First Try at Food Photography: It's Not as Easy as You Think

Food photography for blogging is really different than how the pros do it (commercial food photography), most often that not, we don’t have control on lighting in a typical restaurant set up. And though we have reflectors, speedlights, and other helpful stuff to improve the quality of our photos or salvage the situation, sometimes the fear of disturbing other diners at the restaurants (using flash or bringing out large reflectors while dining) becomes evident.

So when a restaurant owner (from a previous post) said that he was in need of some stock photos for their menu and other ad stuff. I was more than willing to step up and volunteered for the job and he said YES, Great!

Test Shot with their Burger

So I was really excited with the project brought the stuff that I thought I could use for the shoot, cardboards for reflecting the light, tracing paper to diffuse the light and some other things. The day came and I went to their commissary with some of my closest friends for some helping hands and moral support 😀 (Lucky to have them)

There was no food stylist we had to do the propping ourselves and believe me it’s not easy! 🙁 The way the camera sees the subject (in this case the food) is quite different to how our eyes see it.

Thanks Albino for the taking pictures while I’m doing the shoot, he used a very handy EPL-1, nice camera dude!

The food may look enticing to us when they prepare it but it doesn’t transcend to the pictures. And since I’m new to these stuff, I was lost in the process had no idea how to deal with the problems that would be present during the shoot. And when the time I finally got the hang of things, our main source of light (natural light – day light) wasn’t available so we had to call it a day.

Here are some of the shots that I got from the shoot earlier. Do know that all of them are raw (untouched, unedited) and this will not be the final image as I’m going to process it in post. Please do not copy or use the images without permission 😀

Simple burger shot, we had a great difficulty on keeping the burger’s elements together as it tends to fall off. We also shot this one with fries.

As some of you may agree, an interesting background / foreground would make this image even more appetizing. That’s one important note to myself next time.

Spaghetti Shot #1
Spaghetti Shot #2
Schublig Sandwich

Like I said I’m not a pro photographer and I’m still learning how to take good pictures of food, there’s clearly a lot of room for improvement  but this is an ongoing project and I’ll have more control over proping and some other stuff for our next shoot. I’ll post updates on this project soon, so stay tuned 😀

So what do you think are the pictures bad?  🙁

20 thoughts on “First Try at Food Photography: It's Not as Easy as You Think”

  1. Your shots seem to be ok. And YES do accept all the challenges and learn to improve further. Listen to those professional food photographers as they will help you a LOT!. Wish you all the best Eugene:)

  2. i find food photography hard, before i could get on a good shot i need to do it several times, lightings and angles are important factors, yet am still a total noob on it, need more practice. you got nice shots there brother 🙂 the exact natural colors are caught perfectly!

  3. not bad. the food looked yummy!
    with the hype going around with dslrs and photography…i’m wondering where to start…
    with the main issue as, should it be nikon or canon ? whaaat 🙂

    1. Both are good. My advise is for you go to the camera store test two cameras (from nikon and canon) and see which one you like better. Hope this helps

  4. FOOD photography…
    looks so easy but so hard pala?
    I guess, the mastery should be
    excellent to highlight the food’s
    best quality just by looking at the photos.

  5. Actually, food photography is so dependent on the plating, styling and lighting.. That’s why it’s quite hard to do.. XD I myself is learning the ropes of food photography, and photography in general.. 🙂

  6. I’m still having difficulties with photographing food in a restaurant setup, it’s true; it’s easier at home where I one get the light needed, plate the food and all but that’s not how it is outside… :/

  7. excellent shots nonetheless! 🙂

    I hope to get a DSLR soon and learn how to take good photographs including food. I like food reviews with excellent food photos!

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