Food Photography: Yummy to Look at and Not Hard to do Well

January 08, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

By Alex Thorne

Yes, not hard to do well at all, but as you can see from my previous post, “Food Photography Gone Wrong,” too many people just don’t take the time to do it right.

I’m not sure what it is about food photography that I find so interesting.  Maybe it has something to do with my appreciation for a professional photographer’s ability to turn rather ordinary subject matter into works of art.

Or, as a recent Guardian article that sparked my interest in writing this post starts out:

The structure of familiar foods, when examined closely and artfully lit can be fascinating and ‘Tagliatelle’, ‘Spaghetti’ and ‘Macaroni’ are all good examples of this.

The images in the Guardian article, which seems to have a fetish for the subject matter, are hi-quality work.  However, just about anyone who takes the time and follows a few simple tips can produce attractive images according to Andrew Scrivani, a freelance photographer for the New York Times.  His article covers shooting the whole table, but his tips can also apply to food as well.

Thomas Houston follows up on Scivani’s article, literally, with his quick tips for better food photography.  To sum up: manually set your white balance, keep it simple, close-up compositions, use natural light and a tripod, avoid using flash unless you know what you’re doing, bump up your ISO, and use a fast lens.

Speaking of fetishes…

Now if you’re on the cutting edge and think the photography industry is ready for a convergence between food and fashion photography, and you’ve been wondering why it took the world so long to invent waffle trousers, check out Boonie Alter’s article which starts out with:

Just when you thought that you had eaten enough for the next month…we bring you Hunger Pains. It’s fashion and food photography coming together in a vegetarian way.

Photographed by Ted Sabarese, a New Yorker, he is portraying his fascination with people and the food

waffle-fashion6

Waffle Fashion

that they eat. The models are wearing clothes (made entirely of real food) that depict a meal each was craving. Hmmmm, some strange food fetishes here.

As a portrait photographer, I’ll give this one a two bananas up!

And let’s not forget Lady Gaga’s meat dress either.


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