10 Tasty Tips for Mouth-Watering Food Photos - International Hotel School

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1.Go for natural light

When aiming at food, resist the temptation to use a flash. A flash picks up all the wetness of an item and can make it look very unappetising. Where possible, it is always best to use natural light. That doesn't mean you should put it in direct sunlight- the light will be too harsh, and the shadows too strong. Rather place your object next to a window or under a bit of shade outside.

Use natural light 2.Use fresh ingredients

Make sure that whatever item is being used as a garnish is crisp and fresh. If it's a hot day and your parsley is looking a little sad, have a bowl of ice water handy and keep the garnish in there until it's ready to be shot. Simply dry it off on a paper towel. Be sure to use herbs that have leaves without any dark bruises or blemishes.

Use Fresh garnish 3.Give your dish room to breathe

Shooting too close to the object, or tightly cropping, can render it indiscernible. You don't want people to wonder, is that a lettuce leaf or a salad you got there? Pull back a bit and make sure that your shot shows the whole dish, or at least enough of it to give viewers a clear idea of what it is.

Don't crop too tightly 4.And then get close

Sometimes, a little detail can go a long way. Take a close-cropped photo of the food, like a close-up shot of the cherry on the dessert, but as part of the whole story.

A close-up on the sauce dribbling down

   Sometimes, a little detail can go a long way. 

5.Mind your background

So, you're using natural light, it's spruced up with crispy green herbs and you've got the whole dish in your frame. But what is lurking behind it? Remove anything that is not related to your dish. Wipe the surface the dish is resting on. Keep the tablecloth crease-free. And avoid placing your item in unappealing places - I've seen images with pet shops and parking lots in the background. Go for neutral or plain backgrounds where possible and keep away from brightly coloured or contrasting patterns and objects that will distract from your dish.

Avoid distracting backgrounds and patterns 6.Keep it clean

Wipe plates and bowls of any smudges and crumbs. Use a cloth napkin for this. Less is more with sauces, so if the dish requires it, first pour on a little sauce and see how it looks. Don't flood the plate and drown your food in the photograph.

Keep it clean 7.Make it glossy

If your roast or grilled meat or vegetables are looking a little dry, brush a little bit of oil on (just a bit!) or give it a light spritz with atomiser. Fruit and vegetables can look dewy and crisp with a light spritz of water.

Brush meat with a bit of oil 8.Don't wait too long

Sauces coagulate, leaves wilt and somethings can melt. Have everything you need prepped and ready, background clear, surface clean and a clear idea of what shots you need. Then get the food you are shooting.

If you aren't quick, things start to melt 10.Play with angles

Shoot at eye level. Shoot from above. Make the object look larger than life and towering by shooting from below. Have fun with it. It is food, after all, so play with it!


Shoot from the top or try different angles


Do you have any tricks or tips to make your food shots look awesome? Let us know in the comments below