food photo on an iPhone

Yes, You Can Take Amazing Food Photos: Here’s How

People love to share their meals on social media, whether homemade or while out on the town. And, during the pandemic, this type of #humblebrag continued, as freshly baked breads, TikTok food trends (hello whipped coffee!), “quarantinis” and all those home cooked meals took over social media feeds. 

However, there is a science to these photos and not every shot can make the cut. Especially when it comes to those snaps by food lovers who are extremely particular about grid curation. 

Dillon Burke, co-founder of Front Of The House Creative, which is a creative digital community management for restaurants, bars and hospitality venues, recently dished out his top tips for taking the best food photos #forthegram. 


Spend a few minutes looking around the web for inspiration — pay attention to surfaces and textures. How certain ingredients pop on certain backgrounds. Save a few or make some mental notes and then get building. 


The key to any good photo is lighting. This heavily dictates the camera’s ability to capture the focus of the image. When you’re not at home, pay attention to which light sources you can control. Maybe you can block out the hard overhead light with your body, or position your camera/point of view so as not to block out the light from a window, etc. 


The beauty of food is it’s universality, but not everyone has a fridge full of 35 cheeses. Pay attention to the colors of your products and don’t be afraid if they overlap a little — or a lot. Mix it up and throw some other textures in there to add interest. (For example, he says to add things like crackers, olives or fruit to a cheese board.)


Set the scene. Grab a napkin or two, a kitchen tool with an interesting handle, an open jam container. Fill the framing of your image, but try not to distract from the main focus too much. 


The beauty of digital and mobile photography is that you can embrace an accuracy-by-volume approach. Shoot a bunch of images from different angles and then review. The plated food will hold up for a couple minutes while you adjust your framing/styling — but just don’t keep your guests waiting too long. 


No one will ever be as critical of an image as the person who shot it. Don’t let your snaps distract you from the subject. Enjoy the process and enjoy the results. 

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