Food Photography And Styling

Last Updated on April 9, 2021

Food photography is very much an art form that requires a specific set of skills. It could be argued that food styling is the most important element when it comes to photographing food. For example, if a recipe can’t be made to look appetizing, then what’s the point of taking pictures?

There are many ways to style foods for photographs but there are also many reasons why people fail to make their food appear appetizing in photographs. The following tips and tricks can help food photographers make their food appear as appetizing as possible.

Use Fresh Ingredients

strawberry ice cream

It goes without saying that fresh ingredients are often preferable to stale or otherwise unappetizing looking food. A prime example of unappetizing looking food is cupcakes that have been sitting at room temperature for hours. The texture of the icing can also quickly spoil.

If fresh ingredients aren’t available, it may be worthwhile to use frozen vegetables or other frozen items in the food rather than using fresh ones. This will help preserve your food for longer without altering its taste and appearance. For example, you could try making a fresh vegetable soup or frozen vegetable muffins instead of using fresh vegetables.

Cleanliness Is King

pancakes with syrup

The cleanliness of your kitchen is also important when it comes to styling food for pictures. If your kitchen is dirty, then it will be very difficult to style your food for photographs.

It’s important that you only use clean, non-greasy items when styling food for pictures. You could try using a heavy duty kitchen paper towel or two to wipe the grease off of the surface which you’re going to be styling with oil.

Highlighting Your Food is Important for Appetizing Effectiveness

Belgian waffles with fruit

The lighting that you use is very important for the way your food looks in photographs. A low light situation is ideal for photographing foods that are steamed or boiled. Highlight colors such as orange or yellow can also make the food look appetizing when styled properly.

A simple technique for highlighting your food is to use a white background. The light reflectivity of the ground will make the food stand out, thereby making it look appetizing.

Colorful Foods Are More Appetizing Than Those with Boring Colors

In order to create an appetizing picture of your dish, it should have a good balance of colors that match its description. Fresh ingredients often have a wide array of colors. For example, a salad may be colored with red, green, and yellow vegetables. If the salad is not properly styled to match its description, then it could look unappetizing.

Generally, foods that are colored with blue and red fruits and vegetables look very appetizing when styled properly. It’s also a good idea to try to avoid any hint of color that could be misconstrued as “cheap”.

Choose Food Stylists Who Have the Right Skills

It’s a good idea to hire a professional food stylist if you’re not experienced with styling foods for photographs. A food stylist generally has a very set way of working which is crucial for producing appetizing photographs.

Most of the stylists work with fresh perishable ingredients. They will have their own set of tricks for making the foods appear appetizing. For example, they may choose to drench the vegetables in water to make them look fresh or they could pat them dry to create a distressed effect. Food stylists also have an eye for color combination that can make foods look appetizing when photographed.

Food styling is a difficult process that requires a lot of patience and practice. This is why it’s important to find a food stylist who has the skill to get your food looking appetizing if you’re not doing it yourself.

A food stylist will be able to produce better results in a shorter time then you would be able to on your own. Hiring a professional food stylist could help make your photographs look appetizing and more appealing in less time than you can produce yourself.

Food Photography With iPhone or Android

If you’re a food blogger, who is always on the go, then you can use your phone to take food photography. Most smartphones can take really good quality pictures even in low light conditions.

The following are some tips to help you take better food photographs with your phone:

Take Photographs With Strong Lighting

Strong lighting can easily make or break the appearance of your food when photographing it. Try taking the photographs outside in the mid-afternoon. You could also use an artificial lamp to light your food if you’re inside.

It’s a good idea to avoid using flash photography for pictures. Flash can cause harsh reflections on the surface of the food and can make it look unappetizing. Using a small amount of light is important for making your food look appetizing in low or bright light conditions.

Use a White Background

You could use a white or off-white background. Try to avoid using a dark colored background because the color can make your food look unappetizing. Try to add layers of different colors onto the background to add more depth and detail without making it look too busy.

Be Patient and Use Your Camera Settings Correctly

The best thing to do when taking food photographs is to be patient. Take your time while taking the pictures and don’t rush through them. Make sure that you use your camera settings correctly. An incorrect setting can lead to your picture looking blurry.

Shoot the Food From Various Angles

Shooting the food from different angles can produce very different results. You could try a close-up shot, wide shot, and a mid-range shot. Changing the angle of your shots will make your photographs look fresh and help you avoid any repetitive patterns. Try to move around the subject while taking your shots as well.

Try to Avoid Shadows

Shadows are one of the most difficult things for photographing food because they can make your food look unappetizing. Be careful not to place your lighting sources directly above you. Instead, try placing them slightly above and at an angle on the back of your food. It’s also worth noting that you should also avoid shooting with glare on your camera especially when using a flash.


Food photography is not an easy art to master. It’s a subject that requires you to be patient and have attention to detail. If you’re looking for a professional food stylist, then try using the tips listed on this page which will help you produce better looking photographs in less time.