Photographing Street Food

The shadows and bright spots of some food textures, such as bread, meat, and cheese, can be enhanced by lighting from the side of your dish. When photographing food with a variety of textures, such as sandwiches and burgers, this is especially crucial.

To emphasise the textures and colour balance of your food shot, you'll need good lighting. Consider what portions of the cuisine you want to highlight when choosing the correct lighting for your food. Perhaps you'd want to highlight the juiciness of a newly cooked cut of steak, or the distinct feel of a well sliced piece of cheese.

You want to highlight your food's textures, yet strong shadows can be distracting and unappealing. If there are a lot of harsh shadows in the picture, consider adjusting the angle of your light or camera to balance out the shade and bring out the texture in the food.

Softer lighting might also help to avoid harsh shadows. If you're shooting a photo in natural light, it's better to do it near a window on a cloudy day. Use a reflective surface to bounce and diffuse natural or artificial light onto your subject if you're shooting in the studio.

Because front lighting tends to generate stark bright areas in your shot, textured foods will not be contrasted in a way that emphasises texture in the photographic. This might make your meal look insipid and dull.


Textured foods will not be contrasted in a way that emphasises texture in the image since front lighting tends to produce strong bright regions in your frame. This may make your dish appear bland and uninteresting.


When it comes to photograph angles, consider which aspect of the meal you want to highlight. If you're photographing a sandwich, for example, consider splitting it in half and shooting from the side to highlight the texture and juiciness of the meat.

However, not all foods will work with side-shots. Salads and charcuterie boards are best photographed from above in a flat-lay technique to reveal the subtleties of the arrangement of components.

You should avoid shooting your meal from a downward, front-facing position. Because this is the first viewpoint a person sees when a plate of food is placed in front of them, this is a typical error in shooting food. This is also why photography from this vantage point tends to seem dull. There are some exceptions to this rule, but the nicest textures and lines of the meal are rarely highlighted from this perspective.


Consider how the colours in your shot complement and play off one another, as well as how they contribute to your style. To retain the colour balance, use props or unique textures and patterns in complimentary colours to accent your cuisine.

You should also keep your images saturated. Attempt to keep the photograph's overall composition pleasantly coloured. Certain colours have been demonstrated in studies to cause sensory responses in the brain that enhance hunger. Reds, oranges, and yellows are the greatest colours to stimulate appetites. Greens may help your photos feel more natural and organic.

You should avoid using cold, harsh colours. Vivid blueberries or deep purple grapes can give a splash of colour to your photos. Under blue light, most meals, particularly meats and cheeses, appear unappealing.

Depth of Field

When shooting food, another factor to consider is the focus. Depth of field refers to the distance between things in the frame and how to focus on the nearest areas of the meal. Certain meals have superior angles, just as certain items have better positions in the shot to be more focused.

Experiment with close-up pictures that are focused and backdrops that are less concentrated. Changing the depth of focus in your photos might assist to emphasise more textured foods—this effect is especially effective with pasta meals.

Be creative

Food photography is more of an art than a science. While these are some general recommendations for taking great food photographs, don't be afraid to experiment with filters, lighting methods, and composition to give your photography a more creative edge. Continue learning all you need to know about photographing your food with The Complete Guide to DIY Product Photography.

There are several fantastic and intriguing methods to experiment with food. Don't be hesitant to attempt new things, such as sculpting a landscape with food or producing sweets that resemble charming animals.