The Best Articles For Improving Your Food Photography Skills

Food. It’s what humans need to survive. That’s the basic description, at least. The reality is food is much more than a necessity; it’s a cultural celebration of life. Thankfully, societies all around the world have rejected a one size fits all approach to cuisine, instead opting for a “this is our way of doing it” approach. Keeping that in mind, the diversity of what we eat is perfect for food photography! Maybe this piece should be titled NSFW, because you’re about to see some x-rated food porn.

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Yum Tang Brings Conceptual Food Photography to the Namib Desert

All photos by Yum Tang. Used with permission.

When we speak of food photography, we envision scrumptious morsels shot in cozy locations. We are also seeing more meticulously styled dishes shot in the studio for out of the box approaches. Beijing-based visual designer and food photographer Yum Tang, however, brings an even more creative idea to the the table with her series, Food is doing surreal things in the desert. If you’re a fan of totally different kinds of photography coming together to create original works, we’re sure you’ll be amazed and inspired with this series.

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Food Photography Essentials

Want to take professional-looking food snaps? Today’s featured photography cheat sheet brings some essential tips to get you started.

We all dabble in food photography once in a while, especially when our inner foodie strikes or we eat out somewhere Instagram-worthy. Smartphone snaps can only take us so far, and if you really want to do it seriously and make it your bread and butter, you’ll need to churn out high-quality, professional-looking images with an actual camera. If that’s precisely what you’re looking into, a photography cheat sheet we spotted on Reddit should help you get started.

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Break/Fast: Clever Food Photography by Tessa Dóniga Johnson

There’s more to food photography than mouth-watering close-ups and Instagram-worthy flat-lay shots!

While the primary goal of food photography is to trigger our cravings and make our mouths water, it can also create powerful messages and convey playful ideas. A perfect example is Break/Fast, an ingenious project by Tessa Dóniga Johnson and her studio, Fragmento Universo. If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box approach to food photography, we’re sure you’ll want to dig into this!

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Shoot Mouthwatering Food Photography

Learn how to take great food photography that goes beyond Instagrammable with key tips from this photography cheat sheet.

We all like to dabble in food photography, but there’s more to it than being good enough for likes on social media. If you’ve been wondering how to begin taking better, even pro-looking, food photos, we have a cheat sheet by Italian food photographer Jonathan Raho that could get you started. Here, we learn about a bunch of key elements for exploring the scrumptious side of photography. As with any kind of photography, it’s about leading the eyes of the viewer to the star of your photos (and of course, make their mouths water at how tasty the food looks!).

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Graceland: Food Photography Inspired by Elvis and Priscilla’s Fantasy Wedding Buffet

All images by Louise Hagger, Emily Kidd, and Alexander Breeze. Used with permission.

Making food eye-catching and mouth-watering is the bottom line of food photography. But sometimes, photographers and their collaborators get the idea to make things bigger and push the boundaries further. This is definitely what we see from Graceland, a series of food snaps that celebrate the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, and his beau Priscilla. The brainchild of food and still life photographer Louise Hagger, creative food stylist Emily Kydd, and creative director and prop stylist Alexander Breeze, Graceland recreates the couple’s wedding buffet and re-imagines it set in the titular Memphis estate to reflect the King’s “gluttonous approach to life and fulfillment in love”.

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Nikita Zhurnakov Uses Color in Food Photography in the Funnest Way

All photos by Nikita Zhurnakov. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Looking for some cool food photography inspiration? This is precisely what we have on spotlight for today: a fine example of an out of the box approach to the mouthwatering genre. None of those flat lays by Instagram influencers here — only colorful and clever ways to see food! Russian photographer Nikita Zhurnakov shot a bunch of fun food for a commercial promo campaign by company Cherkashin. While he named his collection FOOD PORN, the photos aren’t your usual snaps of drool-worthy dishes or Instagram-worthy lifestyle content. Instead, they are clever captures that encourage us to see food items and ingredients as elements that we can use to play with colors, shapes, and textures.

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Gabriella Marks Crafts a Clever Approach on Food Photography

All images by Gabriella Marks. Used with permission.

When we speak of food photography, we immediately think about how each shot should make the viewers salivate at the food or feast they’re looking at. But as with any genre, being experimental and looking for unique ways to work with it pays off. Case in point is a clever project by Santa Fe-based editorial and commercial photographer Gabriella Marks, who put the spotlight on the produce rather than the final product for a project called Form • Function • Food.

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Re-Constructed Food Pokes Fun at Food Photography Trends

All images by Greg Stroube. Used with a Creative Commons Permission.

