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8 Tips for Better Food Photos

8 Tips for Better Food Photos

By Chef Mike Balistrieri

May 4, 2018

Introducing Culinary Bits, a new column featuring tips from our own FVTC Chef Instructors. For May, Chef Mike Balistrieri offers tips on using your cell phone to take great food photos.

Food photography used to be a thing done behind closed doors, with fake food and tweezer-precise sesame seed placement.

Nowadays, if you have a phone, you probably have a professional-ish camera. Chefs everywhere are learning to use their phones as a key tool in marketing their food, their restaurant, and their style. Simply look at Bittersweet Pastry Shop & CafĂ© on Instagram and you’ll want to dive into one of their delicious looking pics. With a little skill, creativity, and a steady hand, anyone can take magazine worthy shots.

Here are my tips for using your cell phone to take amazing pictures:

  1. Compose your plate: think about plate presentation.
  2. Use white space. 
  3. Use color to evoke emotion. 
  4. Keep it simple. 
  5. Use a neutral background. Use things like wood, simple tablecloths, bricks, tiles or chalkboards as a backdrop or table top for your food. 
  6. Decorate the scene. 
  7. Shoot in natural light. 
  8. Flip your phone upside down. 

Additional apps you may want to check out are SnapSeed and Big Lens.

Food photography is a great way to reach and engage a new audience. I challenge all of you to start snapping away. The photograph shown here is jellied oranges prepared by students and served at FVTC.

Learn more about the Culinary & Hospitality programs at Fox Valley Technical College >>