What makes a great food photograph?

A photo that makes the viewer say ‘I want that!’
I want to cook it, buy it, eat it…..

At CHS Studios we pride ourselves on producing stunning food photography for our clients. We just love food, and always strive to create an image that makes you want to eat straight from the page! So how do we do it?

1. Create a story

We plan ahead, and ask ourselves what is the biggest strength of that dish or food? Is it the freshness, the texture, the colour, the shape? And, what kind of feeling does that food bring, is it comfort, freshness, coziness, health…

2. Think composition

The food stylist and photographer work together to get the composition spot on. We often use the rule of thirds and triangles to draw your eye around the shot. You can see in one of our photographs for Lakeland here, that the custard drip falls perfectly down the third line.

It ends at the intersection point, which is usually where the viewer’s eye goes rather than middle, as you may imagine.

So here’s a top tip; even if you centralise a plate of food within the frame, then, place a garnish or piece of cutlery in the thirds intersection point to draw the viewer’s eye around the shot.

3. Colour, contrast and cohesion

Here at CHS Studios we love experimenting with contrasting colours if the shot allows – a photo with contrasting colours is more interesting and eye catching, just like this shot that our fab food stylist Lianne created, the orange just pops off the page.

We always make sure we use the most beautiful ingredients we can get, as beautiful food guarantees a beautiful picture.

4. Layering and texture

Another of our top tips is to experiment with height and texture, creating different levels within the shot.

Use a chopping board to raise up some of your scene.
Place something on a cake stand or use glasses of different heights.
You don’t even have to go higher, placing things on a textured napkin to create texture and break things up by creating visual differences or layers.
Contrasting and interesting textures help draw the eye to the detail of the shot.