Food photography tips · Photography

Styling the risotto


To get to be a good food stylist you need to be first a good cook. I am still working to be a good cook. Learning to style your food takes time, practice and lots of food. Paying attention to details is also an important asset for a food stylist.

The more time you spend to make your food attractive, the easier it gets to take the shot. Make more food than a plate so you have material to play with. Before starting to take photos get all the props on the table. Make a selection of pots, plates, cutlery, backgrounds or cloths you want to use in the photo. Maybe you will not use them all, but is good to have them near you. You can also stage some photos without the food.

Your food is the hero in the story. Every props you use need to participate in the story you want to tell. If you want vintage, everything must be vintage. If you want modern, everything goes modern.

In my story, my hero is mushrooms with cheese risotto. I used a brown rustic bowl on a wooden background because I wanted my story to be rustic.

First shot was only with the bowl and the cloth. I put some fresh parsley on top, to complement my dish. I have fresh parsley in the garden. If you by the herbs some hours before, keep them in a jar with water.

From there I build the second shot adding some ingredients from the recipe in the background: cheese and parsley. I used an old pepper grinder in the back and I put the parsley on a piece of wood. The focus is always on the bowl.

Keep taking photos!


82 thoughts on “Styling the risotto

  1. Your photos are great! I am getting a little better with food styling but it takes practice for sure. Thanks for the tips. You reminded me that I forgo to use the parsley I bout specifically to style my pasta! I still got good photos. I hope you’ll take a look at my Bucatini all’Amatriciana post tomorrow. I’d love feedback.

  2. Thank you for sharing these tips and for the juxtaposition of photos. My photos look like the first photo, well a very bare version :). After reading your post, I definitely want to try building my shots more. :).

  3. Great pictures πŸ™‚ – but, in my case (when it’s up to food photo) -it’s easier said then done – because there are always some hungry customers waiting to eat, so it is “war” between them and my camera πŸ˜‰

  4. I need to learn a lot about food styling and photography. Which sites or books do you recommend to someone that is starting?
    Congratulation for your photos, you make your dishes mouthwatering.

  5. I am all new to this and at the moment I’m just taking photos with my iPhone. I am saving up for a professional camera as I really love shooting food and I believe that nothing attract people to your blog like a good photo! πŸ™‚ x

  6. I need to get better at this, I plonk the food on my plate, I’m so hungry that I start eating and then remember I’ve forgotten to take a pic! Also like to eat my food hot and not have to mess about taking pics first…

  7. Ohh wow! The Risotto photo look superb! The image of the Risotto really make us what to eat it straight away! You did a very good job! Salute!

  8. Thank you for making me think of my photography. I am now trying to include more/more thoughtful photos in my own blog posts. Not sure I will continue to have enough ideas though, better keep reading your blog I guess.

  9. Thanks for stopping by Chlohemian πŸ™‚ Cheese risotto with mushrooms is my hero too, but I couldn’t care less about the photo as long as it’s in my tummy πŸ˜›

  10. Interesting reading, and hopefully I will pick up a few tips from you as your photos are lovely. I’ve just started a food blog, but am currently finding that allocating 20 seconds for a quick snap of my meal before I eat it is already too long a delay! But beautiful photos add so much to information about food, and I am interested in photography, so it’s something I plan to work on.

  11. Thanks for stopping by Chlohemian πŸ™‚ Cheese risotto with mushrooms is my hero too, but I couldn’t care less about the photo as long as it’s in my tummy πŸ˜›

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