Food Photography Tips on Digicamhelp

Mushy Peas

I was recently asked by to do a short piece of food photography. The article is aimed at novice to intermediate photographers that are just starting to get interested in food photography… but I decided I wanted to stay away from the normal list of rules… you know the ones… turn off your flash, shoot quickly, avoid brown food. Some of the tips are thing you’ve most certainly read on Still Life With already… but hop on over and give it a read, and let me know what you think!

  • Jessica

    I just stumbled upon your blog and am excited to read your tips. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. Your photography is wonderful!

  • Josie

    Hi! I have been reading your blog a lot and learned a lot from you. I read the article you wrote on It’s very useful and I’d like to translate it into Chinese so it can benefit more people. I’d like to include the chinese version on my blog and also the originate of this article. A link connected to will also be listed with the chinese version. Please let me know if you are okay with it. Many thanks!

  • Chris

    Great article with some great tips… although I’m finding it harder to shoot in natural light now that it’s getting dark so early! (I’m also in Seattle).

    Oh, and in this sentence:
    “If using a digital SLR, get familiar with the minimum focal distance of your lenses and respect itโ€™s limitations.”

    The “it’s” should be “its”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • TD

    Good stuff–as a beginner (and a very inexperienced beginner at that) I really appreciate some of the more basic lessons. A suggestion for a later post (I haven’t fully explored your archives, so maybe you’ve already done this?)…I learn very well by reading/seeing, and then doing myself. Any books you’d recommend? I know Lou Manna has a new one out that I want to check out…any others you think are particularly good? I’d be interested in ones that are general photography, as well as food-specific…just a thought. Thanks!

  • L

    Chris – d’oh… I am so bad with that particular typo. Thanks for letting me know. And you are right, the short days do make it harder… but you’d be surprised how little light you really need if you are using a tripod since food doesn’t move. Just use a manual exposure time and let the camera just sit there open for a while and it will look like bright daylight. The only real tricky part I find with this is focusing is a lot harder in the dark.

    TD – Yes, check out the resources Category. There is a post in there that lists all sorts of books and articles on food photography and styling.

  • Chris

    L — thanks for the long exposure tip.. I’ll have to give it a try. And you’re right, food doesn’t move, but often I’m photographing my dinner just before eating it, and there’s plenty of steam coming off it! :)

  • Kitt

    Good, useful article. I’ve managed to discover all those things just by trial and error, and would have appreciated your list early on.

    I bought a Gorillapod mostly for restaurant shots, since it fits in my purse and can sit on top of the table for long exposures, instead of me trying to brace the camera with a water glass. It’s less obtrusive than a full-on tripod.

  • Kieran

    Thanks, as always, for the tips!

  • Food Rockz Man

    Thanks for the great article. I’ve just launched a food blog and know virtually nothing about photography, but I’m excited to learn and this article–and your blog, generally–is an excellent resource.

    I’m wondering if you could recommend a good entry level dSLR camera. I found a 12/06 post on here recommending the Canon EOS 20D, but I’m hoping to get something decent for less money. Is it possible to get something decent for under $500? Right now I’m shooting with a point-and-shoot, but now that I have a blog, I want to get more serious.

    Thanks, in advance, for any tips you can provide!

  • Food Rockz Man

    Disregard my last comment/question. I just sprung for the Olympus E-510 with a 2 lens package for $798, plus another couple of hundred in accessories–tripod, extra battery, memory, wireless remote. I’ll buy some basic lighting this weekend (unfortunately, I do most of my cooking and photography in the evenings, so I don’t have the benefit of natural light). So now I’m committed. I’ll be visiting your site often for tips. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  • Gene

    A lot of good advice in there. Your wisdom has helped me with my food photos. I do take issue with the idea that food looks best in natural light. I think it’s just a matter of the photographer’s preference and even their knowledge of lighting-there are many photographers who just don’t understand off camera lighting. I would like to see more photos in the pool using strobes or continuous lights. It would be interesting to see how they contrast with natural light photos.

  • Lael

    as it goes, through a series of links I just found your blog and am very excited to keep my eye on it! As an artist, and new food blogger, I am discovering the joy of food photography. Thanks for your tips on digicamhelp!

  • StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

    I found your article very helpful. I have been struggling with this issue ever since I started my blog. I posted a big rant about it just the other day! Until I can upgrade my camera and find some decent photography classes, I’m stuck with my little P&S. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  • Suzie

    The article and your site are so incredibly helpful. I am completely new at the food photography/blog thing. I have an editing question. What are good settings for the photos I put on my blog? I want them to be beautiful, showing all their lovely pixels, but I also don’t want them to be painfully memory-heavy for my readers. I am in Brazil where we still have quite a few dial-up service readers. What would you suggest for dpi and size?