Food Photography Tips

As discussed in a recent post, the rise of the #foodporn trend continues! 

If you search the hashtag on social media, you’d find over 54 million public photos of food tagged as “foodporn”, over 57 billion pins on Pinterest and over 670 foodporn tweets per hour on Twitter– but let’s be realistic, not all foods are sexy to watch. 

Are you a #foodporn voyeur? Perhaps you’d like to be a purveyor of the trend? We’ve come up with a list of helpful tips that you may not have considered to up your food photography game!

There are many ways to enhance your food photos. I use both my iPhone and a DSLR. For this post, I’m going to focus on tips that you can incorporate while using your cell phone (as many of us do!)

Adding Movement

We’re sure you’ve seen it before. Someone posted the perfect spoonful of something. Or maybe the act of garnishing a dish. These are different ways that give a photo a sense of movement. Drizzling syrup onto pancakes… or pouring espresso on top of icecream for an affogato. Below, we have a photo of Chef Andrea (London) in the act of making raviolo. 

Egg Yolk, Ricotta and Crispy Parmesan Raviolo by Chef Andrea

Egg Yolk, Ricotta and Crispy Parmesan Raviolo by Chef Andrea

Dishes & Accessories

You’ll want your dishes and utensils to complement your food and your style. This is so simple and yet most people probably don’t actively consider it as they are photographing food. I love going to restaurants that have unique plateware. At home, I’m more of a white porcelain, square plate type of gal. In the beginning, I really like the clean, crisp background that those allowed me. Then I realized that the contrast that can be created with colored and patterned dishes really gives certain foods that “Oomph!” it really needs! I’ve since put out a BOLO with friends and family for interesting dishes and accessories; not to mention, keeping an eye out when I’m on the go and traveling.

Food Photography Tips

Onigiri on a Patterned Plate


Texture is important in food styling and food photography. Take this photo of Chef Ayah’s (Washington, DC) red velvet pancakes. The photo really would’ve fallen flat if it weren’t for the walnut and fruit garnishes. Not only did it enhance the flavor, it also added to it’s visual appeal.

Food Photography Tips


Another way to incorporate texture is by adjusting the background of your food. In this case, I mean what your food or plate is resting on i.e. table, photo board, tablecloth, placemat etc. The texture in the photo of Chef Maxime’s (Dubai) crostini below is visually enticing!

Food Photography Tips

Grilled Sardine Crostini by Chef Maxime

Want more tips?

I’m a huge fan of food photography and practice as much as possible. One of my first (and favorite) resources to consult is a book called Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Nicole S. Young. These tips and more are covered in her food photography book. 

Working for ChefXchange has given me the opportunity to practice photographing an abundance of beautiful food. Trying to hone in on your skills as well? Book a private chef and you’ll have plenty of time to practice on the “subjects” of your choosing.