2017, March. Long Island. Food Collection.

Have you ever tried taking a picture of food and it just didn’t look as good as the dish tasted? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Taking pictures of food requires a different mindset and approach than what you would use in your portrait or landscape photography. Here are 8 steps you can take that will help you create mouthwatering food images.

I know what you may be thinking. The more lights the better, right? Adding lights in portrait photography does give you the ability to shape and light the face in beautiful ways, but when shooting food, one large diffused light source will yield amazing results!

This doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money to get started. All you need is a window. You can use a window where you live or if you are shooting on location, try a large restaurant window.

Food comes in a wide range of colors and textures. From your dark leafy greens, vibrant orange carrots, or pale purple shallots, you can have a rainbow of colors in front of you at meal time. Embrace this color with your prop selection and food styling. If you are lost on where to begin, look for inspiration in an artist’s color wheel! A color combination that I like is matching blue accessories with yellow or orange foods.

I love using natural daylight in my food photography, but there are times when I need an artificial solution. A tungsten lamp or a small compact flash make great options for shooting your food at night. The key is to use a large diffusion source to create a beautiful, soft light that will fall on your set. I like to modify my light with umbrellas, softboxes, or a large diffusion scrim.