How to take better food photos


10 mins read

Probably the most important thing to think about is the light, after all, ‘photography’ means ‘drawing with light’.  


Harsh shadows will make your food look un-appealing so the first thing to do is to turn off your camera’s built-in flash and make sure that none of the artificial lighting in your cafe/restaurant is affecting your shot. 

Next find a place to shoot next to a window  (but ideally not in full sun), you are looking for soft even light (think cloudy day). 

If you have sunlight streaming in you can soften it by putting something between the sunand the food to diffuse the light like a piece of baking paper or a bedsheet. 

Now that you have nice soft light on the food from one side you might want to bounce (reflect) light back into the food from the other side, a couple of pieces of white card propped up will do this perfectly.   Your setup should look something like the image below.


The next thing to consider is camera angle. Phone cameras are very often wide-angle, and this means if you try and shoot the food from a three-quarter angle (the angle that a seated customer would see the food from), it will tend to look distorted. 

On newer phone cameras there is often an option to use a longer lens so use that, or if stuck with a wide-angle, back off from the subject a bit and then crop later for a less distorted look. 

Also on newer phones, you might want to experiment with portrait mode which simulates the out of focus backgrounds you get with longer lenses.

An easier option is to shoot straight down on the food, much less distortion and a good way to show how the food is plated and means that a series of images will look good as a set.

Spend some time learning how to use your phone camera, for example, click on the image to choose where you want the camera to focus and click and drag to decrease/increase exposure. Lastly shoot lots of images, not just the one, try slightly different angles and compositions and experiment with different props.

I hope you found these tips useful, happy shooting!


Nick Tresidder

Nick is a professional photographer specialising in food with almost 30 years experience; you can see his work at

For cafés and restaurants, it’s not always possible to hire a professional to do your food photography particularly in these challenging times, so the good people at Anchor Food Professionals have asked me to come up with a few tips to improve your food photos.

I’m going to assume you are using your phone to take pictures but these tips also apply if you are using a camera.

Related Articles


Inside the social food movement

Customers always eat with their eyes first – and now a staggering number also eat with their smartphones and social media accounts before picking up their fork.

Cream and its many uses

A quality culinary cream can work its magic in a variety of ways – here’s just a few of them for you to try.

Butter vs Margarine: A tale of two fats

You no doubt already know your customers are keen to eat natural foods these days - and they’d be hard-pressed to find one as pure as butter.

Dairy UHT cream vs non-dairy UHT cream

UHT (ultra heat treated) cream or long-life cream is exposed to high temperatures for a short period of time, before it’s packed into sterilised Tetra Pak cartons and delivered to your kitchen.

Helping customers choose your establishment

Consumers have never had so much choice when it comes to dining out. So how do you convince them to choose your establishment?

Why our creams are better

Anchor™ Food Professionals has a range of creams to suit your business needs and satisfy your customers’ tastes.

Choosing the right type of cream

Cream is one of the most versatile ingredients for all foodservice bakeries and kitchens.

Artichoke Basil Pizza

Artichoke Basil Pizza

Regal Shake Recipe

A refreshing and deliciously creamy shake. Made with crumbled regal biscuits, topped with a decadent cream cheese topping.

Lychee Dragon Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Brighten your day. A perfectly balanced blend of mild tropical dragon fruit and sweet aromatic lychee topped with a deliciously rich cream cheese topping.

And that’s a wrap on Bakery China 2023!

Last week we were at Asia Pacific’s biggest bakery event - Bakery China in Shanghai.

It’s not just our Chefs who are world class.

As proud sponsors of the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2024, we’re excited to introduce another star of the show – Anchor Chef’s Classic Whipping Cream!

Orange Blossom Malabi Custard

Orange Blossom Malabi Custard

Tomato Bisque

Tomato Bisque

Whipped goats cheese tortellini

Whipped goats cheese tortellini, vintage cheddar & toasted pine nut cream sauce.

Squash Soup

Squash Soup

Cajun Cream Tortellini

Cajun Cream Tortellini

Hot smoked salmon, dill & hot mustard cream

Hot smoked salmon, dill & hot mustard cream.

Spicy red cream sauce with roast eggplant & spaghetti

Spicy red cream sauce with roast eggplant & spaghetti.

Hot smoked salmon, dill & hot mustard cream

Hot smoked salmon, dill & hot mustard cream.

Rosemary & garlic roast chicken with pappardelle, goat's cheese & avocado

Rosemary & garlic roast chicken with pappardelle, goat's cheese & avocado.