5 Tips for Eye-Catching Smartphone Food Photography

5 Tips for Prominent Smartphone Food Photography

a guide to smartphone food photography

Capturing beautiful smartphone food photos can be hard – unless you have the right guidance, that is!

Whilst it’s pretty easy to take out your iPhone and breeze a few shots of your supper, if you want attractive food pictures – the kind that’ll make viewers stop and look – then you need to learn your camera settings , lighting , composition , and much more.

I’ve already been doing smartphone food digital photography for a long time, and in this article, I share our best five tips for eye-catching smartphone shots (with a special focus on lighting and composition).

So if you are ready to level up your images, after that let’s dive right within, starting with my first suggestion:

1 . Make use of natural lighting whenever possible

smartphone food photography

When it comes to food photography, lighting is almost everything. Knowing how to use the light is what separates the amateurs through the pros.

Right now, most smartphone food photos are taken in restaurants, and they tend to look terrible for one major reason:

Restaurants generally make use of fluorescent lighting, which is hard and unflattering. (It’s also often tinged with a green or yellow color solid. )

Luckily, this is easy to fix:

Instead of relying on artificial light, position your food close to a window. And take a few shots using its soft, flattering light.

Just be sure the sun isn’t too bright; you don’t need it to cast harsh dark areas that are unflattering to your meal. If you are sitting near a too-bright window, you are able to place a small scrim between the window and the food, or you can simply move the food until it’s out of the direct sunlight.

By the way, once you are positioned near a home window, notice the precise direction from the light. The best lighting generally comes from the side or even behind the food, so reposition your smartphone until you obtain the perfect angle.

This next shot functions beautiful sidelight, which arrived from the back left:

smartphone food photography

2 . Choose the right angle

Whenever you take smartphone food photos, does your plate ever seem like it’s sliding off the table? Does your food ever appear too big or too little?

That’s since most smartphone cameras make use of wide-angle lenses – and when you’re shooting wide-angle, the incorrect camera angle will make your meal look distorted.

In other words, you can’t just pick your angle based on convenience. Instead, to achieve the most natural results, you need to carefully select an angle, one that will help prevent viewpoint distortion .

My recommendation? Get down low over the table and shoot your scene on 90 degrees. This will make a beautiful image with lots of level and minimal visible distortion.

Alternatively, you can shoot from directly within the food, looking down; this will reduce depth for a cool visual effect:

smartphone food photography

A 90-degree approach also lets you show more food in the frame, which is perfect for shooting full table propagates. Note, however , that ninety degrees is not an excellent angle for tall foods, like burgers or stacks of pancakes. Shoot these subjects from low down over the table so you can flaunt their layers!

Unfortunately, a 3/4 angle – where you shoot through around 45 degrees over the food – rarely works. It’s an easy way to create bias issues, so I recommend you avoid it whenever possible. (If you really want to proceed with a 45-degree angle, try taking a step back and switching to your smartphone camera’s telephoto lens. )

3. Use minimalistic compositions

Complex tablescapes are fun and look attractive, but they’re often hard to photograph.

Usually it takes a lot of careful arrangement to produce a pleasing composition, and by time you get it right, the meals may no longer look delicious.

So instead of relying on wide, sophisticated compositions, go smart . In other words, keep it simple .

Feature a couple of foods and a prop or two (like an utensil or perhaps a piece of linen). Spread all of them out across the table therefore the eye is drawn round the frame.

This particular minimalist approach usually works well, especially if you’re a beginner. It’ll keep the focus on specific items of food, and it’ll help you create graphic compositions like this one:

smartphone food photography

Pro tip: If you have the time, experiment with different background colours. Bring fabric or poster board that complements the food and plates, then have some fun trying out different combinations of food items and props.

4. Pay attention to your food composition

In case you spend time looking at smartphone food photos on Instagram, you will start to notice a pattern:

Most of the pictures tend to look…messy. Cluttered. Overwhelming. For instance, the background might feature distracting shapes, or you may notice a half-dozen stage sets spread around the image.

But the best foods photos boast carefully ordered backgrounds, carefully positioned food items, and carefully positioned stage sets.

To put it differently, they use good composition .

Now, food photography structure is a complex topic, one that can take weeks, months, or years to master.

But there are a few simple compositional guidelines that you can use to arrange your meal for great results – and so they take very little time to learn.

First, try to include an empty area or two where the eye may rest for a brief time as it moves through the image. (This is known as negative space . )

You see, if all of the image is protected with ingredients or props , it’ll confuse the viewer that claustrophobia. But negative area will provide a bit of breathing space and will help the viewer focus on the main subject.

So resist the urge to fill every part of the image, and instead include areas of pure background, like the shadowy sections behind this particular cake:

smartphone food photography

You should also try to utilize the rule associated with thirds , a compositional guideline that divides the into thirds, using two horizontal and two top to bottom lines:

smartphone food photography

According to the guideline of thirds, you should place important scene elements – such as food items or props – along these gridlines or along the gridline intersection points.

Finally, be sure to include a clear focal point in your images. A center point should be eye-catching; really, it should be the area of the shot that you want your viewer to notice the majority of. Images without focal points often feel aimless, so do everything you can to include a center point (or two).

5. Tell a story

Everyone loves a good story.

And if you can give your viewer a story – one that happens in the frame or just outside of it – your pictures will be far more compelling.

For example , you can inform the story of the food’s creation by including various components throughout the composition, or by including the chef’s hands within the shot.

smartphone food photography

Alternatively, you might include a partially eaten element (such like a cookie with a missing bite) to tell the story of the food’s consumption.

Or you might include the hands of the server to show the way the food actually made it for your table.

The human touch has become wildly well-known in food photography; this kind of lifestyle element creates a sense of atmosphere and relatability, which is why it has spilled more than from Instagram into the world of commercial food photography.

smartphone food photography

Smartphone foods photography: final words

Hopefully, you now feel ready to capture some attractive smartphone food photos of the very own!

Focus on lighting. Think about composition. And tell a story.

With a little effort, you’ll end up being capturing great food photos in no time at all!

Now over to you:

Which of the smartphone food photography tips is your favorite? Which do you plan to incorporate into your very own photos? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

smartphone food photography




  • GEAR





Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

I need help with…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.