Tips for Photographing Food for Cooking Articles and Hubs

What are some good tips for photographing food?

This question was recently asked by Hubber ktrapp. Since many people comment favourably on the photographs in my cookery hubs, I would like to share what works for me.

There are three factors to consider when photographing food:
1) Lighting

2) Taking the best shots

3) Making adjustments in a photo editing application

Source

A Portable Photographic Studio

Source

Portable mini studios available on Amazon

Photo Tent Table Top Studio Light Photography Soft Box Kit -Size 19.5in Cube
Photo Tent Table Top Studio Light Photography Soft Box Kit -Size 19.5in Cube

This portable studio is similar to the one I use, and has a choice of 4 background colors:blue, black white and red.

 

1) Lighting

Daylight Is Best For Photographing Food

Whenever possible photograph in daylight. This avoids the need for flash, which can cause harsh shadows and can reflect in some foods or dishes.

We have a conservatory (sun room) and I often photograph finished products in there. But you don’t need a conservatory to get good photos: the light from a kitchen window will be enough, providing you take your photographs close by.

The Next Best Thing To Natural Light

It’s not always possible to cook and photograph in daylight, so we bought a mini portable studio. This contains a folding box, two strong lights, a tripod and a reversible background cloth. Similar portable studios on Amazon have a choice of 4 background colours. As you can see from the photograph of the Mini Studio, the lights are positioned outside the box. This gives a soft lighting effect, with minimal shadow.

I use this equipment in two ways:

1) For a photograph of a finished meal or cake I use the entire studio.

2) For photographs during the preparation and cooking I use the lights only.

Using The Mini Studio

One of my most popular cookery hubs, and one which has won the Hub of the Day accolade, is Hedgehog Cake – a Chocolate Cake Recipe.

For the photos of the different stages of icing and the finished cake, I set up the Mini Studio, chose a blue background, placed the cake on a board and took shots between each stage of icing.

When my daughter and I had finished icing the cake I swapped the board for a cake plate and took the picture that gets people drooling.

Using The Lights Without The Box

When using the lights to photograph different stages of cooking, position them at opposite sides of your working space, and move them around until you minimize shadows. I’ve found it works best with one light above and slightly behind the food I am preparing, and the other at counter level on the opposite site of the food. I prop the higher light on a bread bin or hang it from a cupboard handle. Be careful if you do this because the lights get very hot. It is best to keep them switched off until you are ready to take photographs.

Taking The Best Shots

Choosing the Camera Setting

You need a digital camera that can take close up shots. I usually use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 with a 10x optical zoom, or occasionally a Canon PowerShot SX210 1S, which has a 14 x optical zoom.

My camera has a food setting, which I sometimes use, but more often than not I use the macro setting. Both work equally well for getting close to the subject. I rarely use the zoom lens because I find the focus is less reliable. The exception to this is when photographing steaming food on the hob or stovetop. Getting too close can sometimes steam up the lens, so step back or take the photo from an angle rather than from straight above.

Take photos at several stages

How bread dough looks when it’s ready to prove
How bread dough looks when it’s ready to prove

Take More Photos Than You Expect Use In The Hub

When taking photographs expect to take up five or six for each one you will actually use. I take each stage of preparation from several angles. Sometimes what looks best on the camera’s playback screen doesn’t look best on the computer screen so it pays to have a selection. I don’t always use the photos from each stage, but having them available means I can choose those most appropriate to the clarity of the recipe and layout of the page.

While I cannot give my readers the food I’ve made, I want to give them the next best thing: confidence that they too can cook. Taking photographs at several stages of the preparation allows people to know what to expect as they cook. When photographing food in a mixing bowl I generally choose a shot from directly above. This means the focus is on the mixture, not on your pretty bowls! If you use specialist equipment include that in the shot – the names of some utensils vary country to country, and you want your recipe understood worldwide.


Get Close

Close up shots help people to see how the food should look, both during preparation and when it’s ready. So they are good for the reader.

Close-ups are also good for you, the writer.Here’s what hubber Horatio Plot, wrote about a close-up on my Kids Cook Monday - Classic Scotch Pancakes recipe: “That first picture made me want a pancake so much.”

