Tips from a Food Photographer

While your social media team may be highly proficient in capturing moments and telling their brand stories, we know that sometimes, between shoots, amazing things happen. We often notice that chef’s upload photos of their creations which were keen to see, but unfortunately those photos often lack the same finesse they’ve added to their dishes.

So, you’ve just nailed the plating on your new asparagus dish, celebrated an award, or promoted a member of your team and all of these moments call for a photo. Grab your smart phone and have a read below for three big tips to capturing great moments with your iPhone. (or Android, if you’re in to that sorta thing.)

Find Your Lighting

Step away from the pass or interior light. Warm yellow light will massively depreciate any shot. Vibrant greens begin to look brown, Red/Orange/Yellow hues morph into each other and proteins lose any sight of texture.

Find natural light when possible or invest in a white LED light for evening captures. Natural and white light illuminates colors to look vibrant without maxing out the saturation bar on your Instagram editor. This will keep your shots clean and concise with reality. We recommend keeping an LED light pad nearby, for giving your in-house photography an extra boost! A small investment ($20-$30) for the quality it will bring to an image.

Think About Angles

We know it builds a lovely Instagram feed but there’s more than overhead shots to food photography. Think about what the subject is and understand how to best capture its presence. For example, if a dish has some height, it’s layers deserve some spotlight, also when shooting people of importance we recommend dropping a few degrees. Lower angles that look up at the subject always bring a sense of importance to a shot. Think of an angle as another way to convey a message.

Notice The Background

Awareness of what your shooting is elementary, but what’s behind that? Nobody wants to see a dirty towel photo-bomb your latest creation or a chef picking his nose. (Just kidding, chef’s don’t do that). Attention to all details is key. With food photos, investing a few pennies in a backdrop, can be life changing. This could be anything from a piece of fabric to a sheet of MDF or aluminum if you’re cool enough. For studio style photography, a light box can be a game changer!


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Alla Malina


I’ve always been in love with all things hospitality as I believe that food brings us together, and drinks keep us together. After some time operating restaurants, I ventured out to my own restaurant consulting company (CHIVE CREATIVE CO.) that focuses on the freedom of creativity in all respects and have had the honor to work with some top tier chefs and companies. I enjoy discussing topics of gastronomy and tapping into the undiscovered corners of the restaurant industry. Also, family meals need to be streamlined.

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