Food Photography: Tips on Different Food Photo Styles

Guest PostTo be truthful, I don’t do much entertaining anymore – and my normal fare is grabbing yoghurt and a banana – or whipping up an omelet. My food photography has been on the commercial level working with Jack Daniels, The World BBQ Association out of Switzerland, the Epicurean Society in Ireland along with the Clare Food Circle on the west coast, SABA the South African BBQ Association and the food industry in Estonia.

I have worked for a dear friend that was a former White House staffer – that now has his own popcorn and chocolate business. Those have been some of my most memorable shots – we had time to discuss and come up with solutions for the products he wanted as advertisements for his company.

I love Mira’s preparations and the way she has presented her creations. My food photography is more still life studio shots and of course shots “on the run” with the BBQ and Grillfest Associations. Many were OJT [on-the-job training] and “flying by the seat of my pants” as actions seemed to be on rollercoaster type agendas and never let up with any breaks for days on end.

I also do many market “mercato” photographs here in Italy that are used on Venetian tourist websites.

Remember when you are dealing with still life – to keep it simple – the more items you have in a setting – the more the eye of the viewer wanders and will be unable to settle on the theme you have created.

Linking up to: Live, Love, Travel

Lighting is truly one of the most important aspects of any photography – but more when displaying food. It can make or break the success of your shot. I never travel with lights – so 99% of those photographs you will see have been taken in direct sunlight. When dealing with produce – you want the freshest – best looking piece of fruit, meat or vegetable in the market.

Also when dealing with drinks in your photos – look for bottles with elegant labels or simple writing such as the bottle you see in the first photograph. Most labels are bulky – and not really photogenic – they detract from the simplicity of your design and will take the viewers eye away from the intent. I shop for bottles by the label.

Also note that the crystal you use makes a major difference – it can create the design in your work and successfully be the main focal point. For that one simple shot – I tried five different crystal goblets before I hit the most elegant one for the photograph, and it won a competition.

Remember as Robert Capa, the war correspondent and photojournalist, always said – “if your photos aren’t good enough you’re not close enough.” With that said – let me thank you letting me share some of my creations with you.

Happy shooting,


Food Photography Linky Party

Now, we would love to see your food shots!

Please, feel welcome to link your food and beverages shots to Food Photography. The rules are simple:

1. Make your photograph about food or beverages.
2. Tell us about that photograph: share a photo tip, recipe, or a story behind it.
3. Submit the URL to your food photo post or a specific Flickr image, NOT your home page or album URL.
4. Please, include a link back to my blog in your post or Flickr image description. You can grab the button below or use a text link. Note: Linked photos without the backlink will be removed.
5. Visit bloggers on your left and your right and leave some comment love.

Food Photography Challenge

Food Photography Challenge



  1. says

    My photo is by no means in your league but I (hope) my food photography has improved in recent months. I generally use natural light and plain backdrops. This was my first attempt at having something different in the background. I stuck to the theme of India and used some hand printed Indian fabric in complimentary colours. I’d welcome constructive feedback!

  2. says

    I know all too well that there are so many different styles of food photography. What one person favors is something someone else would critique. I have experienced this first hand with foodgawker. Every time I get good feedback from my friends on a food shot- I submit & some “expert” using just their own opinion & personal taste decides they don’t like it. The reasons they give are not consistent with other photos that are making the passing grade. They even say on their site that approval is subject to who ever is judging & their personal taste. How on earth can that ever be consistent? It can’t- so what one person likes- another doesn’t. No way around it.

    • says

      Gina, I understand what you mean. However, every art, including photography, is very subjective and as such a subject to very individual judgement. As you said, there is no way around it. Art is both form and content and once the form is rated or graded, it is very difficult to rationally judge the content (or to rationally explain our decision why we like one piece better than the other). Good luck with future contents! :)

  3. says

    Wow! what great photos…lovely tips! I couldnt upload my link for this week I guess theres something wrong with the linky tool.

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