If readers want to eat the food you have showcased they are more likely to make it and may try more of your recipes.

The best way to get a good shot is to get close, especially with food such as bread or cakes. Air bubbles in bread or a cake let the reader see that it has risen well. And getting close makes the online food look much more real.


Heidi the Hedgehog Cake - the finished shot

In this photo the background was too obtrusive…

… and Heidi was too small!
… and Heidi was too small!

Don’t make everything too perfect

Let’s return to Heidi the Hedgehog cake. As I write this article it’s around 5 weeks since I published that recipe. A google search for hedgehog cake recipe or hedgehog chocolate cake, brings up the recipe on the first page, and it has been there since the second week. There are a lot of hedgehog cakes on the internet, so how did Heidi rise so high so quickly?

I suspect that when people look at Heidi, they think, “I could do that.” Certainly people have commented that it looks easy. I can’t say for sure, but I think this could be because the cake isn’t perfect (there’s a chocolate button slightly loose) and yet it looks cute. Some of the other hedgehog cake images available online look so precise that people probably look at them and think, “I couldn’t do that.”

But Do Clear Away Clutter

My photograph is also much closer than most other hedgehog cakes, the blue background offsets the warm brown chocolate and there is nothing else in the photo. The cake is sitting on a cake plate, but in the photo all that shows is a curve of white. This means the focus is on the cake.

Making Adjustments On Your Computer

Two considerations when making adjustments

After uploading photographs onto the computer I check through them with these thoughts in mind:

Would someone seeing this photograph benefit from it?

Is it clear enough?


Any adjustments made at this stage should be to improve clarity, not to deceive readers. I’ve read that food photographed for cookery books is varnished and otherwise tampered with. Whether this is true or not, it’s not something I’ve ever done or plan to do!


It’s not always necessary to crop this closely

Is it snow? Is it clouds?  No it’s egg white, beaten till it forms soft peaks.
Is it snow? Is it clouds? No it’s egg white, beaten till it forms soft peaks.

For PC users

In Windows Live Photo Gallery Auto Adjust performs the same function as enhance.

On Picasa it is: I’m Feeling Lucky

Enhance and Crop

I use an Apple Mac, and edit photos in iphoto, but similar edits can be made in different programs, and I have included alternatives.

The edit I most often make is to click the Enhance button. This is because sometimes a photograph looks darker on the computer than it did on the camera screen. In the photos of risotto above you can see the difference made by enhancing. Very occasionally clicking enhance makes the photograph less clear. In this case just undo it.

After enhancing, the next most useful adjustment is to crop the photo to remove any background clutter.

Sometimes after these two edits I make more specific adjustments such as to make the color warmer, or to sharpen the focus.

After that all that’s left is to upload the photos to HubPages and fit your recipe around them.

More by this Author


168 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Your photographs always look so good. Great tips and I may have to invest in a portable photographic studio.

It drives my husband crazy when I say to him "No don't touch that, I have to take a picture of it before we get to eat it."

I use my iPhone camera quite a bit lately when taking photo's for my recipe hubs. It seems to work okay.

Thanks for sharing your great tips!


ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States

Excellent tips for photographing food! I like the idea of the mini studio--I might have to try that. Thanks for sharing these tips! :)


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

Well done Melvoy. Thank you so much for answering my question. I learned a lot of good food photography tips that I was completely unaware of, like the lightbox. I was also surprised to learn that you can backlight the food. I always thought that would create a silhouette.

I'm also glad you referenced your hedgehog cake since I noticed that hub and photos after I asked my question and was curious about them. Thanks again!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I sense a hub of the day with this work of art! Great job Yvonne! Heidi is just too cute to eat:)


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

Your pictures have great quality -- and so do these photography tips. I appreciate you taking the time to explain the process so thoroughly.

Voted up and SHARED.


Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 4 years ago from Colorado

Food is a very difficult subject to photograph, so your pointers are valid indeed! You'll laugh, but I've found the best place to photograph food for my recipes is on the open door of my oven. Sounds ridiculous, but the light inside the oven and the fluorescent light overhead in the kitchen combine to create great lighting! Thanks for sharing.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Susan,

My family also get impatient at times when I’m taking photos and they are hungry. But tonight while I was making a meal with leftover risotto one of daughters came into the kitchen and said, “Aren’t you going to make a hub about that?” I had intended to, but it was getting too late.

