5 Ways To Lift Your Food Photography Game

A feast for the eyes.

Scrolling through your social feed can cause serious food envy – and make you hungry. That’s largely thanks to bloggers, home cooks, chefs and social stars snapping up a culinary storm to capture that perfectly shot, mouth-watering food pic worth sharing with the world. Some are even lucky enough to make food photography their profession (#lifegoals). And one clever creative was kind enough to share their food-snapping secrets with us.

Here, Canon Collective Ambassador Colin Baker shares a few expert tips that can up your likes – and increase your hunger.

1. Visualise it while it’s hot

Visualise your photo and styling while your food is cooking or being prepared. Take the time to think about what sort of shot you want to take and what elements you want in the background. Don’t be afraid to work in props like garnishes and cutlery. These little additions will make your photo more layered and more appealing visually. How you style and position your food also helps determine the best angle to shoot from. The easiest is the "flat lay,” a simple vertical shot from above that will perfectly capture any table-top arrangement.

2. Be prepared

Nobody wants to be that person with “all the gear and no idea”. All good photographers (amateur or professional) should carry equipment such as a charged back up battery, memory cards and a mid-range lens -- because no food photographer wants to be left empty handed mid-shoot. Another useful tool of the trade is a tripod. A trusty tripod will eliminate blur from your shot and help you achieve those razor-sharp, professional looking photos.

3. Lights, Camera, Action!

Good lighting can make or break your shot. As a photographer, natural light is key and the best option is by a window on a cloudy day, or in a shady spot with natural sunshine. This lighting minimises shadows and gives your food a bright, even glow. If you’re dining out, try and grab a table near a window or under a skylight for the best result. If natural lighting isn’t available don’t panic – you can set the ISO to automatic or use semi-automatic modes like TV mode to fire up the camera. Set to a safe shutter speed -- fast enough to be hand held such as 1/125 of a sec -- and allow the camera to do the work and fix the lighting for you.

4. Work your angles

Many food photographers like to shoot based on the dish itself or how the chef presents the meal. If the food is built vertically (like a burger), shoot it from the side to capture those delicious layers. When the dish is built flat (like a pizza), shoot it from above. Remember creativity is king so don’t be afraid to mix it up as you can capture different moods and perspectives when you explore a bunch of different angles and frames. AV mode or a simple zoom-in will compress the background and fill your foreground with the hero dish. And shooting at eye level keeps things personal as it shows the viewer what the dish would look like there in person -- ready to dive in. The possibilities are endless.

5. Get to the specifics

Learn how to use your camera settings. The more you understand how your camera works the better your photos can be. Yes, there is a lot of fancy photography jargon to wrap your head around -- like ‘ISO’, ‘shutter speed’ and ‘depth of field’ -- but once you learn how to master the basic auto settings that’s when the real creative foodie fun can begin.

Feeling inspired?

Attend a photography workshop with the Canon Collective. We have experiences near you!

Image credits: Canon Collective Ambassador Scott Stramyk.