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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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How do you get food to look good on camera?

Presentation is everything. We take loads of steps to make sure when photographing your food that it looks its best before we click a single button. We ensure that the ingredients are fresh, that they’re full of colour and it's cooked to perfection. How? We are extremely fortunate to have restaurants as sister companies meaning that we only work with professional chefs and kitchens making sure that when we do food photography, it always looks the best it can be. Food is a highly competitive market, so advertising and delicious pictures are essential.

Is the background important in Food Photography?

In short, yes. Now the food is cooked and looking fantastic, our photographers start thinking about how the food is placed and dressed as this can draw attention to certain parts of a dish. This includes everything from the plate/bowl to the setting, background, props and ingredients. 


We need to be photographing the correct food in the correct dish and then assign that with a corresponding colour. At Capture House, we have over 100 different designs and colours to choose from. It’s a fine art and a balancing act to ensure that nothing detracts from the dish, such as heavy designs or backgrounds. Having photographed food from nearly every region of the world and with major brands, our food photographers make your recipe or product a feast for the eyes.


Props for the photoshoot include things like the standard plate ware, cutlery, drinks and decor, but another way for the set to appear full is by having fresh ingredients such as herbs and chillies. Sometimes having something as simple as a glass of water with lemon can add to an image as it doesn’t take too much away from the image while also allowing light to transfer through the glass

With restaurant photography, the restaurant often becomes the backdrop for the photos. This shows the environment customers will be welcomed by. Photography at a restaurant is a great way to reinforce your brand's identity as restaurant photography captures exactly what you can expect when dining out.

Is it important that food photos look authentic?

Recipes that are rich in colour should be left as they are so that your customers know what they’re going to get. The last thing you want to do is mislead customers or leave them disappointed with what they receive. If you have a duller looking dish, we will use garnish when recipes could do with more oomph but it’s important to us that they look as close to the real thing as possible. 


One way that we stop a change in colour to the food is to check the surrounding conditions. When taking pictures of food and if the lighting isn't controlled, colours could be reflected onto the food from coloured walls surrounding the dish. This helps keep the colours true to the dish and creates a tastier photo.

What are the best cameras for Food Photography

When it comes to photography, it is said that the camera isn't the most important part, but when shooting to the highest quality, it is. The lens has a huge impact, as well. For the most detailed images, we use Nikon DSLRs such as the Nikon D850 and Nikon D500 as they produce exceptional food images, making sure the highlights, shadows, and sharpness are shown to the highest standard also giving you the ability to adjust them with more precision while editing.

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Check out our Food Photography here.