The ONLY 3 Angles You Need for Food Photography 📸

Sep 8 • 2022

If you’re heading into photo shoots feeling lost about where to even point your camera…this one’s for you!

One of the first things you’ll want to figure out when it comes to taking a great food photo is your perspective. Perspective is your camera’s positioning relative to your subject. Basically, where your camera is pointing!

In food photography, there are 3 main perspectives, or angles, you’ll want to focus on. I’ll be walking you through the only 3 angles you need for food photography and when to use them.

1. The Overhead

The overhead shot is a birds-eye-view perspective. It’s ideal for capturing geometric shapes (squares, triangles, circles, etc.), anything symmetrical, and for highlighting patterns and repetition.

collage of a pie, chocolate cake, and tacos all shot from an overhead angle

Perfect for: Pies with crust patterns, sweets made in a sheet pan, tacos, pasta bowls, and anything flat!

 

2. The Straight-On

The straight-on shot is when you’re “nose-to-nose” with your subject. Make sure to get directly in front of your subject and perfectly parallel (no angling slightly left or right!). This is also the best perspective to get drips, drizzles, and dusts in full focus.

straight up shots of pancakes with syrup drizzle, a jar of cookie butter, and angel food cake with berries

Perfect for: stacks of syrupy pancakes, cheese pulls, decorated cakes, and anything tall with layers!

 

3. The 45° Angle

The 45° angle is somewhere in the middle of both! It’s ideal for showing depth and capturing things in the front and back of the scene. You can also use it to highlight a specific part of your subject, since the focus of the camera will only dial in on one spot.

a collage of tiramisu, blondies, and blueberry coffee cake all shot from a 45 degree camera angle

Perfect for: cutting shots, bite shots, showing the top *and* sides of a dish, and any kind of bar!

 

As you go into your next shoot, consider which angle you want to use. Does your subject have a geometric pattern? You’ll probably want to use the overhead angle. Is it a stack of something? Probably a good idea to use the straight on. Or maybe you want to showcase the depth of your scene? Time for the 45° angle!

Once you can identify the important elements of your shoot, you’re halfway to snapping an amazing food photo.