How To Make Your Food Photos Look Great: 7 Mouth-Watering Tips & Filters

Visual content is in high demand, especially for the hospitality industry, and having delicious looking photos across your social media platforms is essential. However, if you are not a professional photographer taking a food photo can be very challenging so let's start this blog with a few tips on what it takes to make a great one.

1. Think About Composition
Even if you are taking a photo with your phone you should think about the composition and play around with food placing. Don’t be obsessed about having everything look perfect. For example, a slice of cake or bread with a bite taken out can be even more appetizing than a full slice. Pay attention to accessories, such as glassware, napkins or utensils as they can add dimension and personality to your image. Use round plates rather than square or rectangular ones, as they are typically easier to shoot. Work with salad-size plate rather than a full-size dinner plate, because the food will look more prominent and you will not have to worry about filling up any unwanted space on the plate. Try to clash your colors to make them extra vibrant. For example, combine green leaves with purple eggplant or bring oranges and red peppers next to each other. Have in mind that less is more so stick to max three colors at the time.

2. Look for Natural Light
Indoor lighting or automatic camera flashes are harsh and can often make your images look flat or unflattering. For flawless food photo you need to find the best source of natural light. Bring the plate close to the bright window but don’t expose it to direct sunlight as that can also create dark distracting shadows and make light colors look so bright that they loose the shape or texture. Remember that filters can help you to add more brightness without many negative consequences, but removing brightness can leave an image looking pale and muted. When taking photos try different angles such as extreme close up, bird’s eye view or even low side-view. Round pizza usually looks best if you shot it from directly above, while three-dimensional shapes of ice cream dish can look best from a 45 degrees angle. It’s only with experimentation that you will find the perfect angle to show all beautiful textures and colors of your food.

3. Use Depth of Field
Popular strategy in food photography is to selectively focus the attention on the dish and let the rest blur a bit in the background. This helps bring the viewer’s eye to a certain part of the photo and the viewer feels like he is right there in front of the food and can reach right out to taste it. Look at the example below, where on the left side you can see that the photo has no depth at all, while on the right side the photo has a blurred background and focused foreground, which helps the photo look less busy and makes the food the center of attention.

Another way to improve the final outcome of your photo is to play with different filters that can enhance color, texture and even the flavor of your image. Here are few of them, so download Content Creator and try them out if you want to have your own drool-inspiring food photos.

4. Create Brilliant Hues
To bring your food to life and emphasize its color, try using filter called Levels and play with intensity. Be careful not to overdo and try to preserve all crisp and clean lines of the food in the image.

5. Add More Richness
If the photo you are using is too dark and the colors look flat you can increase richness and vibrancy by using the Saturation filter and increasing its intensity until you reach a desired effect. Saturation will help you to separate between different shades of the same color and make them pop a little more.

6. Bring Out the Texture
Another vital part of any food experience is texture, so if you have grainy food, such as bread, try to accentuate it by using the Sharpen filter and adjusting it until you notice that the appearance is more defined and grainy.

7. Go For Some Drama
If you have a photo where food is in the center and the background is not very flattering you can use Vignette filter to darken the edges and highlight the portion of the photo you want to focus on. Please bear in mind that these filters may not work well on photos that are already full of depth and color.

If you own a restaurant, bar or work in other fields of the hospitality industry try to incorporate these tips in your visual marketing strategy and let us know how it goes. Content Creator application is here to make this process easier by saving you time, money and energy to focus more on what works and less on what doesn’t.