The portable studio is a great thing to have, and not that expensive. It was my husband’s idea, as he was tired of me using background card he has for model rail layouts!

Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi ThePracticalMommy,

Thanks for your comment, and I do recommend the studio, not just for food as I used it recently for some frames. It would probably be good for craft hubs too.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Ktrapp,

I’m very glad you asked the question as I’d been thinking of doing a hub on this so the timing was perfect! I’m glad you found it useful. I’m also really glad you mentioned backlighting as my first explanation wasn’t as clear as it could have been so I’ve gone back to edit the hub a little. I have found that if a light is positioned slightly back and raised it avoids shadow and balances the other light.

Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks very much, Linda. We’ve managed to eat Heidi a few times and plan to make another soon. And we’re vegetarian! :)


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi L.L. Woodward,

Thanks very much for your kind comment and for sharing.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Joe Macho,

Actually I think your oven idea is a good one, especially if you also have good overhead lighting. I’ve used ours once, and the photo turned out okay, but I needed to use one of the studio lights too as our overhead light is not so well placed.

Thanks for adding to the hub with your comment.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Great Tips. I have tried a few times but haven't been able to get a good angle. This is useful. I also like the idea of adjusting it on the computer.

Cheers.


livingpah2004 profile image

livingpah2004 4 years ago from USA

Useful hub! Voted up!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

HI Lady_E,

Glad you found it useful, and thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi livingpah2004, thanks!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

What a great Hub with such useful information! I have a few recipe Hubs and I was thinking about adding more photos of the food to them. This is a great guide! I love the photos too! Voted up and SHARED!

JSMatthew~


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Beautifully done! I always (ALWAYS) love your recipe Hubs and now I know your secret for taking wonderful pictures to show off your creations. And the proof of how great your pictures look came when my daughter (6) looked over my shoulder and yelled with much excitement "YUM! Muffins!" This is coming from a kid who doesn't care for sweets :) You got her hooked.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

Thanks for the great tips on photographing foods. Your recipe hubs always have the most mouth watering pictures! I also use iPhoto on a Mac, and find that cropping and brightening photos is usually all I need. I do love your close-ups!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Thank you for all the excellent suggestions on photographing food. The pictures you took really helped clarify your explanation. Awesome hub.


kelleyward 4 years ago

This was great! I'm just starting to take my own pictures and need all the help I can find. Bookmarked this one and voted up!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Great tips! I needed this. Love the portable studio! Voted up and bookmarking.


shea duane profile image

shea duane 4 years ago from new jersey

Great hub. Really interesting information. I try to take photos for my hubs sometimes; this really helps.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi J. S. Matthew,

Glad you found this useful. I am also planning to go back to by earlier hubs and add more photos because people really seem to like the step-by-step pictures.

Thanks very much for you comment and of course for sharing!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Ardie,

Thanks so much for your kind words. And thanks for sharing your daughter’s reaction. I’m extra glad now that my muffins are healthy if I’ve got her hooked when she wasn’t before!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

HI Stephanie,

I love your photos in general, so feel very pleased to see you enjoy the recipe photos. It sounds like you use the same two buttons I do on the Mac. Thanks for your kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Pamela99,

I’m glad you found this useful. Thanks for your kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Kelley, I saw in the FB group that you were finding food photography a challenge, and as I’d been thinking of doing a hub on this for a while it spurred me on. So this was partly written with you in mind and I am therefore so glad you found it useful. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Deborah, glad to be of service! Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Shea duane,

Glad you found it interesting and helpful and thanks for your kind comment.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia

I love photography and as you had described earlier, food photos are best taken at close up range. Well done on this highly informative hub.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Greatstuff,

Thanks very much for your kind comment.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Wow! Thanks for sharing these excellent tips for photographing food for cooking articles.

I never heard of a mini portable photography studio but it looks so easy to use and helped you create great shots.

Am bookmarking this hub and voting it up except for funny.

