How to Become a Food Photographer

How to Become a Food Photographer

Are you going to become a professional food photographer and present dishes in the most appealing manner? Then go on reading about 20 famous food photographers, their yummy portfolios, and the main secrets of starting a successful food photography career. 

Food Photographer Job Description

food photographer

People who want to make successful food photographer career should cooperate with food stylists while capturing shots for cookbooks, menus, advertisements, etc. You should be an expert on shooting with a digital camera as well as with studio lighting. A photographer should have his/her own vision of a proper food arrangement so that it looks delicious. This job is usually freelance-based so many beginners start professional product photography here.

  • Degree Level: None. Formal training or a Bachelor’s degree will be enough for a food photographer.
  • Degree Fields: Art, Photography
  • Crucial Skills: Creative thinking, attention to details,experience with digital cameras, technical photography and marketing skills, knowledge of image editing programs and digital printing, business and interpersonal skills.
  • Average Salary: $31k per year
 

Do you want to know how to become a food photographer? It’s easy, if you love photographing and FOOD!

20 Best Food Photographers

Becoming a food photographer who earns well is not a question of several days. So I offer to get acquainted with the top 20 food shooters for inspiration. Try to look at their photos without running to the fridge. Actually, it will be quite challenging as their stylish mouth-watering photos make my stomach grumble.

If you are a beginner, I recommend you to read my food photography guide with useful shooting tips for taking yummy ice cream photography, fruit photography, etc.
 

Be careful with every detail that plays a significant role in highlighting the unique style of a food photographer. Visit their websites mentioned below and be prepared to see messy kitchens or contrasting pictures with a maximum of white space.

going pro book

Before starting to buy all photography gear, I recommend you reading this book about all pros and cons of becoming a demanded photographer. You will read about this profession’s features and actions you need to do to become successful.

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1. FulvioBonavia

Location: Italy

Do you still want to learn food photography? Then pay attention to a famous Italian shooter FulvioBonavia. He was awarded several times as an editorial and advertising photographer. The shooter has a unique style which was inspired by Prada and Alexander McQueen. It should be mentioned that he tries to turn each food shot into a true masterpiece. Finally, he performs all image post-production by himself which isn’t a surprise, as he has certain experience in graphic design and illustration. That’s why the photos’ original idea is preserved from the very beginning till the end.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

photos by professional food photographers

2. Gabriel Cabrera

Location: Canada

Meet Gabriel Cabrera, a famous food stylist and photographer, who has a lot to show to this world. His vision greatly differs from other shooters. This food expert always tries to include vivid colors and various textures to his works. Gabriel Cabrera cooperates with such popular companies as West Elm, Air Canada, Urban Outfitters etc.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

food photography magazines

3. Nic Gossage

Location: Sydney, Australia

Nic is specialized in food photography along with travel occupation. He has chosen a bold logo for making his online portfolio more personal. Gossage shows his food photography portfolio in a full-screen format which invites to have a close look at the main details of his brilliant food shots.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

commercial food photography

4. Madelene Farin

Location: Los Angeles, USA

A professional food photographer Madelene Farin is an outstanding person in California and far beyond it. The most prestigious media sources like The Guardian and the BBC have demonstrated her brilliant works. Madelene has lots of awards and it is not surprising at all. Just look at her portfolio and you’ll be impressed with creative compositions and interesting focus.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

food photography portfolio

5. Sarah Distel

Location: Netherlands

Sarah Distel managed to combine food photography career with excellent food styling. Moreover, Sarah is one of The White Door Studio founders. Have you heard about it? The studio presents yoga along with creative production. Her art can be easily distinguished among tons of other photos due to simplicity and unique perspective.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

food photography techniques

6. Sarah Pflug

Location: Canada

Sarah Pflug is a brilliant representative of food photographers from Canada. She is specialized in the restaurant, savory and candy images. It is interesting that Sarah chose a pastel-hued logo for her website that is a central tone of most of her shots.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

food photography techniques

7. Hélène Dujardin

Location: France

Becoming a food photographer didn’t take Hélène Dujardin many efforts. Now she has impressive experience due to being involved in photography for about 2 decades. As a result, a French shooter has presented lots of cookbooks and cooperated with popular brands. Now,Hélène lives and works in South Carolina. You can get acquainted with her creative images online.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

