How to Prepare your Food for the Camera - Urban Snackers

How to Prepare your Food for the Camera


If you have just bought a DSLR camera and have no idea how to use it, you need to understand the basics of food photography.

Know your story and audience:

Before we get down to the practical stuff, you should know the importance of knowing your story. Ask yourself these questions: What emotion do I want to convey? Should the picture make you feel warm or should it make you feel hungry? Telling a story gives the photo depth, allowing you to make an intimate and unique connection with your audience.

The second part is knowing who your audience is. Just like with any art form, you should know who you are putting a show for.

Know your C’s- Cohesion, Complimentary, Competing:

Your props should not distract the viewer’s eyes from the subject. The props and the food should create a united and cohesive picture. Moving on, complementary means combining in such a way as to enhance or emphasize the qualities of each other. Lastly, competing means something other than your subject is gaining attention.


Most beginners simply place the subject in the center of the frame and shoot. However, this barely creates any visual interest in the picture. If you want to place your food in the center, then at least incorporate a slight asymmetry. For example, by position a fork on the left and a knife on the right.

Know the 3 angles:

Straight-on angle- this angle also allows you to utilize the background to add additional props and objects.

25-75° angle – this angle works well when your food has garnishes and decorations on top and you still want to see the sides of the dish.
Top don angle- Unless your food is “closed” when looking at it from above, like a sandwich, or a burger with the bun on, nearly everything can work with a top-down angle.

With planning and practice, food photography can be a satisfying creative outlet that might even turn into a successful career.

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