Food Photography Tips & How to Improve? Not A Talent!

My 10 food photography tips for food bloggers? How to improve as a food blogger?

But first, a quick backstory

…. food photography didn’t come naturally to me. I struggled. A lot. To be honest, I don’t have that artistic mind & my food photography has developed over time.

If you don’t believe me, then here’s the proof!Photography Progress by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Food Styling. Journey as a food blogger.

Skip this part: TYPICAL INTERNET DISCLAIMER

Before I go on, I need to make a little disclaimer because photography is very subjective and these are just my thoughts. I don’t know everything and I’m still learning & I just share my own experience. It’s not a tutorial.

Food photography tips by Healthy Laura Food Photography & food styling. How to improve food photography as a food blogger by HealthyLaura@healthylauracom #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodstylingtips #foodcompositiontips

Save?

Different post? My Excuse

This week I’m going to try something different with my post. It’s not going to be a recipe post again. I didn’t find the time to test the recipe that I developed the other day.

I have been busy with my exams, and I haven’t spent that much time in the kitchen. So, I hope that you still enjoy reading something different for a change. It might be interesting to share some of my food photography tips as a food blogger. After the food photography interview* that I had a few weeks ago, I have had many questions about photography.

* This interview was in 2017 (blog post update: 28.10.2018).

Basic blablabla + Some More

Many of the tips & hacks might be too basic, but I hope that you will find something new as well.

My Instagram @healthylauracom stories screenshots (behind the scenes)

My photography tips as a food blogger:
1. Practice! I’m not talented!

It’s all about practice and working long hours by yourself. I usually like to try different angles with every dish. Some dishes look better with overhead shots (like smoothie bowls), some look better from the side. You have to find the best angle, and you will get there!

Food photography Tips by Healthy Laura & How to improve photography as a food blogger @healthylauracom HealthyLaura food photography hacks & food photography tricks.

Save?

Just practice

Like every other thing, I believe it’s just practicing.

I have learned everything about photography by myself, mostly by watching tutorials on the Internet. I can spend endless hours talking about photography or looking at amazing photography.

How I started my food photography @healthylauracom HealthyLaura Food photography tips, food styling hacks & food composition hacks. #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodstylingtips #foodcompositiontips

Save?

How did I got started?

Special gift …

… in one condition! 😊

My interest in photography began seven years ago when I got my first DSLR camera. It was a Nikon D90 which I got as a gift from my lovely father. I’m a very lucky girl.

It was a fantastic gift, but the only condition was that I had to take 200 different images every month. We are still laughing that I only have the blog because I have to shoot 200 pictures every month. As you can see, it’s all about shooting A LOT of images.

Breakfast in Bed & Food photography tips by Healthy Laura Food Photography & food styling. How to improve food photography as a food blogger by HealthyLaura@healthylauracom #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodstylingtips #foodcompositiontips

2. Never stop learning
INTERNET MAGIC 😍

We have the magical internet! Thank you! Nowadays there are so many places where I can learn about photography. All I need to do is go Google or Youtube, and I can find thousands of tutorials for free. Yes, that’s right!? FOR FREE!

Of course, you still need a connection. Blablablaa … BUT in Estonia, we still have free WIFI in many places. That’s why I consider it free. 🙄

I took a photography course when I was at university. HOWEVER, the courses on the Internet are always way better. I can’t even describe how bad those university courses were.  The Internet is just the best.

CHEAP COURSES

However, sometimes I like to take some cheap 10 dollars Udemy courses. Why? Time! Most free videos aren’t organized. Time is valuable for all of us, and I wish I would have taken those courses earlier.

Still, I don’t like to want buy 500 -1000 dollar course. Maybe one day but right now I’m cheap! I have just learned basic photography and some editing from there. I just have to apply all the photography basics to food photography …

Breakfast Bowl & Food photography tips by Healthy Laura Food Photography & food styling. How to improve food photography as a food blogger by HealthyLaura@healthylauracom #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodstylingtips #foodcompositiontips

Breakfast Bowl for GreenGate Tableware

3. Editing Magic 

Adobe creative cloud 

Editing is an essential part of food photography, and I find the best program is Adobe Lightroom. No questions asked!

No filters for me, thanks!

It costs only about 12 euros per month for me, but it’s my favorite, and I use it every day. I know nowadays iI can use all kind of filters. However, if I would like to get my unique style, then I believe there’s no other way.

Keto Bread Turmeric & Photography tips by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. HealthyLaura @healthylauracom Food photography tips, food styling hacks & food composition hacks. #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodstylingtips #foodcompositiontips

Keto Zucchini Turmeric Bread

4. Get to know your camera: MANUAL MODE + RAW

If you already aren’t shooting in manual mode and RAW format, then you have to learn how to do it. I think there isn’t any other solution. I started to see progress once I learned how to shoot in manual mode and changed my file format to RAW. When I do still photography, then I have to have a low shutter speed to get sharp images. Trust me on this.

