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What do I need to know to get started with food photography?

I am a food blogger and am beginning to learn photography. I need suggestions on how to take better pictures. I uploaded one of my pictures. What do you think of it?

  • You should tell us about your equipment. Otherwise we'll suggest things you can't do? Or are you looking to buy equipment for food photography? – Itai Oct 26 '12 at 23:33
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    This isn't a photo critique forum so much. If you have a specific question about how to achieve a different look or an issue you are having with the above image, please point that out and we can certainly help with that. Also, check out the food photography tag for other great similar questions that we've had in the past here: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/food-photography – dpollitt Oct 26 '12 at 23:53
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    Ditto the above. Can you tell us what you're trying to achieve exactly? Otherwise, this is basically a duplicate of one of the general "tips for food photography" questions. – mattdm Oct 27 '12 at 0:32
  • I hawe canon 550d with 18-55 mm kit lens. What I want to achieve is different composition or angle or what ever would make this picture look more interesting – irenalana Oct 27 '12 at 7:30
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    Everyone: please see this meta question on photo critique on this site. We don't want to just be a gadget/gear site! meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/2039/… – mattdm Oct 27 '12 at 13:26

What you seem to be missing here is having an idea of what would be a better picture. "Better/worse" is a strongly personal scale, so it cries for having your personal opinion mixed in.

To solve that,

  • look at photos of the same genre/subject that others have made. Searching by keyword on Google or Flickr should bring enough study material. If you like any of the photos, analyze why you like those. Think how you could obtain similar results yourself, ask here if needed. If you see any total blunders, analyze those too, so you won't make the same mistakes. Steal like an artist.

  • experiment - try different angles, lighting, surroundings, props. It's all part of finding your own personal style. Again, see what kind of results you like, and tweak those techniques further. At the very least, always try taking more than just one picture of the same subject, compare and analyze. Practice like a champion.

  • think about what you want the viewer to see in those images, and how you could stress those traits. What should interest the viewer, how can you make it more catchy? Here's a hint: everything in the photo is making it either better, or worse. There should be no stuff "just being there" - that's called distracting. Cater like a servant.


I would suggest higher angle to start with, you can't see enough of the food. Secondly, use a warmer light source, such as an incandescent bulb. The lighting makes it seem to sterile. Finally, I would suggest having a cleaner background. There's too much going on. Good luck!

  1. Let us see the food - low angle is often used in food photography - but not when this angle mostly shows the side of the plate and not the food - placing the peppers on a flat plate would have given us a better view.

  2. Style the food - maybe arranging the peppers of a plate so we can see their shape would have been better - or maybe arranging them in some other interesting way - a shapeless pile is rarely the best option.

  3. Look for color and texture - the color and texture of the peppers is just not appetizing, this can be a white balance issue (if the color in the picture doesn't look as good as in real life) - or maybe you need a better looking subject.

  4. Too much going on in the background - like everyone else already said, some dining related stuff in the background is good, it gives the image context- however, other random dishes, especially colorful ones just take attention away from the subject.

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