12 Food Photography Tips

For better food photos:


If your food has height, shoot from a low angle to show the height. If your food has texture, side or back light it to show the texture.

1) If your food has height, show it. Shoot at a low camera angle.

2) If your food has texture, show it. Light from the side or the back to show texture. Shadows show texture so don’t be afraid of shadows.

3) Watch your background and make sure that it doesn’t take away from what you want to say in your image.

heirloom tomatoes

Use diffused light...don't use direct sunlight. Use white boards to fill in the shadows. Use a white shower curtain to diffuse direct light.

4) Don’t use the on-camera flash.

5) Place the food near a window and have the light come in from behind or to the side.

6) The bigger the window, the better the light but, don’t use direct sunlight.

7) Use a piece of white paper or card board (foam core works great) to reflect light on to the front.

8) Use a tripod

9) Food can be a graphical work of art. Lines, shapes, colors, space created with a medium of food on a palette of the plate.


When food is graphically pleasing...show it off by shooting from above. Light from the side. Shadows are your friends...sometimes. Shadows can add to the composition.

10) When the plate is graphically appealing, try shooting straight down on it.

11) Light from the side or behind if shadows add to the composition. Don’t be afraid of shadows but avoid too many shadows or shadows that hide important details in the food.

12) Shadows can be softened with reflectors.


1) Try an unusual angle…shoot at a high angle and tilt the camera. If you want the food to tilt to the left, rotate the camera to the right.

2) Show a repeating pattern.

Lion Fish Dinner

Choose an interesting angle. Show repeating patterns.

About Jerry

I was a science teacher for 31 years. During that time I photographed wedding and Bar Mitzvahs for about 15 years but that was in the days before digital. Being a teacher, I had my summers free so I assisted food and commercial still life photographers in NYC for 3 summers and fell in love with it. Having a wife and a mortgage, it was not practical to give up a job in teaching and go into photography so I put off my dream of becoming a food photographer until I retired from teaching. Now I am living my dream - I am a food and product photographer servicing New York City, Philadelphia and all of New Jersey.
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1 Response to 12 Food Photography Tips

  1. pixelogist says:

    great post! ive never really got the hang of taking food shots (not really my thing, to be honest) but some day if i’d like to try it out (we all like to take a nice shot of some good food before we eat!) i’d hope i remember some of these tips 🙂

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