Art & Culture

How to Take the Best Pictures of Your Meal

Andrew Parker
Jun 13, 2021

There is more to a dining experience than just the food. A good meal is the combination of a pleasant environment, nice service, and… Sure, great food. Whenever we find a place that offers the whole package, we might want to eternalize the experience in a photo. But taking pictures of food is not as easy as it sounds. Here are a few tips from professional photographers that will make your pictures go from 0 to 3 Michelin stars.

Use natural light

burger on a chopping board

Getty Images / Moment / Jenner Images

Before tidying up the area you want to photograph, make sure that is a sunlit spot. Do not use overhead lights, angled lamps, or your camera’s built-in flash. All of these options will create awkward shadows that could make your photo look amateur.

Tidy up

Big cheese burger with fries

Getty Images / Moment / Lucas Mosna

Avoid placing your subject in a messy space. If your dish is on a restaurant table, make sure there aren’t many distractions in the background. Remove extra spoons, napkins, or other items that could be distracting.

Pick the right angle

Top view of cheeseburger and potato wedges

Getty Images / Moment / Oscar Wong

The right angle depends on what you want to emphasize in your photo. Dishes like salads and charcuterie boards look better when shot from above, sandwiches look good when cut in half and shot from the side. An angle you should avoid, though, is front-facing and downward. This is the first angle we see when a plate is placed in front of us, so a picture like this might look a little uninteresting.