Your food hubs always look professional and now I know why. Thanks for sharing your tips on Hub Pages.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Great tips! A lot of your advice is applicable to many types of product photography. Although I don't photograph a lot of food, I do photograph a lot of jewelry and other crafty projects for Etsy listings, blog posts, and articles. I follow all of your tips for these photos. And I don't know where I'd be without my light box! It makes shooting all year round possible. Thanks again for the useful advice.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Happyboomernurse,

The portable studio is very easy to use and is a great tool to have. I’’m glad you found this useful. I always love your photographs too! Thank you for your kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi randomcreative,

I’m pleased to hear you think the advice is useful for other product photography and I agree that the light box is great for craft projects too. I used mine recently to photograph some frames. Thanks very much for your comment.


angela p profile image

angela p 4 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

This was very helpful for me. I just purchased a new Nikon P500 and can't wait to start taking great photos. I will need all the help I can get and you have provided a lot of that with this hub. Great photos too. I love the Hedgehog cake!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Angela P

I’m so glad this was helpful for you. Good luck with your new Nikon! Thanks for your comment.


Rastamermaid profile image

Rastamermaid 4 years ago from Universe

Awesome hub,great content,very informative.

Thanks for sharing,this is awesome.

Blessings!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Rastamermaid,

Thanks for your very kind comment, and glad you enjoyed it.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Very good tips on photographing food. These smart tips would be not only useful for food but also for many other things like travelling, spots of tourist interest, nature, etc. I completely agree with the fact that your food photos looked amazing and had readers drool over them. They look like photos straight from reputed cookery books! You are multi-talented! You are capable of becoming a professional photographer and create a success story! Keep on surprising us with more from you!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful and Awesome. Voted up and socially shared.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Thanks for all this good advice. I cook with my little digital camera, step by step. I'd like to have one of these light boxes. Got to ask: On your photo of dough, what does "prove" mean? I'm not familiar with that term.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi ishwaryaa22,

Thanks for your very kind comment. You are right that many to the tips can be used for other types of photography.

I am an art school graduate, so have always looked at photographs from an artistic point of view, which probably helps and I did briefly work as a photographer many years ago. I enjoy adding photos to the hubs, though writing is definitely my first love these days!

Thank you for all your support.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Mary615,

The light box has definitely been a good investment - and isn’t even expensive.

To answer your question - proving bread it leaving it in a warm place to rise. I have no idea why it’s called that though! (It is a strange expression when I think about it!)

Thanks for your comment.


Swetankraj profile image

Swetankraj 4 years ago from India

Very good and interesting and it helped me lot as a photographer! voted up and useful..


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Swetankraj,

Thanks very much, glad you found it useful.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Excellent! I agree that natural light is best for photographing food. A flash tends to wash out the image and flatten it, making it look less appetizing. Lots of great tips here! I love reading recipe hubs that include the author's own images. All the best, Steph


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Steph,

Thanks for reading and for your comment. Glad you think this useful, though as your own cooking hubs have great photos I guess you knew it already!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Great article Yvonne! I just posted a recipe hub yesterday. I was SO frustrated because when I try to photograph something on a plate, it NEVER comes out right. This has happened in a previous "cake" hub as well. I can get the full cake pics, nicely centered and all, but when I try something smaller, rrrrrrrr, so aggravating. Thanks for the great tips!

Sharyn


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Sharyn,

Good to see you here, and I’m so glad this is useful for you. I can understand your frustration and with close-ups you do rely on a good camera I think. (Well I think the camera makes a difference but maybe I’m wrong!)

I am very lucky to have a conservatory where I take a lot of photos, but I also discard loads.

Thanks for your comment.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

These are very useful tips. I hadn't thought I needed a photography studio, but I think you have convinced me! I'm horrible at getting my shots lit correctly.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Millionaire Tips,

I’m glad this was of some help to you. The studio doesn’t cost much, it’s definitely a good investment as it’s useful for any close-ups and I’d think you’d find it good for photographing quilting projects.

Thanks for your comment.


Linda Bliss profile image

Linda Bliss 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thanks for some great photo tips! I don't make many food hubs myself, but I recently bought a remote control for my camera which I'm hoping will be of great help for my dog hubs as I will be able to direct the doggies better for the shoot!

I imagine if you set your camera up next to where you're baking or cooking a remote control could also help avoid getting those sticky fingers on the actual camera as you take photos for your hubs :-)

Voted up and shared.


