The quality of your food photography has a big impact on how readers — and potential sponsors — respond to your blog. Gwen Leron of the blog Delightful Adventures shares her top five tips to improve your food photography.
As a food blogger, you already know how important it is to put your best photos forward in each post. People eat with their eyes first and your images make a huge impression when a potential reader lands on your blog.
High quality images make your website look professional and show everyone that you spend time and care on each blog post. Great pictures can get your blog noticed and can pull in new regular readers (and will hopefully also pull potential sponsors in as well!). Of course, standout shots are only part of the equation when working to build a successful food blog — but they play a big part.
So, if you aren't quite satisfied with the quality of your photos right now, how can you begin to improve them? Where should you start? First, know that your photography will be a work in progress; it's not going to happen overnight. I'm still improving with every shoot and I still think I have lots of work to do. There’s a learning curve but I promise you, it can be done!
Along the way, I’ve learned some tricks to improve my food photography and I’ve seen results. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Gather Inspiration
Visit websites such as Pinterest, Foodgawker, Tastespotting, and Healthy Aperture (to name a few) to get inspiration for your own photos. Instagram is also another great source for motivation; here are 15 foodie accounts to add to your feed.
Look at the different angles being used, look at the styling and the lighting. Pay attention to the backgrounds, the props and the dishes.
Pick some favourites from those sources and look at them as a group. Ask yourself: what is it that stands out about these images? Why are these images in particular so eye-catching? Try to apply some of your favourite things about these pictures to your next shoot and see what works. Apply your own spin and you may be surprised with your results!
2. Start a Board on Pinterest to Collect Articles about Food Photography
... and in your spare time, read them! There are many excellent food bloggers and photographers who share their knowledge — take advantage of that. Read their advice, practice their tutorials and apply their tips.
(You can follow my Photography Tips board on Pinterest, here. Repin some of my pins to your own board to get started).
3. Practice, Practice, Practice ... and Then Practice Some More
As with everything else in life, practice makes perfect. Each time you pick up your camera, it doesn't always have to be for a food shoot. In between blog posts, practice some of the tips you’ve read about and try to use some of the techniques that appeal to you from the images you gathered for inspiration in tip #1.
4. Gather Props for Your Shoots
Props play an important supporting role in your photos and can make them "pop" when used correctly.
With a little resourcefulness, you can find eye-catching props for next to nothing ... or for free! Here are 5 great places to find food photography props that won't break the bank. Try some unlikely places such as thrift stores, the clearance racks at craft stores, the home section of your grocery store, garage sales, or even your parents' or a relatives' basement. You never know what unique treasures are waiting to be discovered. And don't forget to look around your home. There may be some items hiding at the back of your own cupboards or in your basement waiting to be included in your next set of shots.
5. Learn the Ins and Outs of Your Camera
This tip is important and it’s also one I’m still working on. Chances are, if you're reading this article, you are too! If you’re using a DSLR in manual mode, you know it's not as simple as just pointing and shooting. There is a learning curve, but with practice and time, you WILL master your camera.
To start, practice (of course!), read your manual, read online articles about camera settings (pin them to your photography pin board), or buy a For Dummies book specifically written for your camera model.
These are just five of the tips I've implemented in my journey to improve my food photography. I hope they help you on your way to making your own food photography shine.
Be sure to check out our entire section on food photography with tips on everything from styling to lighting to finding props. Take your food photos to the next level.
- Five Ways to Improve Your Food Photos' White Balance
- Inspiration and Tips for Propping and Styling a Fall Food Photography Shoot
- Understanding Copyright For Canadian Photographers
- Food Styling 101: What is A Food Stylist?
- Or check out one of our other nearly 30 articles on food photography!
Gwen Leron is a writer, web-editor and blogger who’s determined to master food photography. She shares her food, travel and life adventures on her blog, Delightful Adventures. Follow her on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.