As food photographers, we know just how much goes into nailing the perfect shot. You have to find the perfect mix of props, backgrounds, and angles to style your scene, and then you pray that the light hits just right. Today, we’re taking the guess work out styling some of our favorite dishes. Read on for our best food styling tips!
- – To get a perfectly scooped scoop, dip your ice cream scoop into hot water between each scoop. It will help the ice cream to easily come off the scoop, and lead to a nice circular shape!
- – Be sure to work fast. Set your scene up entirely, placing props and taking test shots. This way when you bring in the ice cream you have everything in place.
- – Shoot ice cream against cool-toned backgrounds for a truly summery feel. Think blue-greys, cool whites, or dark blues.
- – Cookies with chocolate in them do best right out of the oven (as do other things with melty chocolate pieces!). This way the chocolate will still look warm and gooey, as opposed to cool and hard!
- – Cookies photograph well from above. We suggest shooting them from a bird’s eye perspective to get the most of their circular shape.
- – Play into multiples. It’s so much more appetizing to see a photograph of 5 cookies than just 1. It’s all about abundance, baby!
- – To make your cake layers look even, cut off the domed top of your cakes so they end up nice and even!
- – Cakes BEG for something on top of them! We love adding in organic elements like flowers for an effortlessly elegant look. You can also top your cake with seasonal fruits, nuts, or other seasonal ingredients!
- – Keep it messy…kind of. Some of our favorite food photos have a little bit of mess to them. Don’t be afraid to show a smudge of caramel or a smear of frosting. It makes your photo feel less like art and more like food!
- – IMO, salads are the most beautiful when they have a color story to them. Think green-white-purple or orange-tan-white, just to name a few! Crafting your salads in this way will make them instantly pleasing to the eye.
- – To get a perfectly dressed salad, toss most of your salad with dressing, but leave a few pieces undressed on top. Then plate your salad and place the un-dressed pieces on top by hand tucking them in as you go so you can really see the ingredients.
- – Twirl your noods before setting them down! They’ll immediately look more put together and well-styled, rather than just plopped on a plate.
- – Pasta looooves to be styled half-eaten, so after taking a photo of your styled plate, play around with adding a fork to your scene. You could twirl it in pasta or have it pulling away a few noodles. Try it sometime!
Want more tips on how to style tricky food items? Check out or Style/Edit sessions where you get to go into the studio with Sarah where she guides you through how to style and edit specific dishes.