Manual Mode Cheat Sheet by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My food photography HACKS for food styling & composition and my photography cheats, favorite food blogging tips, inspiration, ideas to blogging inspiration and resources. My best cheats, tricks & hacks for food bloggers to create instagram photography. #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Get my free manual mode cheat sheets here

Basics: ISO, shutter speed, exposure, aperture

Make sure that you know the photography basics (ISO, shutter speed, exposure, aperture). If you don’t know, then take a basic course, and you will learn a lot. When I started, then I struggled with this because I didn’t want to learn the technical side.  I’m usually not good with technology.

As you can see in this image 2015, it’s bad. I didn’t shoot this image RAW. There’s a problem with focus, exposure, and light. I shot this in a dark room and didn’t use manual mode. In contrast, the image from 2017 I shoot in a RAW and I used manual mode. I used natural light and stood next to the window without direct sunlight. The most fun part is that I used the SAME CAMERA!

Food Photography Journey by Healthy Laura Food Styling & Photography

5. Love food, obviously …

If you would like to shoot food, then you have to love it. Otherwise, you might give up too soon. In addition, when you love food, then it’s always easier to tell the story because you are passionate about it.

Right now I work alone, so I don’t have anyone who cooks or styles the food. First of all, I have to do everything by myself. Secondly, I also have to eat it and I don’t like to waste food. When you love food, then it’s always easier to tell the story and not give up.

Low Carb Hemp Seed Milk with Roses Food Photography Tips & by Healthy Laura Food Photography HealthyLaura keto milk @healthylauracom

Keto Hemp Seed Milk

6. Get inspired: Internet + Chefs

Search some images on the Internet or go to the restaurant and get some inspiration from other. However, be careful not to copy others. I can spend endless hours looking at amazing images on Pinterest or Instagram to gather some inspiration.

There are just so many ideas for food styling that you just have to explore. Sometimes you see just a little detail on the image that helps you with another good idea. I also like to look at how chefs are plating the food in the restaurant. They always seem to know the best tricks. When you have spent some time on the Internet, then you have to stop and get your ideas.

Food Styling cheat sheets by HealthyLaura @healthylauracom food styling tips food blog food photography. My favorite food blogging tips, inspiration, ideas to blogging inspiration and resources. My best cheats, tricks & hacks for food bloggers to create instagram photography, tips for bloggers. #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Get my free food photography cheat sheets here

7. Digital Detox: Overwhelmed

We live in a time when it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with information. Especially, when your work is online, and you almost always look at your screen. It might be hard to concentrate or get new creative ideas.

You might start comparing yourself to others and feel bad. Sometimes you might feel that everything has already been photographed and there isn’t a point for you to do that. However, there’s always something. You just have to find it even when it takes time.

My old Nikon D90 camera & image from 2017

“Relax Mode”: New Ideas 

When I felt uninspired and overwhelmed I like to put all the electronics away and just relax. I usually do something active. I go for a run, do some yoga or play some tennis. Sometimes I just like to read something inspiring or go to nature to clear my mind.

Food Photography Color Theory Cheat Sheets by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My food photography HACKS for food styling & composition and my photography cheats, favorite food blogging tips, inspiration, ideas to blogging inspiration and resources. My best cheats, tricks & hacks for food bloggers to create instagram photography. #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Get my free food photography color theory cheat sheets here

Spending some quality time with my family and friends is an important part. No phones and other electronics. Quite often when I’m in the ‘relax mode’ without electronics, I have so many ideas what I should cook or shoot next. I’m usually more productive, and I have more creative ideas.

Mind keeps working …

The best part is that while I do my workout out, my mind keeps working. Quite often I find the answers while I have my “break.” Also, the idea is to develop some kind of routine for the body. It’s almost like a bedtime routine for kids (or myself).

Anyways, a few years ago I did quite a lot of research on that topic. For example, a great book where I read about this topic was Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina. 

8. Find the light: Window + Not Direct

Photography is all about the light. I have to find it to make sure that my food looks delicious. Usually, you don’t need studio lighting, and you can manage to get great images with natural light as well. Therefore, I like to use a good window without direct sunlight (or use a diffuser). So far, that has worked for me perfectly.

Food Photography

I used studio light kit in 2017 & I didn’t like it whatsoever …

STUDIO LIGHT STRUGGLE?!

In the winter time, it’s so dark in here, and it’s hard to use only natural light.

Yes, I bought a studio light kit. I failed.

Usually, I use natural light. However, in winter time in Estonia, there is sometimes only about 4-5 hours of daylight. There are days when the weather is just so dark almost all the time. Thus, a year ago I ordered a studio light kit.

What did I realize? Those softboxes I ordered were small & BAD. I don’t like it whatsoever. Still, I haven’t considered the fact that I’m not skilled?!

If anyone reading this have any suggestions for studio light, then let me know!