food photographer portfolio

8. Fred + Elliott

Location: USA

Fred + Elliott tandem started their existence when one American couple made a decision to unite love to food and photography. They purchased the best camera for food photography and started their journey. Fred works as a shooter while Elliott is a chef and a stylist. As a result, their shots attracted the attention of such famous companies as Walmart, Red Bull, Coca Cola etc. The couple may boast an impressive portfolio with a vast variety of pictures in a grid layout.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

commercial food photography

9. Steve Hansen

Location: USA

Steve Hansen is a food photographer specialized in taking brilliant photos of beverages and food. He combines the vast experience of a pro chef, food stylist and digital artist. Steve takes vibrant images which are able to capture audience’s attention in a few seconds. Finally, a fantastic taste and style of this food photographer are worth the best prizes.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

work by professional food photographer

10. David Charbit

Location: London, UK

David Charbit definitely knows how to become a food photographer. His main photography features are food and interior art. David has great experience of working with popular commercial giants like Waitrose and Tesco. You can come across his shoots in well-known The Sunday Times Magazine and The Guardian. Shooter’s portfolio is so clear and simple that everybody will be pleased with his ideas.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

work by professional food photographer

11. Fudbiro

Location: Slovenia

Next popular tandem Fudbiro presents 2 shooters at once. Katja and Miha had worked as architects before they created “culinary constructions on plates.” They focus their works on sustainable and healthy food. These photographers believe they can change people’s lives with the help of food images.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

commercial food photography

12. Ant Duncan

Location: UK

Don’t miss this guy’s portfolio and read his restaurant food photography tips and tricks because his food photography is just awesome! A rich texture and bright colors are what he uses to make viewers hungry.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

commercial food photography

13. Björn Tesch

Location: Sweden

A popular photographer Björn Tesch knows a lot on how to be a food photographer. The major part of his portfolio is dedicated to pizza photos and cookbooks. Tesch prefers small font sizes to big ones. They add a special touch to a simplistic logo and focus visitors’ attention on photos.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

commercial food photography

14. Mackenzie Anne Smith

Location: USA

Mackenzie Anne Smith is another outstanding representative of professional food photographers. She lets viewers know the backstory of all photos thanks to captions. She is a professional food photojournalist.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

lifestyle food photography

15. Nikole Herriott

Location: USA

Nikole Herriott is the best example of a really determined person who left a position of successful pastry chef for commercial food photography. Her images demonstrate endless passion and love for food. Nikole cooperates with Michael Graydon. She does her best to present audience with unique photos concentrated on lifestyle, traveling and of course different dishes. The shooter’s works are used for popular projects which may be seen on the website. By the way, a site is arranged according to seasons, so it is a real pleasure to look at her incredible portfolio.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

lifestyle food photography

16. Sam Folan

Location: London

Sam Folan is focused on messy but sharp-looking food photography. He doesn’t like to add text to the photos in order to concentrate the viewers’ attention on the shots. Besides, his portfolio is presented in the form of a grid layout.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

work offamous food stylist

17. Tamara Flanagan

Location: USA

Tamara Flanagan always uses the best food photography techniques to realize her creative ideas. Her portfolio includes both commercial and classic food shots. Her website is made in a similar style and will easily catch your attention due to nice photos and serif font that contributes to the excellent look of the galleries.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

messy food photography

18. Mauro Turatti

Location: Italy

Mauro Turatti and Mattia Giani started cooperation in 2010 by launching the Hyperactive Studio. Mauro learned commercial food photography while working in the advertising sphere. Mattia worked as a post producer and dealt with photography studios. One day they decided to start a new era of captivating advertising shots which now are on the top of the Italian prolific studios.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

messy food photography

19. Teri Lyn Fisher & Jenny Park

Location: USA

Teri Lyn Fisher & Jenny Park definitely know everything on how to photograph food for blog. They started to work together with the main aim to share simple but mouth-watering recipes followed by stunning illustrations. Actually, it wasn’t a challenge for a food stylist and a talented shooter. Now they own Spoon Fork Bacon and plenty of various awards.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

commercial food photography

20. Nadine Greeff

Location: South Africa

Food photographer portfolio of Nadine Greeff contains shots of raw ingredients. She also likes to present interesting cooking stories. She prefers to deal with natural lighting that helps get astonishing and at the same time minimalistic photos. You can see her works in many magazines as well as blogs all over the world.

