Behind the Scenes: Food Photography

A few people have expressed interest in hearing about the setup and ‘behind the scenes’ of the food photos from my last post so I will do my best to share everything that I know.

I am by no means a photographer, nor do I know much about photography other than what I have been taught by Kris and have read online. I love to look at photos of food and I think that you can convey so much through a photo, so I have been making an effort to improve my own photography on this blog.

Things that I think are important:

– An excellent subject.

If the dish doesn’t look beautiful, you will not be able to get a photo that looks beautiful. This is not to say that everything has to be perfect, I am a huge fan of the rustic style, intentionally messy and imperfect food, but you do have to pay attention to presentation, particularly to the colours of the dish and to the freshness. No one wants to see a photo of food that has been sitting around for half an hour while you set up your camera gear.

– Good light

Most of the stuff I have read online talks about using only natural light for food photography, and I have to agree that I love the feel of photos taken using natural light.   In saying that, working a full time job doesn’t leave much daylight for photography, so I often need to use a flash (but never point it directly at the food, will always bounce it off a big white wall).

On this day I was home early enough to take some pictures using natural light, and used this big piece of white foam core as a reflector to help lift the shadows on the right side of the dish.  If you have a big sheet of white cardboard, play around and see the difference that it makes to the photo.  I used water glasses to hold up my foam core, but of course an assistant or proper stands could do a better job.


Since I have started paying more attention to what makes a good food photo, I have fallen in love with beautiful crockery, cutlery and props.  I bought this chopping board knowing that it would be perfect for photos, and have been trying to get pretty teatowels in different colours and picking up other items where I can.  I think I prefer to shoot on a chopping board or piece of wood as you don’t need to worry about reflections as much as if you use a glass or ceramic plate, plus I love the rustic feel and the detail of the grain of the wood.

My top tips is to look at beautiful photos of food, particularly in magazines, and see what it is that makes the food look so appealing and the photo pleasing to the eye.  There are also SO many inspiring food blogs that exist, but my favourites, photography wise would have to be tartelette and mowielicious.  Please share if you have any favourite food blogs, particularly those with phenomenal photography!



Filed under food, photography

5 responses to “Behind the Scenes: Food Photography

  1. Thanks for sharing the studio and the tips..

  2. thanks so much for the tips. I have seen the foam being used before and I found natural light is always the best too. My photos taken at night and in dim light are the worst.

  3. I never bother using a reflector but I think this post has inspired me to pick up a piece of foam core (if my white chopping board doesn’t make the cut…) Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. very good post, I learned some of these techniques from a blog conference which really helped my photo. You have a very interesting blog. I like the clean design, thanks for stopping by and complimenting my donuts 😉

  5. I had to control myself from buying props because it became an addiction “oh this would be nice for my food photos; oh that will make a good background” … so I started using everything possible from within my apartment.

    Some of the many blogs that I personally LOVE for their food photography are,, and, and

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