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Quick tips! How to take better food photos

Fat Mum Slim /

So, today kicks off food month for photo a day. I’ve been up early chatting with the members in our private Facebook group {you’re welcome to join us here} and I shared some beginner tips on how to take better photos of food. I thought I’d share them here too.

They’re simple, and based around shooting with your phone.

How to take better food photos

ONE: Use natural light
I know you might be tempted to take photos of your dinner that you might be eating at 10pm or whatever hour, but I can promise you that it’s not the ideal light for taking your photos. Food loves natural light. Without getting too complicated, try taking your food photos in the day time right near a window, but not in direct sunlight {as this can cause shade and blow out your photos}.

TWO: Got to take photos at night? Try using an indirect light source
Say the sun has gone down and you really need to share a photo of the magnificent mac & cheese you’re about to gobble up for dinner. You could use a flash, but it sometimes isn’t flattering to your food and blows it out. Try asking a friend or family member to use their phone torch to light the shot {play around, shine it just away from the food, shine it on the food, see what you like best!} and then take a photo with your camera or phone {remember to turn off the flash feature}.

THREE: Get out and explore this month

Food can be fun and exciting, so why not embrace this month and explore a little. You don’t have to drop dollars on fine dining for beautiful photos, instead you can go and try out food markets, small cafes or stalls. Support your local businesses and try out some new eateries. It’s sure to get your creative juices flowing, your tastebuds tantalising and your photos a bit more fun.

FOUR: Play around with backgrounds
Every few months I head to the stationery store {or art store} and grab a bunch of coloured cardboard to use for photo backgrounds. I lie it down near a window at home {out of direct sunlight, cos tip 1} and place props, usually food, on that for photos. You could look for colourful, or interesting walls around town. Hold up an ice cream in front of it, or a banana, or a croissant. Play around with backgrounds. You could even set up a small table against a wall, and tape a piece of wrapping paper {non gloss is best} and create a little set-up for food photography.

FIVE: Change up your angles
If you’re eating at a cafe with friends, or alone, try shooting from above giving a bird’s eye view of what you’re eating. This will work at home too, of course. This month, try and take three different angles of the one shot and see how that feels. Does shooting from above work best? Do you like to shoot directly front on? Or how about slightly above? Play around.

SIX: Use portrait mode {for iPhone users}
I’m not sure about what is offered on Android, sorry, but I know on my phone I have Portrait Mode and it’s kinda magic for food photos. It only likes natural light {so imagine it’s me inside your phone whispering, “natural light! natural light!” and will tell you to move further or closer to your food to get the ideal photo. It gives a blurry background, and makes food look 23% tastier.

SEVEN: Try a subtle filter
I love filters for photos, but often food doesn’t. Sometimes it can totally change the colour, add too much saturation and just kinda mess it up. Try and find a filter to use this month {using it all month would create a beautiful consistency!} and use it across your food photos. Ideally you’d get one that brightens slightly, sharpens a little, and makes the colours pop a touch {one that also adds a film-like quality is always beautiful with food}. I like Little Moments App {of course}, A Color Story, Lightroom for Mobile and VSCO.

EIGHT: Lastly, be inspired

Feeling a bit ho hum about taking photos of food? I feel ya. It’s easy to be inspired and find inspiration. Search through Instagram {look at hashtags and the explore page}, search Pinterest for food shots and enjoy the inspo, or even look at stock image sites to see what others have done. Be specific in your search, if it helps! Search for “breakfast” photos. Or “ice cream” pics.

Most of all. Have fun.

@Fatmumslim