As you’ve probably guessed from our posts about food stylists and why you should consider paying for a professional food photographer, there’s a bit more to a food photo shoot than may initially meet the eye. Read on to find out our food photography checklist and tips.


Food photography props can come in a range of guises; backdrops, table covers, crockery, utensils, condiments, additional items of food, really anything that’s additional to the food itself. But remember that simplicity can also pay off, it’s the food that you really want to show off.

People, props, food - a food stylist considers all of these aspects

Food photography props tip: think about the story you’re trying to tell with your food when you plan your props. Is it so tasty that someone couldn’t wait to dig in before you managed to capture the photo? If so, a simple spoon and a bites-worth missing could work.


Lighting can create shadows, give a shine to the food and give the colours vibrancy. This can be natural light, reflected light, artificial light or maybe even a touch-up to the lighting in after-shoot editing. Food photographers often see lighting as the most important factor in photography as it can make or break the quality of the image.

Food photography lighting tip: find the natural light. You can move a table, the food and the people, but you can’t create more natural light. You may simply just need to open the curtains or a door.


Yes, people, and this can be two things. People in the shot, and people working on the shoot. Do you want action shots, people cooking food or eating food? Do you need the chef present during the shoot for additional help, do you need a food stylist, do you need a runner to help get unexpected things during the shoot and maybe clear up around you?

Food photography people tip: use a food stylist if you can afford to, they know the tips of the trade and will be able to highlight your food in the best way.


Last but definitely not least, the most important part of your food photo shoot is probably the food itself. You should make sure that your food is fresh, good-looking (they are models after all) and have a good colour to them.

Food photography ‘food’ tip: if creating a whole dish, use a smaller portion that you may actually serve. An overcrowded plate may look messy and less appealing.

Whilst it might sound more complicated than you initially thought, if you make sure that each aspect of the shoot is of high quality then the results will really speak for themselves. Food photography is an art in itself and if you get it right then the photos will easily sell your food for you.

If you think you might need some help setting up your shoot, we have a number of recommended food stylists and we’re happy to talk through your requirements. Just drop us a message and see what we can do: [email protected]