Food photography tips- how to get the best out of your camera phone

03 Jul 2020 (Fri)


The best background for food photos is white, black or wooden.
We would advise to also keep the background clean. If shooting from above, a clean and clear table will help your food to pop. If shooting from the side for a drink or layered dish – it will help to choose a location where the wall behind is white or light and doesn’t have any pictures or light switches unless they help create a certain mood or feel you're going for. You want your food to be the centre of attention and have no distracting objects in frame.


Natural daylight is usually best. Artificial lighting can creat incorrect colour tones and harsh shadows, and shadows can distract from the subject. However, shadows would be beautiful if you are using the sunny weather to demonstrate ‘Al Fresco’ dining. Then by all means shoot in direct sunlight – and while you're at it, we'd recommend you to go all the way and shoot outside to show off your al fresco dining areas.


a) From Above – as a rule, it’s easier to create the best balance and composition and show the dish in the best light if shot from directly above.
b) From the Side - If the subject is a drink or dish with layers, side shots often show off their colours and are most interesting. Remember to pick a spot with a nice clear white or black wall as a backdrop.
c) Diagonal – a) and b) are not strict rules! Shots from a diagonal point of view can also look great. However, we may add that it can take longer as several shots may be needed until you feel satisfied which may not be helpful if you're busy or in a hurry.

a) shooting from above is easiest to balance

b) layered food looks best shot from the side

c) side shots can work closer up


A clean and clear background is great to start off with. However, it can be attractive to decorate your table with natural items. Such items include; 
  • -  Flowers and herbs 
  • -  Raw ingredients of the dish 
  • -  Telling a story (raw ingredients, recipe books, attractive menu, a paired drink.... )
  • -  If you are shooting close ups, decorations are not necessary as they can distract from the subject.


Bright colours work really well in food photography. If you have a ‘special’ dish that doesn’t have much colour – find some! Cherry tomatoes, strawberries, chillies.... etc.
Red and Green look great together in food photos as do all contrasting colours.

The orange of the boiled egg gives a nice contrast against the green peppers

Drinks are an easy way to add some colour too.


Food in Motion – this is a big deal in food photography! It conveys the feeling of ‘freshness’. This can take practise to get right, but worth keeping in mind! Give it a go! See what happens!

A trickle of olive oil!

We also advice to always shoot hot food whilst it's hot and chilled food straight out of the fridge. Cameras will capture the slight steam arising from that hot plate of pasta, or the frosty glistening of the glass the sorbet sits in. The sense of temperature creates emanates from the image and makes the food look more desirable.

Another thing to remember is that people who love looking at good food pictures are also curious to learn how that beautiful dish came to be. A peek into 'behind the scenes' action will invite customers to become a part of our community. Therefore, these types of pictures will also be great;
  • -  Photos of food preparation
  • -  You in the kitchen
  • -  Your hands in action
  • -  You holding your food

Please remember, the above tips for the food dishes apply in much the same way whatever your subject.

Keeping your work surface tidy whilst working can be a challenge but action scenes are interesting nonetheless!

Fingers picking up your food adds another dimension

A few things to be aware of when taking pictures of people; 
a) Please make sure they're well-presented – clean clothes, tidy hair etc. 
b) It's always a good idea to smile and look approachable
c) Open body language - ie folded arms is an example of closed body language

We hope you got some ideas and inspiration from this!
Newer phones are a lot more clever and many of them even have food photography settings, or if they don't, using the portrait setting can work really well too.

Good luck and let us know how you get along.
Tag us in your posts and we'd be glad to share!

Our other blogs for chefs;

Creating a successful social media strategy to promote your services - Part 1
Creating a successful social media strategy to promote your services - Part 2
6 Ways to build your customer community
How to launch your own home delivery service- 5 Step Guide

Ready to get your dinner sorted?