Foodie Photography – The Know How’s and How To’s + Pro Tips!


I was inspired by Victoria from Inthefrow.com recently to share not only how I take my foodie photos but how I edit them and how other pro’s are makin’ their delicious meals look just oh-so-good! When I started this blog I was using my old iPhone and editing through instagram simply with the filter that suited my mood – I’ve come quite a ways now and am beginning to understand how many factors come into play to get a great food shot! There’s natural lighting, what to do when you don’t have natural light, exposure, the type of camera you use, your photo editing software and skills, the angle to take the photo and so so so much more. It can be overwhelming so I really wanted to share what’s helped me (and is still helping me) move forward to more beautiful eye catching photos.

I hope to keep this as organized as possible for you guys to reference at any time (I plan on bookmarking this post for myself!).

What I use for #foodie photos:
Canon SLR Rebel T5i w/ kit lens
iPhone 5S

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Photo Editing Software & Apps:
Snapseed – this is a great app for increasing the vibrancy of a photo. You can actually select specific areas of a photo and edit them separately too.

Phonto – I use this for all my Healthy Tip Tuesday posts (like this one) and whenever I want to add some pretty fonts to photos. This is a great free app!

Photoshop Lightroom – This is a great editing app, it really increases the vibrancy, plus if you’re not sure what you’re doing there’s a auto adjust edit that touches up the photo for you! The only thing with this app is it’s free for 30 days and then you need to purchase a subscription from Adobe to continue.

Pro Tips

Lighting
I have recently discovered how wonderful natural lighting is and how many of the big and famous bloggers and IG accounts use this to their advantage. The best time to take photos (according to Deliciously Ella, Victoria, Oh She Glows, The Minimalist Baker and so many more) is mid-day, from 12-2pm. This can be quite tricky if you’re only a PT blogger (like me!) and are not usually around to snap shots at that time. Luckily there are lots of other options you can use to make your photos look beautiful!

  • Use whatever natural light you have to your advantage. If there’s an area of your home that still has natural light pouring in, set up your food and props there are snap some photos. I tend to take photos in the mornings and early evenings and use whatever room has the most natural sunlight still pouring through.
  • Try using artificial lighting. Now, be careful with this one, you don’t want to use just any lamp or lighting in the house that carries yellow-toned lighting as this will dull down your photos and make them more difficult to edit. A lightbox, a ring light, light reflector or any lighting that has white bulbs and imitates natural lighting is best! Check out this post for a DIY tutorial from Oh She Glows on making your own lightbox!
  • Utilize the features on your fancy camera. For those of you who have pro-cameras (not me, yet!) your camera and lens may be set up to capture very vibrant and crystal clear photos in lower lighting. Take for example Laura from The First Mess, her photo’s are always a bit darker, but still very vibrant and clear because of the camera and lens she uses.

 

Theme Your Photos
This may sound odd but a good blog and IG account usually runs with a theme (of course I say this and I don’t quite have a theme myself!) but if there’s anything I’ve learned from really popular and famous accounts – its that they have a theme. Victoria shared this in her recent post ‘How to make your Instagram look pretty’ but the tips can easily be applied to a blog too! Both MyVibrantSoul_ & Papaya_Sunshine have theme’d their accounts with vibrant and beautiful smoothie bowls, Victoria  (@Inthefrow) theme’s her account with one fashion shot of herself, followed by an abstract shot; the same can be said with the very famous Triangl swimwear brand, their IG account is one bikini shot and one tropical destination.

 Deliciously Ella theme’s her entire account with a soft white border around every single photo.


A lot of the photographers and style accounts I follow have very white, bright and cool toned photos. If you establish a theme, your account will become more memorable (keep in mind tho that people will start following you for your theme and photos, so any diversion may throw off followers).

Using Props
There are quite a few bloggers and IG’ers that use props to their advantage and it actually becomes a part of their theme like @Honeyandfigsblog and @Naturallymeghan .


One key point I’ve taken away is not to get too carried away with props and backgrounds that the food now becomes washed out. Use props to enhance the food! A lot of people also really love a simplistic approach where there are no props and the food is the only main focus, this can be nice – just try to find you niche and stick with it!

Make Your Plates Colourful
This is something I have to keep working on. As good as that mashed cauliflower, rice and potato dish you made last week was, you’ve only got white foods in there and everything can easily get lost and look dull and boring. Try playing with plates full of different kinds of foods in different shades and colors. Increasing the vibrancy, saturation and contrast can also help boost the colors in your photo. Some great accounts are @fullyrawkristina@livepurejenna , @plantbased_pixie & @theglowingfridge .


Use a Good Camera
For sure this one is easier said than done but if you want to step up your game and bring your photos to the next level you’ll want to start looking at investing in a good camera. It makes a world of difference in your photos and really allows you more room to play with editing while maintaining a sharp crisp image. A lot of the bloggers I follow use $2000+ cameras with various lens, if I want to get to their level I know I’ll have to enventually get equipment like theirs but you don’t have to spend big money to take better photos. I currently use a Canon T5i and it still takes pretty vibrant and beautiful photos!

There you have it! Some really great tips to get your #foodie photos to the next level! I’ve linked a bunch of reources from more famous blogs and accounts so if you didn’t click on them yet, scroll back up and check them out now. You’ll find their tips very helpful and accounts/blogs inspiring!

Do you have any food photography tips? What kind of camera are you using for your blog and social media?

xx HBL

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6 Comments

  1. July 30, 2015 / 5:21 am

    Awesome post Kate thanks for the tips!

  2. July 30, 2015 / 6:21 am

    This was a really great post. I’ve read quite a few of these types of posts and after a while they tend to be the same but you’ve taught me a few new things. Now to check out some new blogs/Instagram accounts. Thanks!

    • July 30, 2015 / 2:24 pm

      Thank you! You’re so kind and I’m glad you were able to take something away from it!

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