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How To Take Delicious Food Photos with Your Smartphone

By Robyn Wright

Do you know why there are so many photos of food shared online? Because food is a common thread for everyone. We all enjoy delicious food and apparently delicious photos of food will satisfy us in some way too!

Not all foods photograph well and not all food settings are the best for food photos. However, there are some simple tricks that will help you make those pictures drool-worthy. The more photos you take and the more you use these tricks, the better your pictures will get over time.


This is really the biggest problem for most of us when taking food photos. In restaurants, the lighting is usually pretty low. Ask to be seated near a window if it is daylight, so you can take advantage of the natural light. If there are candles on the table, move them near the food for extra lighting. Have someone you are dining with turn on the light on their own smartphone (using a flashlight app) and shine it on the food. (Be aware of taking too many photos with a bright flash in a nice restaurant, as it can be disturbing to other diners.) Finally, look at the settings your smartphone has for cameras and select one for low lighting to help achieve the best photos.


When we look at food in person, we see a lot more than we do in a photograph. Plates of food can often appear flat in a photo. Take a minute to turn your plates of food around and find the best angle. Stack or lean food together to add some depth to your photo. Try shooting from different angles, not just above the plate. Lower your phone down to table level and try some shots that way.


Be mindful of what will show up in the background of your photo. Is there a stain on the tablecloth where someone spilled a drink? If so, then move your plate away from that. If you have a really busy table, try spreading out a plain napkin under the plate for a more subtle background. Ask your fellow diners to move, so their arms or torsos are not in the background of your photo.


We usually take photos of a still plate of food, but some action can really add to the picture. A hand holding a dipped tortilla chip over a full bowl of fresh guacamole can make others really want to eat that chip. Gooey cheese is always great; show the strings of cheese coming off the food. Even a photo of someone about to take a bite of something delicious can be great, just make sure it is a nice big fork full of the food and that you do not get an awkward photo of the inside of the person’s mouth. Something as simple as beer foaming over the top of a frosty mug conveys movement in a photo.


While we want the photo itself to be fabulous, the words we add to describe the food can also help. Instead of just saying “cookie” try saying “fresh from the oven, soft and warm chocolate chip cookies.” Not everyone reads the captions, but many do and they will appreciate the more descriptive words you use.

These tips and tricks should help you make your food photos more irresistible. Honestly, you might want to start handing out bibs to everyone who will be drooling over your photographs!

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!

Comment by Rayfil Wong, posted 4/14/2014, 1:38 PM:

I think lighting is key. great post! indeed. Rayfil Wong Professorsavings.com CEO
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