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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | August 17, 2022

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Food Photo Frenzy

Hannah Rieck

Photographing your food is massive in the Instagram world, with at least one food photo popping up on your daily Insta news. It’s almost as big as the selfie. If only food could take a photo of itself – that’d save some time…

Getting the right composition, exposure and layout is paramount to taking the perfect food photo. It doesn’t matter what part of the food triangle you are capturing; most foods have the potential to look not only edible, but delectable too! I travelled to America last year with the main purpose to capture American foods from Las Vegas to New Orleans to New York. I have a soft spot for junk food, so these were some of my shots.

It’s the same in every country, but when overseas it’s okay to loosen those pants and dive into a full banquet of Maccas… right?


The New York street vendors are known for their delicious hot dogs with American mustard and tomato sauce for just $2. They may be small, but the price secures tourists will stop every 100m to dig in.


This burger from a small eatery located in New York was the best burger I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot of burgers. You should be so lucky to taste this mixture of old english cheese, beef patty and bacon. Don’t worry I got plenty of salad on it, so it was a healthy balance…


On the other hand Brisbane photographer Victoria Cranstoun indulges in healthy foods and consistently captures her food in unique and interesting designs.

Photo by Victoria Cranstoun

Photo by Victoria Cranstoun

What makes a good food photo? There are a few fundamentals that help capture that “it-looks-so-good-I-want-it” shot. The food is the main subject and treating it so will influence you to decide what measures to take when choosing just how to photograph the right shot.

Props. Look around the kitchen… often it’s as simple as placing a fork or spoon next to the subject. Try different kitchen utensils to create an aesthetically pleasing picture.

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Photo by Victoria Cranstoun

Composition. What patterns can be made? Where should I place the food? What should the food be on? These questions will help you invent your layout and furthermore interest the viewer. Repeating simple elements fashions attractive photos.

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Photo by Victoria Cranstoun

Lighting. Typically you want the food to look natural. By placing your food next to a window natural light can omit onto the subject and achieve this effect. It also allows for a nice depth of field from natural shadows. You can see in the below image the reflection of the food on the window, creating an extra element of appeal.

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Photo by Victoria Cranstoun

Angle. Again it depends on your desired effect so go with your gut, after all that’s what will be enjoying it after the shoot. A bird’s eye view compliments repetitive factors, while photographing from eye level invites the viewer. Choosing a macro setting or at least capturing the food close up allows for a detailed image.


It’s a matter of trial and error, but no matter the outcome it’s a fun way to play with your food! Good luck and happy shooting!