Styling Tips for Great Food Photography

4/05/2020 6:32 am

If you are a good home cook, the chances are you spend more time considering your ingredients than you do the plating of your delicious meals. When it comes to food photography though, the old saying is proven true - we eat with our eyes.


If you want to get more likes online with your elegantly plated delicacies, have a look through our top styling tips for food photography.

Plate up a smaller portion size



We get it, you need to replenish your energy - no judgement here! It’s just that a smaller amount of food with more of the plate visible is more pleasing on the eye. A large mound of food in the middle of the plate is just what the doctor ordered after a long and tiring day, but it is not what people want to see when scrolling their feeds online.

Styling tips for great food photography

Use your plate as a border

Styling tips for great food photography



This is easier to achieve if you follow our first tip. If you position most of your food closer towards the middle of your plate, you can use your plate as negative space, which provides a more elegant appearance, as well as directing your viewer’s eyes to the star of the show - your yummy food!

Contrast with colour



If your delicious meal is juicy with bright bold colours, your plating and presentation should not compete. Opt for duller, less vibrant colours, which will further enhance the appeal of your food.


Another tip that can help create a good level of contrast in your food photography is to avoid glossy and shiny plates and dishware - these can distract from your content by producing too much shine.

Styling tips for great food photography

Clean up - just a little

Styling tips for great food photography



A little bit of juice from your food is natural and nice and it can really get mouths watering. But you can have too much of a good thing. Clean the edges of the plate just a little - leaving a small trace of remnants around the edges of your food.


Needless to say, if your table or surface gets a little messy, give that area a spray and wipe before shooting too.

Step into the light


Whether you choose natural or artificial lighting, one thing is for sure, bright and vibrant is the key. Dark and dull food photography is just depressing, so this is what you are trying to avoid. Position your table by an open window to take advantage of that glorious natural light. 

If natural light just isn’t available to you, consider purchasing a flashgun, which will help you get consistent levels of lighting for every shot. Direct flash, however, should be avoided as it will produce deep shadows and lots of reflections, so learn how to bounce that flash.

Styling tips for great food photography

Think outside the plate

Styling tips for great food photography



You want to avoid placing your carefully thought out plate straight onto your plain kitchen bench and rushing your shot. Take some time to consider every element that will appear in your photo.


By including a few props around your plate you create a more inviting image - your viewers should want to pull up a seat when looking at your photo! When thinking about what to include, think about what you would usually have with this meal - when was the last time you sat down for some pasta without having a glass of red wine on the side?

Use a tripod




Tripods are an essential accessory for many types of photography and food photography is included on this list. Whether you are taking colourful snaps for your blossoming Instagram, or you end up trying your hand at tasty-style cooking videos, using a tripod will cut down on blur and camera shake so your results are always sharp and in focus.

Another advantage of setting your camera up on a tripod is the ability to slow down when you shoot, carefully considering each movement, left or right, or up and down, and whether these movements are helpful to your composition.

Styling tips for great food photography

Combine your love of food with photography today

We all have to eat, so you might as well use your love of cooking up a storm as the subject matter for your stay at home photography


If you don’t find food photography appetising, Ted’s photography blog has plenty of other tips and recommendations on subjects ranging from macro photography to indoor portrait photography.


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