Food Photography Props & Styling Backdrops Cheat Sheets by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. HealthyLaura @healthylauracom food styling tips food blog food photography. My favorite food blogging tips, inspiration, ideas to blogging inspiration and resources. My best cheats, tricks & hacks for food bloggers to create instagram photography, tips for bloggers. #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Get my free food photography backdrops cheat sheets here.

9. Don’t shoot hungry: Cold food reality

Countless times I have missed the shot because I’m so eager to eat all the food. I think that I’ve got the shot, but the truth is that my hunger is speaking to me. I can’t shoot food when I’m too hungry. I’m just a little be too impatient to shoot images that I like.

Yes, that’s why quite often I just end up eating cold food …

Quick Zucchini Hasselback & food styling by Healthy Laura Food Photography. & styling. My 20 food styling & food composition tips for food blog food photography. Learn food photography and improve you food photography skill. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Zucchini Hasselback with Cashew “Cheese”

10. Tell the story: #comfyjumpers #hands #people #pets

Always try to think what is your goal with this image. What would you like to say? The story might be Sunday pancakes with family or just the process of baking the cake. Whatever you prefer.

20 Food Styling Props by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. HealthyLaura @healthylauracom food photography HACKS for food styling & composition and my photography cheats, favorite food blogging tips, inspiration, ideas to blogging inspiration and resources. My best cheats, tricks & hacks for food bloggers to create instagram photography. #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Read my post here.

#COMFYJUMPERS & #CARDIGANS

That’s one of my favorite ways to tell the story. At least I try. To be honest. I need to confess. Again. Sometimes choose clothes only for my food photography! That’s right. I have many white & grey jumpers that I like to switch all the time only for my food photography.😅

Paleo Chocolate by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Food Styling @healthylauracom & HealthyLaura vegan chocolate

Paleo Chocolate

#PEOPLE & #HANDS 

Yes, I know that it’s another “classic” Instagram CLICHÉ 😅 but including people to your images works. At least, that’s what the market research tells me. Viewers love to see the storyline and other people as “props”.

#PETS 

I’m sure you all have seen these kinds of images all around the Internet. However, you can always make your version.

About a year ago one of the agencies that I work with ordered images for dog cookies. Because of that it was perfect timing since I was “babysitting” my friends’ dogs. My favorite models!

Food Photography Cheat sheets Bundle by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling Learn food photography & learn food styling quick

Yes, I’m a broken recond and I suggest you one more time to get my free food photography cheat sheets bundle here


Classical Comment Begging 123 🙄

If this post was helpful, then please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @healthylauracom or another platform. 

It helps me to create better content & I know you would like to read more about this topic.


Updated: 03.11.2018

GET MY FREE TIPS
Discover my FREE* resources with my food photography CHEAT SHEETS bundle! I'll share my secrets for food styling, composition, backdrops, props, color & manual mode.
* Almost. I'm still after your precious e-mail. Hopefully, the real one, not where the spam goes. Don't worry! I hate spam & I promise to keep it safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Fields marked as * are mandatory

Comments

  1. Hi Laura,
    Thank you for awesome content.I hope you will share more about food photography in the future.May I know what lens you use for food photography?

    • Hi, Shaili! Thanks, happy to hear that it was useful 🙂 I’m using Nikon D750 and 50 mm 1.8 most of the time. Sometimes 20 mm. However, I just upgraded my camera to full-frame D750. I used my old D90 for about seven years and as you can see the images from the year 2015 is actually used the same camera. 🙂

    • Hi, Orla! I’m using Nikon D750 and 50 mm 1.8 most of the time. Sometimes I use the wide angle as well. Hopefully, I will buy a new macro lens soon. However, I upgraded my camera in August (2017) to full-frame D750. I used my old D90 for about seven years and as you can see the images from the year 2015 is actually used the same camera.

      • Thanks so much for replying to me! I’m using a Canon t3 rebel with a 50mm 1.8 but my pictures are nowhere near your quality!

        • Thanks! 50 mm 1.8 is a great lens! In the end, I don’t think that the camera gear is that important when you are starting. As I mentioned I used my old D90 for so many years and all I changed was my skill. When you look at my images in 2015 and 2017 I used the same camera! All I changed was settings and light. When you can send me some of your images (laura@54.154.172.117), then I can review them and maybe I can help you with new tips.

  2. Such a great post Laura! I’ve admired your photography on Instagram for a long time now. I’d love to see more posts from you about this, especially about your backgrounds and surfaces. Thanks!

  3. Hahaha “don’t shoot hungry” = my biggest problem! I hate wasting food so I usually want to shoot then eat, but it totally makes me rush the picture taking process.

  4. This is really helpful to me. I used to do a lot of recipes and food photography but I was never very good at it. I do practice but I think I should probably practice more. Great tips, thank you for sharing.

  5. These are amazing tips! I’m learning so much and my foodphotography has already improved so much but I still have a long way to go. I love your style 🙂