Food photography tips · Useful

Food photography narrative

Your food photos can create a narrative, a beautiful story for you and your followers. In that way, your photo becomes so powerful.

What is a food narrative? A food narrative is just a fancy way to say a story about you and your food. In each photo, you put a piece of yourself in the story you say. It means creating a photo or a series of photos that shows in a simple dish or a product in a literal way.

Creating a narrative means creating an atmosphere that suggests intriguing and appealing stories in the mind of the viewer and enhances the appeal of the subject. You will use props, lighting angles, and location.

We want to see amazing photos about food that will make you think about it, order it, or made it just because it looks so appealing, glamorous, or exotic.

The narrative is very important when you shooting a series. Shooting a series of dishes in an identical background, lighting, and angle is a valid creative choice in many situations.

A food photography narrative depends on your imagination. The limit is the sky. You need to show more than a dish or a product. You need to show an idea, a feeling, make them feel that they can touch it and eat it right there.

My first example is a summer morning, my garden, and my bench. Everything is about lighting, fresh, fruits red and pink, and summer feeling. You feel relaxed in the garden enjoying a smoothie, fresh fruits, or a light dessert. I got also close-ups and shots from every angle. The bench and petals are in the story set the mood and the décor.

Garden in the summer

Another example is donuts. I need my food to look fresh and ready to eat. I don’t want a perfect product. I love crumbles, shells, dripping, and spill. Here are some donuts. The same background, light but with different donuts.


49 thoughts on “Food photography narrative

  1. It’s a story in images, and that resonates with me. It reminds me of Maya Angelou’s “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” People may forget how many calories were in the donut, or if it was sprinkled with coconut flakes, but not how it made them feel 🙂

  2. I appreciate this advice. I’ve been cooking, baking, and bbq’ing , hesitant to share the “goods” because they don’t look like the magazine or video recipe…even if they turned out very tasty.

  3. I love buying the food you make & eat it there & as I was reading your post of food photography, I wonder if I could get food to turn out like that! It’s snowing & would need a few cooking appliances that help in making some food like donuts that I don’t have. Thanks for the inspiring post!

  4. I tried to do a little bit of tabletop photography, but I struggle with the styling. For example, you have a napkin there… when I place something like that, it always looks awful. I think it’s because something about the proportions or angles is always wrong.

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