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Tips for Better Food Photography

Improve your food photography by focusing on exposure, adding color to your images, and making subtle post-processing adjustments.

Ben Bjurstrom

Written by:

Ben Bjurstrom
Updated Mon Sep 25 2023

1. Nail your exposure

Proper lighting is the most important aspect of photography, as cameras need a certain amount of light to properly reproduce an image. Without enough light, the resulting photo will be dull and grainy, lacking the sharp detail and vivid colors that make a photo truly stand out.

The good news is adding more light is the easiest and most impactful thing you can do improve your food photography. During the day, move your subject next to a window to take advantage of the natural light. If it's nighttime or there's no window, find the brightest artificial light source and move your subject there. If needed, lift your plate up towards the light to maximize the exposure.

2. Make your colors pop

Sometimes, food can appear a little bland in photos, even if it is delicious in real life. Adding colorful elements to your composition will help it look more vibrant and appetizing. The easiest way to accomplish this is by garnishing your plated meal with parsley or other herbs.

Another way to add some color is by dressing up the area surrounding your dish. You can use colorful kitchen towels, fruit and vegetables, or other raw ingredients you have on hand. These items can be arranged in an attractive way to create a visually appealing image.

3. A Touch of Post-Processing Magic

Once you have the right exposure and color, make a few post-processing adjustments to get your image just right. Don't overdo it with filters - instead, focus on subtle improvements that result in a more accurate reproduction.

Many photos taken of food are taken indoors, where the lighting is often mixed and the resulting image can end up with a yellowish cast. In these cases, adjusting the color temperature to move the white point towards the cooler end of the spectrum can help make the image look more natural.