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Can Food52 offer tips for taking beautiful pictures of food?

As I look through contest entries, I'm struck by the almost unfair contrast between entries that benefit from a flattering photograph of the dish and those that...ahem, don't. I realize food photography is an art, but are there any tips for beginners who just want their food to not look horrible in photographs? I'm guessing many people who enter the contests would appreciate this advice!

asked by Salt Tooth over 3 years ago
6 answers 1513 views
Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 3 years ago

Funny you should ask...Definitely come check out the site tomorrow -- think you'll be happily surprised!

added over 3 years ago

Here's my tip...get as close and personal as you need to! There are so many times when one half of a cupcake looks pristine and the rest is just meh, right? So angle it and use or lose the flash on your camera phone and play up the one side's strength.

added about 3 years ago

I think by far the best way is to use an app like Instagram to bring out the colours in a nice way. CHeck out Uyen Luu's Instagram for inspiration:


Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Tom Hirschfeld did a great feature a while back on tips for photographing food:

added about 3 years ago

I do not use flash...just as much room light as required. Flash tends to make the picture overly "hot" white and reflects off glasses etc. Photoshop using crop and remove and unwanted shadow. Try not to play with color as it not only affects the product, but also the background. Photoshop gives you more options than a free product like Picassa.


Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

I admit to being a terrible photographer, but I found this ebook that you might be interested in: