How to Photograph the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Coffee image (1 of 1)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Today here in the US, it’s National Coffee Day; a day where we all pay special tribute and appreciate the little bean that keeps millions of Americans (and people around the world) ticking through their work day. As you may know, lots of folks love photographing coffee and posting images on social media. But getting that photo that tempts people can be tough to do; but we’re going to tell you how to make it simple.

If you’re all about using natural light, place your coffee near a large window and make sure that there is a lot of contrast in the scene. For example, if you have a white cup, then use a black background. This makes the human eye pay attention to the coffee much more than it would with a less contrasting background. The contrasting background also comes in handy when it comes to capturing steam in your image. But to reiterate the most important part, be sure to use window lighting; and lots of it! Getting a great coffee shot is simple to do with natural light and even something as simple as your phone; and we teach you more about that here.

Photo by Jon Low. Featured in our interview with him.

For the more advanced amongst us, you can always emulate the look of window lighting. or you can check out the video below from Learn my Shot.

For even more advice, you should check out our interview with photographer Jon Low; and you can also use chemical reactions to get the look of steam.