5 Food Photography Tips

Eggnog. Sugar cookies. Holiday ham. Cheese. Wine. Chocolate.

Does this sound like your current meal plan? We understand—us too. Between all those holiday parties filled with trays of perfectly placed goodies, savory meats, and seemingly endless beverages, ‘tis the season for food. And when it comes to food, making it look appetizing is half the battle—at least for photographers. So while you’re snacking on some peppermint truffles and sipping hot chocolate, gobble up these tasty tips from commercial photographer, Brian Twede.

1.  Lighting

Bring the right lights. Poor lighting can make food look dull and just plain unappetizing. Off-camera lights are essential to making the image really pop off the page. The key is to show off the natural textures in your subject matter. Flat light just doesn't cut it when it comes to shooting food.


2.  Simplicity

Keep it simple—using a clean, plain backdrop is ideal for shooting food. You want the subject matter to become the "hero" in each shot. Propping and accessorizing can be used to add some flair to a food photo, but if it's too overdone, you'll lose the true focus of the image.


3.  Vantage Point

Be mindful of your vantage point. The best way to create interesting photos of food is to get in tight and use interesting angles so you can adequately represent the textures and highlights of each dish. Too much space around the subject can make it look tiny, causing the subject to lose power in the image.


4.  Color Pallet

Be aware of your color pallet. Composing a great food image sometimes requires the use of "supporting actors" in the scene. For example, adding some greens to a plate of steak will make the entire dish more appealing. Be mindful of what side dishes will complement your subject while bringing some great colors into the mix.


5.  Food Styling

If you really want to achieve the perfect image of your food, be sure to hire a talented food stylist. Many clients mistakenly believe that you can simply place a plate of food in front of the camera and it will look great. This is far from the truth. You'd be surprised how much time and artistic attention is required to make all the elements of the photo look right. A great stylist will save you lots of time as a photographer and is worth their weight in cheese!


So before you open up another carton of eggnog, visit Brian’s webpage to see more of his work and excellent food photography. Maybe this will make you less hungry? Naw…just go ahead and pour yourself another glass. Cheers!

Brian twedeCommercial photographyDecember 2013Food photographyFood photography tips