Food photography tips

Small tricks for better food photos

In food photography we use lots of tricks to make our life easier and also amazing photos. As a food blogger you need to show your food as good as you can. Sometimes all falls apart: the dressing doesn’t stay long on the salad, pasta is sticking together, the dessert looks like you just throw it on the plate, etc.

Our traditional Romanian “Ciorba de perisoare” (Sour soup with meatballs) was difficult for me to shoot until I found a trick to keep my meatballs on top. I used the lids from cough syrup. They are made from plastic and you can find them in different shapes. So keep them for your future projects.

sour soup with meatballs

As you can see in the final shots you can’t even tell I have them in the soup.

Another trick is to pick the fresh vegetables you can find. They look better on the camera.

Take the photos of the meats and vegetables before being fully cooked. They will look plump and juice. Remove them from the stove a bit early, take your photos and then finish cooking them.

To make the vegetables look fresh in a salad brush them with olive oil or mist with water.

To keep everything together you can use a toothpick. You can hide it in the back of the food.

For looping noodles or rearranging small crumbs you can use tweezers. Keep one in the kitchen just for this.

With a little patience and experience you will develop skills to make your food photography look good.

There are also tricks for food photography, but you can’t eat the food after. At the big shootings there is a golden rule. Don’t eat the food you shoot, because you don’t know what it is.

They use motor oil for syrup, glycerin to look fresh, cotton balls for illusion of steaming-hot foods, spray deodorant for frosty look, white glue instead of milk, shaving cream for cream, mashed potatoes with powdered sugar for ice cream and fake champagne made of water, soy sauce and Alka Seltzer for the bubbles.


165 thoughts on “Small tricks for better food photos

  1. I want to come to eat at your house. I am Romanian too. Are you willing to have guests? I do not have a blog about food, but I enjoy reading your passionate conversations about food, decorations, photography, and stuff. You are a wonderful human being!

  2. Gabi, I am always SO pleased to see your ‘likes’ on my posts! (That last one on the EU ad ban plan was a douzie, wasn’t it! Who even IMAGINES the likes of that would work — internationally?)
    I was just reading through your tips on improving food photography. Great ideas. Thanks!
    Doug Harris
    Altavista VA

  3. I have always tried to photograph my food after cooking, but its so difficult. I always have to look for perfect lighting and such stuff, which can be really tiresome. But I am going to use your tricks…and share them.too if you don’t mind.

  4. Thanks for the tips. I have shared them with others. I smiled at the ” don’t eat the food you shoot” as I once saw a documentary about these type tricks in photography that said you will never leave ok at food commercials the same way nor become hungry at the sight of a great looking burger on T.V. Lol. They were right. 😂

  5. A little late to the convo but thanks for sharing. I find food styling and photography entertaining and am mostly intrigued by the the ability to shoot the food as close to natural as possible. But I’ve also played with “cold food” displays where the food is prepared for nothing more than display, showing off technique and concept.

  6. And here I’ve been stressing that my photos don’t look good enough despite my best efforts!
    Pft- never again!
    Thanks for busting that myth 😁

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