing food pictures? Good. Open up your Uber Eats app and order something delicious. You should have just enough time to properly set up your tableau before your subject arrives.

Posted by Vanessa Jane Brown
Category: Life Hacks