How to Become a Professional Food Photographer

Most of us love taking those shots of lovely things and uploading them on Instagram. Not everyone who owns a great camera can directly make images speak to others mind. Are you drooling over those beautiful images of food in the magazines and want to try capturing such images? Are you passionate about looking for stories behind those dishes and trap them into pictures? You’re at the right place because this article will give an insight on becoming a professional food photographer.

Here’s how you can become a professional food photographer

The awesome thing about food photography is you can work at your own speed. If you have the passion for photography and love for food then it just takes few steps to master it. Once you’re set with a camera and the fundamentals it’s time to be a pro at it. Here’s how:

1) Be your own teacher

Practice helps attain perfection. Most of the professional food photographers are self-taught. There are various photography blogs and videos online where you can get insight on the subject. You can connect with the top photographers on Facebook, twitter, pinterest or Instagram and follow their work. Show your work to other photographers and be receptive to their feedback. Be ever ready to accept criticism and learn.

2) Attend a school

Attending a school will help one get their fundamentals right. You can get your MFA done in Visual communication and graphics. This will expose you to experienced professors and students thereby provide you a platform for growing.

Related: How to Get a Nutrition Degree Online – Step by Step Guide

Promising Career Options available in Food Science & Technology

3) Attend workshops

If you don’t have the time to enroll in a school, try attending various workshops to hone your skills with food photography.

4) Internships

Work as an assistant for the pro photographers. This will expose an opportunity for you to understand how food photography works in the real world and gain experience.

Let’s dive deep into food photography

It’s very important to understand how food works before you decide to shoot it. One must know the impact a chilli ice cream can have on the taste buds and differentiate it from other ice creams. Understanding how food works will help you to converse mellifluously with clients regarding the photo shoot. Let’s proceed and have a look at those factors which are necessary for becoming a pro food photographer

1) It’s all about seating and lighting

You don’t have to worry about getting expensive equipment’s .A good natural source of light, a tripod and a good camera is sufficient to get food shot.

You cannot just go and take a million shots and then decide if it’s good. One needs to have a sharp eye which will help them identify the contrasts, composition and lighting. Just understand how to use these tools effectively.


  • Camera:  Point and shoot cameras.
  • A wide angle lens: To focus and capture high quality images.
  • Right lighting: To complement food colors and avoid harshness, shadows and glumness over the pictures. Avoid using direct sunlight and go for diffused lighting.

2) Experiment with food

Start clicking. Take your camera wherever you go and start shooting different foods. Doing this will help you understand all the efforts that go into food styling and assert you to focus the shots on the same.

  • Experiment: Try experimenting with the camera angles. You can take shots from the side, front or rear end. Be creative and find different angles to show off the food.
  • Change settings: If you’re confident about using the DSLR camera, then you can try changing settings from auto to manual. These settings add a new depth and could lead to beautiful photography.
  • Creativity: Try to be creative with the food, the more creative it gets the more fame it will earn. Try photographing different unique foods to create interest among people.

3) Transform emotions in a positive way

Everyone reacts differently to food. Food is art, food is emotion. Your photography must bring those emotions out in people. This is quite daunting but with selective focus, hard light and contrasting colors one can achieve the intended result.

  • A simple background: A table cloth or a white napkin will be a good background to complement your food shot.
  • Framing and composition: The subject need not have to be always in the center, form imaginary grids that divide your area into 9 sections and try to get the subject at those intersections.
  • Use props: Try using different props like silverwares, glass cups to add an authentic, aesthetic look to your photos.
  • Keep taking shots: Keep experimenting try different shots from different angles and themes (abstract backgrounds, blurry scenic backgrounds)

4) Learn from the masters

Follow great photographers who inspire you, study their work and incorporate the same in your artwork.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do let me know what made you step into food photography. Was it food or love for photography or both? Feel free to share it across in the comments section below. Happy clicking!

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