How to take better food photos?

Shreyas Patil SEO
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
Take Better Food Photos: A Comprehensive Guide

Food photography has become a popular genre, especially with the rise of social media and the growing interest in food blogging. Whether you're an aspiring food blogger, a professional photographer, or simply someone who loves sharing their culinary creations online, mastering the art of food photography can make a significant difference. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know to take stunning food photos that will impress your audience and make your dishes look irresistible.

Taking great food photos isn't just about pointing your camera at a plate and pressing the shutter button. It requires a keen eye for detail, an understanding of light and composition, and a passion for food. This guide will walk you through the essential steps and techniques to help you take better food photos. From choosing the right equipment to mastering lighting, styling, and editing, we'll cover all the bases to ensure your food photography stands out.

How to Take Better Food Photos

Food photography is an art that combines technical skills with creative vision. To take better food photos, you need to understand the basics of photography and how to apply them specifically to food. Here are some fundamental tips:

Choose the Right Equipment

Your choice of equipment can significantly impact the quality of your food photos. While you don't need the most expensive camera on the market, having the right tools can make a big difference. A good DSLR or mirrorless camera with a macro lens is ideal for capturing detailed shots of food. Additionally, investing in a sturdy tripod will help you achieve sharp images, especially in low-light conditions.

Master the Lighting

Lighting is one of the most crucial elements in food photography. Natural light is often the best choice for capturing the true colors and textures of food. Position your subject near a window with diffused light for soft, even illumination. Avoid direct sunlight, which can create harsh shadows and highlights. If natural light isn't available, use artificial lighting with softboxes or diffusers to mimic natural light.

Pay Attention to Composition

Composition is the arrangement of elements within your frame. In food photography, it's essential to consider the placement of your subject, props, and background. The rule of thirds is a useful guideline to follow, which involves dividing your frame into nine equal parts and placing your main subject along these lines or at their intersections. Experiment with different angles, such as overhead shots or close-ups, to find the most appealing composition.

Select the Right Props and Backgrounds

Props and backgrounds play a significant role in enhancing your food photos. Choose props that complement the dish without overpowering it. Simple, neutral-colored plates and utensils work well for most food photography. Similarly, backgrounds should be clean and unobtrusive. Wooden boards, marble slabs, or textured fabrics can add depth and interest to your shots without distracting from the food.

Focus on Food Styling

Food styling is the art of arranging and presenting food in an aesthetically pleasing way. Pay attention to the colors, textures, and shapes of the ingredients. Use fresh and vibrant ingredients to make your dishes look appetizing. Arrange the food carefully, and consider using garnishes or sauces to add visual interest. Don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with different styling techniques to find what works best for your dish.

Editing Your Food Photos

Post-processing is an essential step in food photography. Editing can enhance the colors, contrast, and sharpness of your images, making them more appealing. Use software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to adjust the exposure, white balance, and saturation. Be mindful not to over-edit your photos; the goal is to enhance the natural beauty of the food, not to create unrealistic images.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Even with the best techniques, there are common mistakes that can detract from your food photos. Here are some pitfalls to watch out for:

  • Poor Lighting: Insufficient or harsh lighting can ruin a good photo. Always ensure your light source is soft and even.
  • Cluttered Composition: Too many elements in the frame can distract from the main subject. Keep your composition clean and focused.
  • Over-editing: Excessive editing can make your photos look unnatural. Aim for subtle enhancements that highlight the food's natural beauty.
  • Ignoring the Background: A distracting background can take attention away from the food. Choose simple, complementary backgrounds.

Incorporating Storytelling

Great food photos do more than just showcase a dish; they tell a story. Think about the context of the food you're photographing. Is it a cozy breakfast on a rainy morning, a festive holiday meal, or a refreshing summer salad? Incorporate elements that convey the story behind the food, such as props, lighting, and composition. This will add depth and emotion to your photos, making them more engaging and memorable.

Experiment with Different Styles

Food photography offers a wide range of styles to explore. Whether you prefer bright and airy shots, dark and moody images, or something in between, experimenting with different styles can help you find your unique voice. Try using different lighting setups, props, and editing techniques to create various moods and atmospheres in your photos. Don't be afraid to push the boundaries and try something new.

Utilize Social Media Trends

Social media is a powerful platform for food photography. Stay updated with the latest trends and hashtags to increase the visibility of your photos. Engage with your audience by sharing behind-the-scenes shots, recipe tips, and stories about the food you're photographing. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok offer great opportunities to showcase your work and connect with fellow food enthusiasts.

Quick Tip to ensure your videos never go missing

Download PicBackMan

Videos are precious memories and all of us never want to ever lose them to hard disk crashes or missing drives. PicBackMan is the easiest and simplest way to keep your videos safely backed up in one or more online accounts. Simply Download PicBackMan (it's free!), register your account, connect to your online store and tell PicBackMan where your videos are - PicBackMan does the rest, automatically. It bulk uploads all videos and keeps looking for new ones and uploads those too. You don't have to ever touch it.


How can I make my food pictures look better?