CyclingFitness profile image

CyclingFitness 4 years ago from Nottingham UK

Nice hub, I've developped a passion for photography over the last few months. I've found the best thing you can do is get yourself a good camera such as a DSLR. It gives much more control over range of focus. I'm currently working my way through many of the hubs updating the visual content.

I've found in the past too many people concentrate on the food itself and not everything that's going on in the photo. I might not have used your first photograph personally as the edge of the chopping board directs my eye away from what you're trying to showcase.

It's nice also to see a photography article that doesn't focus on the rule of thirds that every basic photography article seems to showcase!


indieswebs profile image

indieswebs 4 years ago from Bhavnagar, India

Don't have words to say! The Hub of The Day!!!

Awesome post Melove...


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Awesome tips! Thanks so much. Voted up, useful and awesome.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland

I've never heard of mini studios, but they seem to be useful. This hub has so many good tips. I can't wait to try them. Congrats on the Hub of the day! This hub really deserves it. Voted up!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Excellent! Thanks for this helpful look at photographing food. Well done!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Oh! Congrats on your Hub of the Day award!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Your tips are WONDERFUL here. I love your photos and now I can improve my own photos with the help of this hub. Plus, your food hubs make my mouth WATER. Votes and congrats!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Thank you for this wonderful hub;I am saving plus voting up.Take care and I wish you a great weekend.

Eddy.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Thank you for these tips, Melovy, and congratulations on a well-deserved Hub of the Day! I hope to use your suggestions to improve my photographs.


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Thanks Melovy, now I know how you take such great pics of products. The mini studio is a great idea.Well done on your hub of the day.

Pinned, tweeted G+'d


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

Excellent tips! I use the photo editing tool on my computer (just in the last few months)and it really does make a difference. I love that mini photo booth and it really is reasonably priced. Thanks for sharing your tips and congrats on your hub of the day!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Great tips, congrats on hub of the day.

My husband will ask me before we eat if I need to take pictures first. He's gotten so use to me pulling the camera out. Voted Up.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Sunshine625's prediction has come true! Wow! Congrats on the 5th hub of the day! This intelligent and helpful hub surely help many more today and onwards! Way to go!


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

This hub is a favorite of mine. Glad to see it was selected as Hub of the Day. Congratulations!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Congrats on hub of the day...well deserved!!! I love Heidi the Hedgehog Cake amd want that studio! Great tips for photographers like me!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Congrats on your hub of the day, couldn't be more deserving. Your photos are always outstanding and make me hungry! I especially like the tip about close-ups versus zoom lenses and need not even say anything with chocolate is a big hit. Voted up, useful and interesting!


wayseeker profile image

wayseeker 4 years ago from Colorado

Melovy,

This is great information all around. I have found myself doing more and more food hubs, and this will definitely help me make my photographs more appetizing. I'd love to get one of the photo boxes, so I'll be putting that on my wish list.

A great Hub of the day!

wayseeker


coffeegginmyrice profile image

coffeegginmyrice 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

With using a white stove top only as my mini studio, I clean up/edit my food photos from one of the free photo editing sites. Trying shots of different angles from side to side, top view and zooming in (focus) gives me the choices to pick the best one. Since my SLR is damaged, I have been using Nikon Coolpix with 10x optical zoom + I use macro a lot and works well. Presentation play an important role in my pictures as well. Also, I aim for midday shots when the sun's rays peeks through my kitchen window. I like the play of light and shade. But this timing is limited to brunch photos and probably some early baking.

This is a helpful hub for those who are into cooking and posting their work gastronomically.

Voted up! Cheers!


savingkathy profile image

savingkathy 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thanks for sharing your tips with us, and congratulations on the well-deserved Hub of the Day!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Great advice Melovy. I have done a couple of recipe hubs and I do like to try to use my own photos but I am never really sure whether it's worth the bother.

Thanks for the advice about the Windows Live Photo, I wasn't aware of that.

Voted up and well done on getting selected for HOTD, well deserved.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Great tips! I did not even know that portable photographic studios even existed! Your photo editing advice is also good. It is no wonder your food shots are so mouth watering! Voted up, useful and will SHARE. Congrats on Hub of the Day! Well deserved.