VISIT WEBSITE

 

dark food photography portfolio

If you want to contact one of the food photography blogs mentioned above for further cooperation, email us at fixthephotoinfo@gmail.com.
 

How to Become a Food Photographer?

Follow these 7 simple steps to realize your dream and set a beautiful food photography blog in Instagram or take yummy and high-resolution photos for online portfolio or your local restaurant.

1. Get a Food Photographer Education

food photography career

Of course, having a diploma is not always the key to a successful food photography career. However, studying at a college or university will help you gain the necessary knowledge. There are special photography courses even in community colleges, so studying does not require a lot of money and time. As usual, students learn the rules of photo editing, lighting set up, proper framing, color combination and how to adjust professional equipment.

For only $2 per photo, FixThePhoto retouchers will make your food photos professionally edited for magazines or cookbooks. Deep color correction, background retouching, and photo stylization of high quality.

2. Apply the Manual Settings

If you are just starting your food photographer career, you can set automatic modes on your phone. If you want to improve your shooting technique, you should buy a digital camera with the possibility of applying manual settings (for example, the aperture or perspective control).

 
IMAGE NAME DETAILS  
best mirrorless camera for food photography Canon EOS Rebel T6i
  • 24.2 MP CMOS (APS-C) sensor
  • ISO 100–12800 (expandable to H: 25600)
VIEW PRICE
best camera for food photography Nikon D3400
  • 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • ISO 100-25600; 5 fps Shooting
VIEW PRICE
food photography camera Sony A7 Mark III
  • 24.2MP
  • ISO 50 to 204,800
VIEW PRICE

3. Learn How to Control the Lighting

food photography lighting

If you’re just beginning to photograph food or still life, a constant light can be a good choice. You may use a more powerfulstrobe lightat least 300 watts of power. The last one is highly used in editorial food photography. Visit Food Photography Master Class by Steve Hansen who will teach you to photograph food using strobes and continuous light.

4. Take Pictures of Everyday Meals

food photography iphone

Gourmet food photos are not the primary concern at the beginning of your career. I recommend you to photograph simple homemade meals every day. It will allow you to develop your skills and work on your mistakes. Do not rush to add all new pictures to your food photography portfolio. Analyze them and try to improve your technique every day.

5. Create a Professional Website

food photography portfolio

This is a great way to show your portfolio to potential clients. In addition, it is a wonderful opportunity to present yourself as a highly professional food photographer. Of course, you can simply create a page on social networks and share your works with the audience there. However, a personal site is a completely different thing. In this way, you will demonstrate that you are a responsible specialist who are ready to work with clients.

6. Cooperate with Food Stylists

famous food stylist

You will create photo compositions of your images yourself. However, in order to make your food photography portfolio more attractive, you need to start cooperating with professionals. Ask a food stylist for help. Keep in mind that a good specialist will not want to work with an amateur, so you must constantly work on improving your skills.

7. Understand that You Will Never Be Perfect

It is important for you to understand one simple thing - none of your works can ever be perfect. Even the most experienced food photographers are looking for shortcomings in their photos and trying to improve their style. Never forget about this rule and develop your skills, taste and creative vision. Look through your old pictures to analyze your progress.

Food Photography Tips and Tricks

You can find many food photography tips for beginners on the web. I have collected the best recommendations that will help you take the most attractive pictures. They will teach you how to use the light and various functions of your camera, no matter what gadget you use for work. In addition, you will learn the secret techniques that can help make the food look more appetizing.

Tip 1. Find a “Proper” Plate

commercial food photography

Plates of different forms require a different approach to photography. It is better to work with round plates, especially if you are a novice food photographer. Size also plays a very important role. Avoid empty space. It is not always appropriate. Try to find a plate that matches the size of the dish. Bright colors can give more vividness to your pictures. However, this technique may have the opposite effect — too bright, and a creative dish may divert the main attention from the food. Therefore, prefer neutral, pastel colors.

Tip 2. Think about Photography Props

Undoubtedly, a meal should be the center of attention in your images. However, a good food photojournalist always tries to be creative. Play with accessories. Create interesting compositions and add bright elements, such as napkins, flowers, and various home decor items. The important thing here is keeping the right balance. Remember, nothing should distract the audience from the food.

Read more about what food photography props you can use to take creative and stylish food pictures even at home without additional light.
 

