What is food photography?

Food photography is the art of capturing cooked dishes or fresh ingredients to be used for marketing purposes. It is found in a wide variety of media including social media, television, recipe books, advertising and other form of print marketing material.

When done properly, professional food photography can cause brands to grow seeing an increase in engagement and ultimately sales. It's a well known fact that consumers buy with their eyes. This is why the food industry invest heavily in creating the best food imagery.

How is food photography done?

Taking a great photo of food isn't just a case of picking up a camera and shooting away. There's a process that needs to be followed.

Photographers will always start with a recipe and from this they can begin to imagine the colours, the textures and styling ideas. They may even look at other or similar food photography on Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration.

Once they have an idea on the kind of photographs that they want to achieve, props, ingredients, and locations will be sourced to capture the desired images.

Using a professional chef, food stylist and kitchen will generate the best results. It's important that the dish looks as best as possible as it makes the job of the photographer much easier and will create a quicker turnaround time.


The equipment used to take the photos will vary depending on the level of food photographer. It usually consists of a DSLR, soft boxes and a monitor to review each image and angle.

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Working with the photo mood board created in the planning phase, the photographer will dress the dish and surroundings using the mood board as inspiration. They will experiment with adjusting the lighting, changing the camera angles and repositioning props and ingredients until they have captured the perfect food photo.

After the shoot, it's a case of backing-up the files and then editing the photos to make them as delicious as possible.

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Why is food photography important?

There are many reasons to invest in working with a professional food photographer. It can increase conversion, strengthen your brand and help your business grow.

It's well known that people buy with their eyes so having professional, delicious photos will only attract more people. Think of the M&S advert "this is not just a roast dinner, this is a M&S roast dinner".