How to Take Amazeballs Food Photos, I mean at least IMO 😉

So my lovelies, as promised, I wanted to drop the mic on this hot topic that’s been popping up all over my feed on Instagram lately. Since ya know, I am a food photographer and all… it’s kinda expected. THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONGER POST. IT’S VERY INFORMATIVE 🙂 

I also realize not everyone is lugging around a fancy camera, a lot of you are working with the best camera there is…which is the one you’ve got. That’s photography rule #1, doesn’t matter what you’re working with.. get the shot. Fancy camera, iPhone, Android, Film, Polaroid, get. the. shot. Now that we are passed that, I will be also going over how to get a great iPhone image and the things to look for to snap a more quality image every single time.



Shot with iPhone 7

ALSO, to launch how excited I am for all of you to join me on this journey. If you subscribe to the blog,  I’ll send you guys my top 5 favorite apps to use to edit photos and my basic workflow with editing specifics that I hold near and dear to my hear. They keep my IG looking #onbrand and cohesive, ya know, that stuff that makes you look like you know what you’re doing and doing it on purpose. 🙂 If you have any questions I didn’t go over, leave a comment and I will be more than happy to answer it for you!

So without further adouuuu, let’s get to it!

So there are tons of photo rule basics when you learn about photography, they are all important. If I tried to dive into all of them here, it would be like taking a college course full of words and definitions and that is just not my jam. So we are just going to hash through the most critical to get a social media worthy shot on the fly.

FIRSTTTTT, and the most important thing to taking a good shot are three things.

  1. Subject – What you’re actually taking the photo of.
  2. Composition – How this subject is placed in the image to make the photo interesting
  3. Lighting – It’s everything.

Secondly, are the elements and principles of design they are what makes your photo interesting and how to implement them in the most success way to keep people interested longer.

The Elements are:

  1. Line
  2. Shape/Form
  3. Color
  4. Texture

Here are a few examples:


Top left would be texture, the bottom left would be line and form, and the one on the right would be form. You can see how to spoon and the shadow in the napkin in the image on the bottom left lead your eye directly to the cake swirls. And the repeating texture in the image on the top left leads your eye (aside from the focus) to the piece of cake. All of these are clear examples of color, when you have a repeating color in the frame your eye naturally wants to follow the pattern.

The principles of design are where it gets a little more fun, they are:

  1. Balance
  2. Movement
  3. Pattern
  4. Scale/Proportion

Here are a few examples:


Starting from Top, left to right.

Movement, why? Because you can feel the action in the photo. It feels like eating is happening here. Simple enough. Also if you notice the white foam in the beer glass, the white paper angling toward the burger in the background and the white paper of my tray leading right to the burger in the foreground… that’s line and framing. Eyes will always follow white, or the brightest aspect of the image first without even knowing it.

The next photo of the coffee is scale and proportion. Also again notice the white and the areas in shadows. Framing the coffee.

Next is the Hibiscus cocktail, that’s balance. The photo would have still been good had the empty straining glass hadn’t been in the background but with it, the photo feels more balanced instead of it being very heavy to the right side of the frame if it was only the cocktail.

Hot dogs are pattern and texture. The turmeric shot from my week of sickly death is scale and proportion and the last image is obviously pattern again.

These key components are the easiest ways to start. Notice them when composing your images and definitely do some more research on the web. There are tons and tons of sources out there to show you a crap ton more examples on these key aspects.

Also, if you follow me on Instagram for the next week I’ll add to the captions what I believe to be the most prominent design elements and principles I utilized in it.

Pearson_20160519_31930But look, in the grand scheme of things the absolute best advice I could give any number of you is really take these elements into consideration and just shoot. Set a goal, 20 images a week and then make the goals more technical. Like, “I want to capture 5 examples of lines, 5 of patterns, 5 with balance, and 5 with movement over the next two weeks” and then do it. It’s fun and an absolute guaranteed way to make you better.

Also, because I mentioned shooting with your phone. I wanted to let you know, that the images on the left side (so the hot dogs, the coffee cup, and the burger in my hand) were all caught with an iPhone 7 Plus. (My mom’s phone haha.) Just start with the basics and keep shooting !! Any questions, leave them below or find me on IG. Til next time !!

PS. If you have not checked out my Taco Tuesday post, do so here. Why? Because at the very least it will be a great exercise for you to pick out the elements and principles of design I used. At the most, you’re in Portland you go check out Tight Tacos because they are BOMB! Tootles !

Cait xO



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