Food Photography – March 2017

On Thursday 30th March, we had a real treat – well lots of treats really.  Diane from Jotolio Photography came along to teach us about food photography.  We were all invited to bring along some food to photograph and we excelled ourselves. There was everything from a wonderful cake with glazed fruit on top, to chocolates, eggs with fluffy chickens,  tropical fruit, etc.

Diane started with a presentation showing us just what is possible when photographing food.  The photos she showed us were stunning and very inspiring.

You can see some of them here:

Diane  reminded us that this type of photography is totally under our control. The food is not going to move and the lighting isn’t going to change. We can take our time and be as creative as possible.

Scott concentrating on a shot.

She invited us to think about Why, What and How.

Why are we photographing the food: is it the colour, the form, the story or to make a statement?

What should we put in the photograph and what should be left out? In particular careful consideration needs to be given to the background.

How should we take the photograph? We were encouraged to be creative and to have fun, to play with bouncing light, using card and foil.

Rob: Everyone looking very busy.

Black backgrounds work really well with bright food, but be careful the food doesn’t leave a smudgy mark!


Colour is important with food and photographs should not be oversaturated. The food needs to look appetising. Coloured plates can add to the photograph, but if the same colour is used it must be exact or it will clash.

Rob: All red.

The general rules of photography work just as well for these food photos:

Where is the eye drawn to and is it to what you hoped would be the main focus of the picture?

My eye was drawn to this tempting photo by Anna!

Decide how to present the food – would it look better cleaned up, cut up or broken up?

Annette: Rob preparing the oranges.

Use a small depth of field to separate the elements of the picture.

Decide how much of the image to show, use reflections and shadows.

Consider if you want to present a story or create a drama and use background props to show this.

Martin: Anyone for supper?

Try different camera angles, crop your photos.

Look for or create patterns.

Mike: an arrangement of tropical fruit
Anna: a pattern of strawberries

Consider composite images e.g. add smoke

Veli: a composite image using different focus points.

Consider using a simplified colour palate e.g. use green and pink, purple and green etc

Consider the lighting – use back lighting or a perspex sheet and light transparent objects from underneath.

Rob: slices of orange on a perspex sheet and lit from underneath.

After the talk we had a great time working our way around the hall photographing the lovely food that had been brought in.

The eggs and little fluffy chicks proved a popular subject.

Needless to say some of the arrangements changed somewhat over the course of the evening

Tony: this cake was just too tempting…..

and there was definitely less food went home than was bought in. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

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