Photographer Greg Stroube wanted to do something a bit creative, and so his Re-Constructed food photography series pokes fun at the deconstructed food trend. You see, this is a trend where photos pretty much just show off the ingredients that make up a larger, more complete meal. You’ve probably seen it all over the place as they’re sometimes pivotal to recipe photography and videos. So what Greg does is take the cooked food and tries to put it all back together again after each piece has been separated and cut.

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Neal Auch’s Dark Food Photography Is a Slap in the Face to Factory Farming (NSFW)

All images and words by Neal Auch. Used with permission.

I’m a fine art photographer living in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Most of my recent work concerns the commodification of suffering, and the ethics of eating animals. My work explores these themes by presenting animal organ meats that are intended for human consumption in an unfamiliar context where I hope that the underlying ugliness of our food system is exposed.

I took a somewhat chaotic trajectory to get to where I am now. My background is in pure mathematics, and I spent the better part of a decade in academia, doing rather esoteric research. Those kinds of jobs are almost all short-term contracts, so I moved around a lot. The frequent moves took a toll on my personal life, and my passion for the work I was doing waned. I hit a breaking point a few years ago, while I was living in the UK, and I rather abruptly abandoned my post there to come back home to Canada and settle into a more stable life with my spouse. To make ends meet I did contract work for a while and, in my spare time, I made a lot of art and I did a lot of introspection about what I wanted to do with my life. I stumbled into photography at this point and fell in love with the process. Since then I’ve devoted pretty much all of my creative energy to taking pictures.

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William Kerr’s Beautiful Kodak Tri-X Food Photography

All images and words by William Kerr. Used with permission.

We’ve received well over 1,000 submissions for our analog photography zine; and while you all know that the best of the best (no more than 20) photographers are getting into the zine there are a number of photographers that still have very good work surely worthy of being profiled on our website. One of those photographers is William Kerr–who loves food photography and Kodak Tri-X in the 6×7 format. Crazy, right? You’d typically see food in color, but William does it in shades of light, blacks, whites, and shadows.

I genuinely think that you’re about to fall in love with his submission.

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The Simple First Step to Making Your Food Photography Look Better Every Time

This is one of the first steps that we’re going to teach in our Food Photography workshop later this month. It involves lighting your food in a different way and is just the first step involved with making your food photos look great. More importantly though, this is a piece of information that will help you make better lighting decisions every time.

But like everything else in photography: it isn’t always just technical info that makes a great photo.

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12/19: Come to Our Food Photography Workshop and Get Dinner on Us!

Hey everyone, if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to shoot better photos of food at any time of the day, you should join us at our workshop on Monday evening. All attendees are also treated to dinner and drinks after the workshop. You’ll walk away with the knowledge to shoot food photos that you never thought you could create.

You can find more details and purchase tickets right here on our EventBrite page.

Join us in Brooklyn for a VERY SPECIAL Food Photography Workshop

If you’re like some of us, food is more than just an essential part of life’s sustenance, it’s a sensory experience. In fact, scientific research shows that taking a picture of food before you dig in may actually increase the experience for you.

So let the Phoblographer’s Editor in Chief Chris Gampat show you how to create better food photos right at home using simple items that you’ve probably got laying around.

Hit the jump, or click here to find out more and purchase tickets.

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Creating a Mood and Feeling in Food Photography

All images by Shant Kiraz. Used with permission.

Photographer Shant Kiraz is portrait and editorial photographer based in Los Angeles. He got into photography professionally after being approached by Zagat. Yes, he was approached by Zagat. For a while, he was the lead photographer for Zagat Restaurant Guides until 2014. Since then he’s shot for, Micro Matic, Zagat Restaurant Guides, Amazon Inc., LA Canvas, Porter & Sail, San Diego Magazine, Darling Magazine, 24 Hour Fitness, Pasadena Magazine, The Irish Times etc.

To Shant, his ability to create a mood in a photo is what separates him from the average Joe on Instagram.

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The Essential Elements of Better Food Photography

Food–it’s the thing to tugs at the hearts of everything that lives and breathes; especially when it’s presented in a beautiful way. Food photography is mostly done these days in a lifestyle format and with a normal human perspective to appeal to our senses. It’s all about the familiar; and for that reason a 50mm lens can do just the job that you need. Combine this with the colors and contrast that a Zeiss lens can give you right out of the camera, and you’ve got yourself an image making combination that is bound to make someone very hungry.

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Anders Beier: Beauty in Food Photography

All images by Anders Beier. Used with permission.

Photographer Anders Beier is an absolutely fantastic and inspirational food photographer that has been shooting for many years now. He’s started something called the sustainable food photo competition and has worked with various companies to make it larger and grow the contest out.

Anders is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and started shooting around the time that things were moving from film to digital. He was trained on large format and shoots with Nikon and Hasselblad products right now. In fact, he’s been using Photoshop since version 1.0.

We talked to him about his love of food photography and his thought process when creating images.


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