Four tips for taking best photos of food

Posted by Contributing author, Teri Lichtenstein on 22nd March 2017

Image credit: Teri Lichtenstein

A picture speaks a thousand words but can also help sales soar for food produces, cafes and restaurants.

Below are four tips to help those taking images of food, especially for those wanting to share the photos on social media accounts.


  1. A spoon is not just a spoon

Simple things like a few dishcloths, a piece of used baking paper, assorted glass jars and beautiful spoons can make a photo go from average to wow. Op shops are a treasure trove of great props that can have a big impact on your food photography appeal. And of course hands make great props too!


  1. It’s always about the light

Nothing (and I mean nothing!) beats natural light. As an amateur photographer myself, I know that the worst kind of light is a harsh downlight and unfortunately too many photographers take food photos in this poor artificial light. Something else to bear in mind is that no matter how delicious your meal may be, if you are dining in a romantic dimly-lit restaurant without much light, then your wonderful meal will not show up well on Instagram. Find the best natural light in your house (a well-known photographer takes all her photographs over the toilet, as the bathroom has the best natural light!) and use this spot to take your photos. Play around with different times of the day when the light changes, and use light to add an extra element to your story, like photographing your dish in a doorway.

  1. Find your style

For me, being behind a camera allows me to see the world from all different angles and through different lenses (literally). Whilst many opt for the standard overhead shot, I prefer side angles and close ups. Find a style that works for you and use that to tell your story.

  1. Keep tinkering

And finally, keep playing around until you learn how to bring your food photography alive with your smartphone and the many editing apps. My favourite at the moment is SnapSeed, but there are so many fantastic and easy to use photo editing tools that you certainly don’t need a design degree to make your photos really stand out.



The above tips were compiled after attending a food photography workshop hosted by The Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council, McKenzies and Edgells. The workshop was led by food writer and farmer, Sophie Hansen from Local is Lovely.


Teri Lichtenstein is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with a background in nutrition marketing. Teri is director of FoodBytes, a specialist nutrition consultancy with a focus on digital communications.


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