Professional London Photographers

Food photography: images to make your mouth water

Food photography: images to make your mouth water

Food Photography in London


We all need to eat and the food producers need to sell us food, so it’s not surprising that we are bombarded daily with delicious looking images of irresistible recipes and delectable dishes. Some of these pictures are so beguiling that you can almost smell and taste what’s on offer. But we’ve all seen enough Instagrams of a mate’s morning coffee to understand it’s not just a matter of point and click. So how do you achieve perfection in food photography?


 Tasty tips for top results

We each probably see a hundred food images a day — in magazines, on the internet and on hoardings—so that’s a hell of a lot of opportunities for professional photographers who have mastered the art of making food look good enough to eat. Restaurants, food producers, speciality shops, magazines, books and advertising are all clamouring for good food photographers.


So how do you go about creating the best food images?

  • Make sure the food you’re photographing is fresh and colourful — if it doesn’t look good in the flesh, so to speak, it’s never going to look good in the pictures.
  • Use backlighting to give your food texture and to capture rising steam. Or adjust the angle of your lighting so that it skims the food from the side — the slight reflection of light will make the food look more appealing.
  • Make sure the food is the focus of the image. Don’t distract from it with fancy tableware, people’s hands and messy kitchen backgrounds.
  • Accessorise a finished dish with a selection of the raw ingredients around it.
  • Most food looks better on plain, pale coloured plates and dishes. Though black slate tiles and wooden boards can also be used to good effect.
  • Don’t take pictures of burnt or overcooked food — undercooking usually results in fresher, brighter colours.
  • Use white or silver bounce cards or mirrored reflectors to soften the lighting and minimise shadows. Food looks better when shot in diffused light.
  • Shoot with a wide aperture, focusing on the front of the food, and pick a focal point such as the yoke of an egg or a bright berry. This will stand out even more if you allow the background to blur a little.
  • Experiment with the angle from which you shoot. Shooting from overhead is generally most effective, especially for flat dishes, although anything with height such as a burger or a layer cake will look good from the side.
  • Use garnishes to add interest and colour pops.
  • Use a secondary light source from one side to give the effect of natural light — the added shadows and glint will give your food a better texture.
  • If the food starts to look a little dry under the lights, brush it with vegetable oil to make it shine.
  • Keep the area around your dish free from crumbs and splashes.
  • Use postproduction to clean up the image and create food perfection.


And remember at all times to make it look appealing — if you’re not tempted to eat it while you shoot it, how is it going to make anybody else’s mouth water?


(c) Headshot London Photography

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