My Nurse Says profile image

My Nurse Says 4 years ago from Philippines

Oh very very useful Hub! Thank you for posting because the tips you gave are additional knowledge for me. I find it very useful because my best friend and I are planning to do trips across the country (the Philippines) and we would like to cherish our experience with each province we visit, from culture to food. Especially Food! I am excited to try out what you've instructed as we take pictures of the best cuisine there is in the Philippines. Again, thanks for the Hub!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

Congratulations on hub of the day.

This whole hubbing thing is a learning curve for me for sure. I have learned so much these 7 months I have been on here. These tips you shared will definitely help me to sharpen my skills. I am so glad that those of you who 'know' share your secrets. Thanks.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Hi, I read this Hub when it was first published and enjoyed it, but I just wanted to drop by to say congrats on HOTD!


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

Hello, I think these suggestions would be useful for other types of still shots. Thanks so much for letting us know your techniques. They obviously are very good tips, because your pictures turn out great. Congratulations on Hub of the Day.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

Melvoy - I appreciated you answering my question with this hub and providing such really helpful food photography tips, and I am thrilled to see that it earned Hub of the Day too Congratulations!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I just came back to say congrats on getting HOTD!!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Melovy! Thank you very much! I'm so glad this is HOD because I must have missed it. I have had many problems taking food photos. I've heard food photographers make really good money and I know why.

I am getting one of those studio boxes to start. I just worked on photos for a food hub - I messed with the lighting because it totally ruined the photos having my chandeliers directly over every space in the kitchen.

Excellent tips - this is so good I have to share:)


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

Congratulations on your well-deserved Hub of the Day! Your tips are extremely very helpful -- and I love your food photographs!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Useful hub. I intend to write a cook book one of these days!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma

You do have great pictures. I love the hedgehog cake. My photos or end results are never perfect and I worried about that but after reading your story I feel better about them.


StephanieBCrosby profile image

StephanieBCrosby 4 years ago from New Jersey

Really great advice. I have always struggled with taking photos of my food. I actually have a ton of pictures of food I have made, but I have not gotten around to writing the hubs for them. Now I'm glad I didn't, because I can apply this information to hopefully make my upcoming food hubs better. And I may play around with a photo editor to see if I can make previous photos look better. Worst-case scenario...seek the help of my husband who knows PhotoShop.

Thanks for all the wonderful tips. And congratulations of Hub of the Day. Your truly earned it!


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

Great tips for photographing. The mini-studio is a must for anyone who sell on marketplaces like Etsy.

Congrats on the HOTD award!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

congrats for well deserved the hub of the day.

Photographing food really is a fun. Thanks for sharing wonderful ideas.

Cheers


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

I returned to wish you congratulations on making Hub of the Day with this very useful and comprehensive article. I also see your Hubber Score is a perfect 100!

Way to go dear friend.

Gail


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Great hub! I might have to try the mini-studio for better pictures. Very attractive hub you have here--many votes. Congrats on hub of the day! Way to go!


Marigeo profile image

Marigeo 4 years ago

Very informative for those of us who are new and love to take photos. Advice always helps us go on to try new things. Thanks for sharing this with us! Great job!


TwilightDream profile image

TwilightDream 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Congrats! Cute little Heidi is mouthwatering! Bookmarked this hub for reading it whenever I feel like reading this hub, because it is soooooooooooo much interesting! Thanks for sharing great tips on photographing food items.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Linda Biss, your remote control idea sounds intriguing.

Thanks thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

CyclingFitness, thanks for your comment. I think hub pages definitely brings out any latent passion for photography.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

@ Indieswebs,

@Natashalh,

Thank you for your comments.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Made, a mini studio is very useful. I use it for more than just cooking hubs. Thanks for your comment and congrats.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks RTalloni.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

cclitgirl, Sorry for making you hungry! :-)

Thanks for your comment!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Eddy. You have a great weekend too.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

vespawoolf, thanks so much!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Poshcoffeeco, thanks a lot!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Cardelean, it was my kids who showed me what to do on the computer, and now I’m hooked. I’m glad to share these tips. Looking forward to yours on how to do great videos! Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Ha, ha, Moonlake. I know the feeling. Sometimes we seem to photograph every meal. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Yes, ishwaryaa22, Sunshine is a fortuneteller it seems! I laughed when I came back here and saw that comment again. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Deborah. I appreciate it!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

audra that studio is well worth it. Thanks for your comment .