Tip 3. Add Some Decorative Elements

commercial food photography

Add bright colors to your photos. A professional food photographer always knows how to use various decorative items properly. For example, imagine that you have to shoot a bowl of soup. It may look very boring. However, you can put some greenery, and your picture will become more appealing. Remember that you can use only edible elements. Do not put fresh flowers on a plate of pasta, it is tasteless and contradicts the basic principles of cooking.

Tip 4. Look for Unique Elements

The best decision is to go to a second-hand or one-dollar store. In addition to many old and useless things, you can find many unique decorative items and dishes here. It makes no sense to spend thousands of dollars to buy fashionable glasses and plates if you can buy them for just a few dollars. Pay attention to vintage items. They are especially relevant today, as well as rustic dishes.

Tip 5. Do Not Forget about Clean Look

 
presets for food photography portfoliopresets for food photography portfolio
 

DOWNLOAD PRESET

Remember, that dirty dishes or crumpled tissues will not give your photos a special charm. You should treat your work very seriously. Check the dishes and other accessories. Do not forget to iron the tablecloths and tissues. Clean and neat look plays a big role.

Tip 6. Use a Small Amount of Food

commercial food photographydessets

Minimalism is one of the main food photography tricks. Put your dish in the center and think about how you can use the empty space on the plate.

Tip 7. Use Parchment or Baking Paper

food photography portfolio styling

Here is one of the most successful restaurant food photography tips and tricks. Cover the plate with the parchment. In this way, you can attract viewers’ attention and create an unusual texture.

Tip 8. Work with the Contrast Correctly

I believe that the correct use of contrast should be one of the main tasks of a good food photographer. If you need to take a picture of something pale, use a dark background. If you want to shoot a bright dish, pastel, unobtrusive backdrop would be an ideal option for you.

Tip 9. Let Your Food Look Natural

food photography portfolio pie

Too many accessories can spoil your photo by diverting attention from the food itself. A professional food photographer must understand that the audience wants to see an appetizing dish, but not a museum piece.

Tip 10. Use White Dishes

There are many food photography tricksrelated to the selection of dishes and accessories. However, the most important thing is simplicity and laconicism. Use ordinary white plates. Let the dish be the center of attention.

FREEBIES for Editing Lifestyle Food Photography

It is not enough just to get a proper education and buy a good camera for becoming a food photographer. You also need to learn how to edit your pictureswell.

1. Lightroom Food Preset “Saturation”

 
free lightroom presetfor photography portfolio free lightroom presetfor photography portfolio
 
Download Lightroom Preset Free
To get the free pro tools from the Fixthephoto simply enter your email address and your first name in the form.


 
 

Use this food preset Lightroom to add saturation to your shots. It will help you darken or, vice versa, lighten the desired elements. Thus, your food photographer portfolio will havemany interesting pictures.

2. Lightroom Preset “Contrast”

 
free lightroom presetfor photography portfolio free lightroom presetfor photography portfolio
 
Download Lightroom Preset Free
To get the free pro tools from the Fixthephoto simply enter your email address and your first name in the form.


 
 

This preset will help you create the most delicious pictures. It is especially relevant in commercial food photography when your main task is to make people want to try the dish. Regulate the contrast to make the shots more eye-catching.

3. Lr Preset for Food Photography “Matte”

 
free lightroom presetfor photography portfolio free lightroom presetfor photography portfolio
 
Download Lightroom Preset Free
To get the free pro tools from the Fixthephoto simply enter your email address and your first name in the form.


 
 

Use the "Matte" preset to add some haze to your pictures (without yellowness). This effect is especially popular among social networks users.If you want to be a good food photographer, apply this filter.

4. Lr Food Photography Preset "WB Contrast"

 
free lightroom presetfor photography portfolio free lightroom presetfor photography portfolio
 
Download Lightroom Preset Free
To get the free pro tools from the Fixthephoto simply enter your email address and your first name in the form.


 
 

Black and white photographs are always popular with their laconic and classy style. Such pictures allow people to see the whole essence of the image, without being distracted by unnecessary details. Control the contrast with "WB Contrast" preset. This is one of the most interesting food photography techniques.

5. Lr Preset Food Photography “Brightening”

 
free lightroom presetfor food photography portfolio free lightroom presetfor food photography portfolio
 
Download Lightroom Preset Free
To get the free pro tools from the Fixthephoto simply enter your email address and your first name in the form.


 
 

This Lightroom preset will help your food shine and look juicier. Such pictures cause a desire to try an appetizing dish.


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Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.

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