Create a visual feast: 10 tips for photographing food

My Food Bag photographer Lucie Smeriglio lets us in on her top 10 tips for taking your food snaps from average to awesome.

Take your food photography to the next level with our top tips.

Are you finding it tricky to perfect your food pics on Facebook and Instagram? We’re here to help! Our amazing photography team sure knows their stuff when it comes to making food looks its best, so we thought we’d share some of their wisdom to help you take your photos to the next level. My Food Bag photographer Lucie Smeriglio lets us in on the small things that make a big difference.

Tip #1
Lighting is paramount. Try shooting next to a window so the natural light can work its magic or, if you want to take it to the next level, studio lights can help you achieve a professional look.

Tip #2
Composition is key. Try to position everything in your shot using, for example, lines, diagonals, an S-shape and the rule of thirds as a guide. You can also use elements like negative space (the unoccupied area surrounding the main subject in a photograph) in a clever way.  

Tip #3
Use complementary colours – hues opposite each other on the colour wheel – with your food and props so everything doesn’t blend together, and the look of your dish is enhanced.  For example, pair blue with warmer shades like yellow, orange and brown.

Tip #4
Make sure not to use a plate, bowl, dish etc. in a similar colour to the food you’re presenting. You want the food to pop, so neutral or contrasting colours work best.

Tip #5
Depending on what you’re photographing, it sometimes helps to undercook food to keep its colour nice and bright. Make sure not to eat anything afterwards that’s not safe to eat when it’s undercooked.

Tip #6
Technology is your friend! Software that allows you to see what’s happening in real time while you make adjustments are super helpful when arranging your shot and making changes. If you plan to add text to your image or crop it afterwards, it’s also helpful to have an overlay to see the position of the copy and where it will be cropped.

Tip #7
Photography is about telling a visual story. Using beautiful props can add texture, colour and style to help you to tell your story.   

Tip #8
Choosing the best angle for the type of food is essential. Most food looks good photographed from the top (pizza, anyone?), but others are at their best showcased from different angles. Think of a burger, for example. You want to be able to see all the deliciousness inside, right? So, they’re better shot from the front. The same goes for drinks.

Tip #9
You know the old adage that less is more? Well, it’s true! Keep your shots simple and natural so the focus never strays from the delicious food you’re capturing. 

Tip #10
Most importantly? Have fun! Don’t be shy to play around with the shot and add some elements that make it feel real. Showing hands doing something with the food or making the scene look ‘messy’ gives your photos a human touch.

Meet the Photographer

Lucie ‘Lemon’

As one of the super-talented photographers behind our stunning food pics, Lucie ‘Lemon’ loves living out her passion everyday with the My Food Bag team. A visual storyteller at heart, she is passionate about showcasing food in the most appetising way possible. Lucie is an avid foodie, too, with a love of Japanese food, “especially sushi and sashimi with sweet soy sauce and lots of pickled ginger!” When she’s not behind the camera, you’ll find Lucie on the dance floor doing Latin dancing and enjoying healthy food with the people she loves. 

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