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

tillsontitan, thanks for your very kind comment. And yes, chocolate is always a hit!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Wow, fantastic information! Man, I miss that bookmarking function right now. Thanks for the great tip. I just started photographing my food for recipes and I really need to learn how to do it better. Thank you!


urmilashukla23 profile image

urmilashukla23 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

Great idea. Thanks for sharing it. Useful and voted up. Congratulations on Hub of the Day award!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

wayseeker, the photo studios are great and not expensive. I’ve even used it without the lights now we’ve more daylight. Hope you get one soon. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Coffeegginmyrice, I agree that taking photos from different angles so you have a choice is essential, and that midday shots are idea. I am glad to have more daylight hours now that it’s springtime.

Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

savingkathy, thanks a lot!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

cute photo Jools99!

I definitely think it’s worth taking your own photos for recipes because then reader know you’ve tested it!

Thanks for your kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Peggy W, from the comments here you were certainly not alone in not knowing portable studios existed. We have my husband to thank as it was him who bought mine! Thanks very much for your kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

My Nurse Says, that sounds like such a fun trip to make! I’m so pleased you found the tips useful. Thanks for your comment and enjoy your trip.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

pstrauble, Hubbing definitely is a learning curve and I still have much to learn. Glad to pass on what I have grasped already. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

mary615, thank you! That is so kind of you!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Cyndi10, you are right this can apply to other shots. I’m glad to share the tips and thanks for your kind comment!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you ktrapp! I was glad of the question because it inspired me to write this hub.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

randomcreative, Thanks for coming back and for your congrats.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

RealHousewife, you are so kind!

Sorry to hear your photos didn’t turn out so good but glad you found this useful and thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Stephanie. And as you know I love your photos too!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Gypsy Willow, I’m glad you found it useful and look forward to reading your cookbook. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Pamela thank you! I’m glad you feel better about your end results how. I truly do think too much perfection just puts people off. We want something we can relate to.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi StephanieBCrosby, I am so glad you found this useful and good luck with editing your photos. I haven’t yet got the hang of photoshop either, but it’s my kids who help me out mostly!

Thanks for your kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

ComfortB thank you!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Vinaya, I agree it's enjoyable taking the photos - and eating the food afterwards.

Thanks for your kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Gail, thank you so much for coming back. You are so kind! And yes it’s fun to have 100 score.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Victoria, I think someone somewhere is going to get a surprise at the run on portable studios! Thanks for your kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Marigeo, I’m glad you found it useful and thanks for your comment,


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

TwillightDream, Heidi was also good to eat! Glad you found this useful and thanks for your comment.


BigSerious profile image

BigSerious 4 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

I can see why this was a hub of the day (congratulations, by the way!) Great photo examples and clear advice. Thumbs up! (And that hedgehog is totally cool).


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks prairieprincess, and glad you found it useful.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

urmilashukla23, thank you!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

BigSerious, thanks for your kind comment!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

Another great hub, Melovy! Your pics always look good, and now you have shared your secrets! Thanks! And congrats on Hub of the Day!


LadyMar 4 years ago

I write articles about cooking and recipes for another website. I use photos from iStock and SXC, but sometimes I take my own photos. My oldest son is a professional commercial photographer. He gave me a light box that easily folds up, then I purchased me a light on a stand for taking photos of some my food recipes. I use a digital camera, that I'm not too impressed with, hope to get a new digital camera sometime this year.

Good ideas for photography of food in this article.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Wow, I have a lot to learn about photography. This was very helpful. But you sound much more tech savvy than me. Good job, and I agree: your pancake pic makes me want one!


kelleyward 4 years ago

I always loved this hub! Congrats on the Hub of the Day you deserve it! Take care, Kelley


CookwareBliss profile image

CookwareBliss 4 years ago from Winneconne, WI

Great hub, thanks for SHARING! Plan on pinning this:)


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very inspiring hub. I learn many things about photographing food. My friend is a photographer, he also us a portable photographic studio. The result is amazing. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up and useful!

