21 (More) Food Photography Tips From Food Blogger Connect #FBC10 – Part 2: Food Styling, Colors and Post Processing

Dessert 6 This is part 2 of the 41 Food Photography Tips. Read the first 20 food photography tips here. Let’s continue and look at the next 21 tips…

21. Take Pictures in RAW Format

image_thumb[100]Raw Format = Lot of Data. The great thing about this format is that lot of light information is captured in this file and that means if you want to post process, RAW files turn out better. Of course you can post process a JPEG file, but the overall quality in broad terms would be better for RAW format than JPEG.

22. Aim for Minimal Post Processing

image_thumb[101]Your goal should be to first set up and plate the food as you want to capture it and then capture it the best you can. You should plan you shoot so that you have to do minimal post processing.

23. There is No Magic Pill

image_thumb[102]As much as you would like, there is no magic make-me-a-better-photographer pill. Yet. There is no alternative to practice. Practice and take lot of photos. You can only learn to take better photos by taking photos. Read about the fastest way to become a better photographer.

24. Have a Photography Plan

image_thumb[103] Having a plan is extremely important for taking food photos. What elements will you use in the photo? Where will be light source? What Props are you going to use? Having a plan is very important. Here’s how to develop food photography plan.

25. Use Color with Caution

image_thumb[104]Color in an important element of art and should be used with caution. For food photography, in most cases, too many unrelated colors will make a photo loud and chaotic. Key words: in most cases. In general, food photos look elegant if you have two or three colors that go well together. The exception to this tip is that if you are trying to create a colorful photo (like the icecream photo which is sprinkled with lot of color), you will need lot of color.

26. White Backgrounds Almost Always Work

image_thumb[106]Almost always, white backgrounds make a dish standout. The great thing about white background is that it removes all the distraction from back of the photo and that makes our eyes feast on the food itself.

27. Dark Tones Make Elegant Food Photos

image_thumb[115]This reminds me of Diane from White on Rice Couple. Look at these photos in this post. All of them shot on dark background, don’t they look elegant? Specially the first photo with onion on the dark background.

28. Experiment with Matching and Contrasting Colors

image_thumb[107]Getting true color is absolutely important in food photography. Slightest difference will change the image. Read about getting true color in food photography.

29. Add Textures to Your Food Photosimage_thumb[109]

30. Use Tripod for Longer Exposures

image_thumb[112]This becomes specially important if light is not sufficient or if you are using lens with longer focal length.

31. Don’t Use Tripod If You Want to Move a Lot

image_thumb[113]If you are planning to move a lot and you have enough light, and if you can, don’t use tripod. I try to avoid tripod if I can, however, there are times when I just can’t skip it.

32. For Food Plating Less is More

image_thumb[114]Remember the Monk’s advice on food styling… yep. Less is more.

33.Present the Food for Camera

image_thumb[116]Human eye works differently than camera. Our eye has almost unlimited viewing area (more than 180 degrees – including peripheral vision), but things change when you look from the camera. Camera has a certain frame or rectangle where everything needs to fit in. Add to that, the fact that depth of field and focus is hard to distinguish in human eye. In short, its complex so, understand your camera. Here’s some information on food styling for camera.

34. Plate the Food as if It’s Ready to Eat


35. Be Creative in Selecting a Prop


36. Keep it Simple and Clean

image_thumb[119]Clutter distracts the eye. So keep it Simple. Don’t add too many elements in one photo. Too many props or too many different type of backgrounds and the photo turns to be a noise or chaos. Keep it simple.

37. Outdoor Shooting at Midday = Harsh Shadows


38. Keep Experimenting

image_thumb[122]Experiment. Use lights at different angles. Try different backgrounds. Change the props and keep experimenting.

39. Take Notes

image_thumb[121]As you experiment and change the settings and props, note what you just did. When you try different backgrounds and light angles, document it. Take notes and keep a log book. Learn from your experiments.

Okay the next few tips aren’t actually from the talk, but I think they do apply here very well.

40. Remember, There is Always an Exception

These are great tips for food photography in general. Remember to experiment. There are always caveats and situations where some of these tips may not apply. But in general and broadly speaking, all these tips are applicable and will improve your food photography.

41. Get Inspiration from Mowie and Meeta…

by reading their interview and visiting their blogs. Read How Taking Great Food Photos Made Mowie a Good Looking Food Blogger and Meeta’s Interview on How to Become a Better Food Photographer and Stylist on Your Own and also How to Choose a Background for Your Food Photograph. Visit Mowielicious and What’s For Lunch Honey for great food photos. 

Bonus 42. Attend a Food Photography Event Whenever You Can

Attend a food photography talk like this one. It can be a great experience. You of course will learn about food photography and you will also meet some great people and learn and grow with them.

Were You at Food Bloggers Connect? Tell us how was it. We would love to hear from you.


Photo Courtesy: Cake with Ice Cream and Meringue by al unisono

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  1. This post was like a mini workshop for me. Each time I read your posts, I think my pics get a tiny bit better. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


  2. Very well put together! Easy to read, easy to understand.
    Use Colour with Caution, never thought about it properly but actually true, isn’t it.
    I shall practice and experiment futher. Thank for sharing your tips! Very useful.

  3. I’ve put tip #21 to good use. The raw files are a lot larger but that just means I need to take less pictures at once. I never thought about taking notes on each shot. I just guess and shoot.

  4. I’ve been taking food photographs and sometimes I just don’t get the right picture or the kind of picture that I wanted. Thanks for all these tips. I shall start to consider them the next time I take a food photo!

  5. I read both of you types that you write in here.They are so much help me.God bless you because you are giving me this kind of really good types.Keep share in future.

  6. I love cake very much, and this picture made my mouth watery..I would love to try making this one and I hope you are going to share me the recipe. Thanks.

  7. Kathleen , I appreciate your work. Every time i see some unique and informative into your blog. You are really a good blogger.

  8. Paul Sloane says:

    Thanks for the post Neel – I very much enjoyed it. All the best Paul

  9. Appreciation to my father who shared with me regarding this blog,
    this webpage is truly amazing.

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