9 Professional Food Styling Tips

Fish Food Styling

We are having quite a blast on LearnFoodPhotography.com. First, readers listed their wonderful food photo blogs or Flickr accounts (if you haven’t yet, tell us where you post your food photographs). And then, we are having some intelligent discussion on our first food photo critique and tips for great food photos.

One of our readers, Viviane suggested 9 simple tips for better food styling.  Here they are:

9 Awesome Tips for Better Food Styling

  1. Garnishing – Garnish has to be something you eat and not there just to decorate.
  2. Positioning – There is talk of a virtual clock where meat is at 2 o’clock, starch at 10 and veggies at 6.
  3. Less is more is one of the rules. A big plate with a relatively small portion puts the food more in focus.
  4. Plates – White or off-white plates make the food stand out more too.
  5. Color – There has to be a certain color match. Further Reading: Color in Food Photography
  6. Focus – The main part of the dish, usually the meat should be put most in focus for example a little elevated.
  7. Plating -  Food has to be simply plated so the person eating should be able to eat without having to go through an intricate design to be able to eat.
  8. Setting the Stage – The dish has a face and the part in focus (usually the prettiest) should be towards the person eating, I think we can safely say the "eater" in this case is the camera. Read More on Setting the Stage.
  9. Sketch It – It seems it also helps to sketch your plating before actually put it on the plate. I never tried this but I tend to visualize mentally before plating.


Understand Food Photography Process – Further Reading: Complete Guide to Mouth-Watering Photography

Photo Credits: Fish Food Styling by Vanessa Pike-Russell

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