You can make your food pictures look better by focusing on lighting, composition, and styling. Use natural light whenever possible, position your subject near a window, and avoid direct sunlight. Pay attention to the arrangement of your food and props, ensuring a clean and uncluttered composition. Use fresh, vibrant ingredients and experiment with different angles and perspectives. Finally, use photo editing software to enhance the colors and sharpness of your images.

What are the best settings for food photography?

The best settings for food photography depend on your camera, but generally, you should use a low ISO (100-400) to minimize noise, a wide aperture (f/2.8-f/5.6) to create a shallow depth of field, and a fast shutter speed (1/125 or faster) to capture sharp images. Adjust your white balance to match the lighting conditions, and shoot in RAW format for maximum editing flexibility.

How can I take better pictures of food with my phone?

To take better pictures of food with your phone, use natural light and avoid using the flash. Get close to your subject to capture details, and try different angles such as overhead shots or close-ups. Use the gridlines on your phone's camera to apply the rule of thirds, and tap on the screen to focus on the main subject. Utilize editing apps to adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation to enhance your photos.

How do you take sharp pictures of food?

To take sharp pictures of food, use a tripod to keep your camera steady and avoid camera shake. Select a fast shutter speed to freeze motion and use a low ISO setting to reduce noise. Focus carefully on the main subject, and use a narrow aperture (higher f-number) if you need a greater depth of field. Ensure your lens is clean and use manual focus if necessary for precise control.

How do you make food photogenic?

To make food photogenic, start with fresh and high-quality ingredients that look appealing. Pay attention to the colors, textures, and presentation of the dish. Use garnishes and sauces to add visual interest, and choose props and backgrounds that complement the food without distracting from it. Experiment with different plating techniques and angles to find the most attractive composition.

How to take food photos without shadow?

To take food photos without shadow, use diffused light sources such as natural light from a window with a sheer curtain or artificial light with softboxes. Position your light source at an angle to the side or above the subject to minimize shadows. Use reflectors or white boards to bounce light back onto the food and fill in any shadows. Avoid using harsh, direct light which can create strong shadows.


Taking better food photos is a journey that requires practice, patience, and creativity. By understanding the fundamentals of photography, mastering lighting and composition, and paying attention to styling and editing, you can elevate your food photography skills. Remember to avoid common mistakes, incorporate storytelling, and experiment with different styles to find what works best for you. With dedication and passion, you'll be able to capture mouth-watering food photos that delight and inspire your audience.

World's #1 Photo/Video Uploader

Backup & Transfer your Photos in Minutes

Automate backup & migration of your photos & videos with support for all top services.

(283 reviews)

Trusted by users in 125+ countries.

95,000+ PicBackMan Users

95,000+ Users Trust PicBackMan To Backup Precious Memories

money back guarantee
Kip Roof testimonial Kip Roofgoogle photos flickr
PicBackMan does exactly what it's supposed to. It's quick and efficient. It runs unobtrusively in the background and has done an excellent job of uploading more than 300GB of photos to 2 different services. After having lost a lot of personal memories to a hard drive crash, it's nice to know that my photos are safe in 2 different places.
Julia Alyea Farella testimonialJulia Alyea Farella smugmug
LOVE this program! Works better than ANY other program out there that I have found to upload thousands of pictures WITH SUB-FOLDERS to SmugMug! Thank you so much for what you do! :) #happycustomer
Pausing Motion testimonialPausingMotionsmugmug
I pointed PicBackMan at a directory structure, and next time I looked - all the photos had uploaded! Pretty cool. I use SmugMug and while I really like it, the process of creating directories in is pretty laborious when you need to make 80+ at a time. This was a breeze. Thank you!
Gavin Whitham testimonialGavin Whithamflickr
PicBackMan was really easy to setup and has been running for 3 days now backing up all my locally saved photos to Flickr. My photos are really valuable to me so it's great to be able to have them easily backed up to a secure location.
 Jim Griffin testimonialJim Griffinsmugmug
It's AWESOME!! I have tens of thousands of pictures...and they are now successfully uploaded to SmugMug, where they are safely backed up, and I can edit and organize them. If you are hesitating about using PicBackMan, hesitate no longer...try it...and you'll be glad you did!!
close icon
World's #1 Photo/Video Uploader

World's #1 Free Photo/Video Uploader

PicBackMan has everything you've ever wanted to backup your photos or migrate/transfer from one account to another. No feature left behind!

(283 reviews)
Trusted by users in 125+ countries.
  • Maintain Folder StructureMaintain Folder StructureUpload to your online accounts & keep your folder structure as you have it.
  • Sub-folder SupportFolders & their sub-folders are automatically picked up.
  • Smart De-dupeDe-dupes photos before uploading so you don’t have duplicate copies.
  • AutomaticPicBackMan monitors & automatically uploads from connected folders.
  • PrivacyPrivacyAll uploaded photos & videos are always marked as private by default.
  • RAW FilesComes with support for RAW files for uploads as well as transfers.

“Your pictures are scattered. PicBackMan helps you bring order to your digital memories.”

the wall street journal
close icon
One Uploader for All Services

One Uploader for All Services

PicBackMan is the only tool you will need to backup to one or more of the top online photo and video services.

(283 reviews)
Trusted by users in 125+ countries.
Google Photos

Google Photos







Google Drive

Google Drive