I’ve been meaning to ask a few friends of this site for a while to share their tricks. Her blog: Scandi Foodie, a blog full of healthy, feel good foods influenced by her Scandinavian background. Her blog: The Alkaline Sisters, a site all about de-acidifying your life with gorgeous, healthful recipes. Her story: Julie started the site with her sister Yvonne because they wanted to share the benefits of going alkaline. On Culinographie, we also love Aran’s work and did an interview about her photography and styling job (in French!) it was sooo interesting!
I like the rule of thirds and I try using white plates in most photos, of course no where near the quality of photos like Aran’s hers are just WOW!
I mostly photograph as I’m making the dish so I can record it step by step for my blog.
This post was extremely helpful for someone like me who wants to photograph the recipes I make and letterpress work I produce. I have fallen in love with a reasonably priced lens which I shoot a lot of my food shots with.
I think this lens is a great place to start, as it can be really frustrating when you are trying to take pics of your food and just not doing it justice. Great suggestions, thank you.Yet at times we re out and about and all we have is a smartphone.
Follow the great tips that Sarah and others have provided above, about using light, with learning how to correctly focus your camera, and you will go a long way to capturing a good shot.
Just came across your blog entry through Twitter re-direct from Clotilde (Chocolate & Zucchini). Thanks for the tips – can I also recommend Helene Dujardin, another great food photographer.
Really great post, and the timing couldn’t have been better as I launched my photo blog 23 days ago. Very big thank you for gathering all this great info and tips and creating a space for all other foodie-photographic frenzy folk to share their thoughts!
I am doing a call out to see who might be interested in attending a food photography and styling workshop with Dean Cambray.
I'm on a mission to find ways to make life bigger, more meaningful, nicer, smarter, heartier.
Find a bright space, but try to avoid direct sunlight as it casts harsh shadows on subject.

I like to incorporate styling elements that evoke an interaction – reminding us that someone cooked that dish or that someone is eating it.
I often set everything up without the final prepared meal – do some test shots and check the lighting and composition first. My style is very minimalistic. I like to keep the props to a minimum and instead focus on the ingredients and food.
I always shoot in manual setting and use metering, and I try a few different exposures to see what works best. Think about your props. Think of the mood that you wish to convey, a fresh bright morning with playful colour and pattern or softer more dreamy feeling with soft muted colours or maybe even darker colours and low lighting to create a bit of drama.
Make your own background. My favorite backgrounds are just simple 20?30? foam-core boards that I spray painted on my porch, a different color on each side. When I started taking photos, I spent lots of time collecting and bookmarking images that really spoke to me so that I could remember to incorporate some of those elements when I was photographing and styling my own. With the fixed 50mm, set it to manual, 1.8f, 100 ISO and find the right shutter speed from there. People quite often think that spending a lot of money on the most modern super camera will deliver them the best shots.
I could definitely do with a few tips for my blog… still getting a feel for the whole food photography thing… trickier than it looks!
And since pretty much everyone here (and not only!) gazes lovingly upon Aran’s oh-so-,amazing photography I think we should make her come over to Australia and strap those workshops boots on!
We are yet to confirm the date but it will be held in the first week of December in Prahran, Melbourne.
I’m calling all budding foodies that would love to have a crack to style and photograph some beautiful creations! Aran runs food styling workshops around the country and her first cookbook will be published later this year. If sun is right on top, diffuse the light with a diffuser, a sheer curtain or even a sheet of parchment paper taped to the window. I usually recommend taking something out while shooting and comparing the before and after.
Cooking vessels where the soup is swirled around the edges, a spoon with a bit of food that rests on the plate, a half eaten cake… Think about the small details. The name of the site originates from the very Australian and irreverent saying: “I’m so hungry I could eat the crotch out of a low flying duck”.
Many foodies are willing to invest in a good camera, but it is just as important to learn how to use it and understand the significance of lighting, angles and depth of field.

The props she uses are the prettiest and her photography all seems to have a white light shining through it, even her non food shots.
It is a food blog and when I first started I only had my iPhone camera so the photos weren’t so great!
There are thousands of people with magnificent cameras but they take poor photos, manly because they never took the time to learn how to use there camera, and how to focus and use light to get a good shot. My photos still have a ways to go…but studying and learning and I am sure it will arrive sooner than later. There’s so much information either online or on the bookshelf which can help with ideas, technique and motivation. A blob of food in the wrong spot or fingermarks on a wine glass may not be totally noticeable when you’re setting things up, but could become glaringly annoying once you view the pic on your screen. Blurring the background enough with a low aperture setting to suggest and soften other elements in the shot while making the focused portion what you want the viewer to see first and foremost, can be very effective. Try to crop the image as you shoot so that you don’t lose quality with a deep crop in post processing and that you achieve your intended composition. Of course don’t forget to consider the food- how will the colour of the dish influence the mood, is it comfort food that is served on a cold rainy day or is it a fresh crispy salad on a summer afternoon. What you’ll get is a lovely sharp focus on your plate and a slightly blurred background. But I just seem to descend into an impatient numbskullness when it comes to capturing it in a pretty pic.
Since I shoot in RAW, the images that come directly out of the camera are usually pretty “flat” looking. Sarah you have opened up a little community of honest, earthy inspiration not just for food but life. I love the points on this post, one thing I struggle with is lighting as our apartment doesn’t get much natural light (no windows in the kitchen) and now it’s winter here so again not much natural light! RAW images require some sort of processing, and most people turn them into high-res JPG files, making edits to color, contrast, sharpening, exposure, and white balance along the way.
I tend to boost contrast and color saturation, as well as add vignetting (darkened edges), but it really depends on what I’m trying to bring out in the photo.

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