Prasetio


catsimmons profile image

catsimmons 4 years ago from Mission BC Canada

Super hub, and very useful!

I didn't know that some cameras actually have a "food" setting...interesting.

I like taking pics of food too, usually to remind me of how tasty it was, so the pic has to be able to make my mouth water :-)


Brainy Bunny profile image

Brainy Bunny 4 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

I've been thinking about getting a new camera and a little studio setup. Thanks for the great tips for using them effectively!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for the very useful tips for photographing food! Your photos are beautiful. Congratulations on the well-deserved Hub of the Day.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Homesteadbound!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi LadyMar,

Although I trained and worked as a designer and have always loved taking photos, I am not a professional photographer so I am pleased to read your comment. Thanks very much.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi rebecca, I’m glad you found this useful. I’m not that tech savvy really: just got a very techy husband and a teenager who has been using computers since she was 2 and is also a whizz with a camera, so between them they’ve educated me recently. I now need my daughter to teach me photoshop - it amazes me how kids just seem to get it without needing to learn!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Kelley!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

CookwareBliss, thanks!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi prasetio30,

I’m glad you found this useful, and interested to hear about your friend. A portable studio makes such a difference for many subjects, not just food. Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi catsimmons,

My camera was a mystery to me until I started writing on HubPages, and I was surprised to discover all it can do.

Thanks for your kind comment and glad you found it useful.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Brainy Bunny - go for it, you won’t regret it I’m sure!

Thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi AliciaC and thanks for your very kind comment.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

The portable mini studio is so reasonable, thanks for the tip. Love your pictures, the whole feel and look of your home cooking hub, (could hear your daughter in the background?). Thank so much; it's great of you to share how you make your hubs about food look so appetizing and so intimately attractive.

Congratulations on your award and on the first page with Heidi the Hedgehog cake. SO, so CLEVER!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi GoodLady,

The portable studio is indeed a reasonable price, isn’t it? And you are right about my daughters. They both love to bake and one made that bread in one photo and the other helped with icing the hedgehog cake. So yeah, you heard them! :-)

I am glad to share the ideas with others, that’s what makes Hubpages such a great place to write, it feels like the true community it is. Thank you for your kind comment.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

your photos look delicious and well taken. What camera are u using? Thanks for the tips. Will take note.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks peach purple. The camera I use is a Panasonic Lumix DMC -TZ3


BRIAN SLATER profile image

BRIAN SLATER 4 years ago from Nottingham Uk

Congrats on HOTD with this hub Melovy much deserved. I think getting a good camera is a must if you want good food pictures. I know you can take them with almost any camera but you need the sharpness that only a good lens will offer.

You have made good use of the photographic box and equipment, I think this could be an excellent sales hub on it's own. Food for thought for you, you could link your food hubs and your photography hubs to it.Voted up :)


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Brian. You are right about the camera. I uploaded some old photos (not of food for a change) onto a hub recently and the photo quality is nowhere near as high. It’s not even a huge outlay for a decent camera and well worth it.

Your idea of linking food and photography hubs to this one is a good idea - or even any time I use the box. I hadn’t thought of that - thanks!


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

What a great idea for a Hub! You have developed quite a professional technique, nothing better than practice to do so.

I usually take my food photos outside using the light of the sun when it is not at its peak (not at noon when light is orange and too strong). The best time to use the sun´s light is when the sun is going down (blue light) or coming up (yellow light) and light is softer. I apply composition guidelines to my food photography too: geometry, perspective and creating interesting light by creating interesting shadows within the photograph, which gives depth and texture to the image.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Claudia,

I was glad Ktrapp asked the question!

Your method of photographing outside sounds great - unfortunately it wouldn’t work here in Scotland, especially in the winter when it gets dark early. Luckily we get a lot of light in the conservatory so I use that when I can.

I agree that composition guidelines are important - I started my working life as a designer and that sure comes in handy now! I’ll take a look at your recipes too.

Thanks for your comment.


geekinmotion profile image

geekinmotion 4 years ago from Smyrna, Tennessee

Very useful advice! I'm not sure if I'll be investing in a portable studio just yet, but the many other tips are things I can (and will) put into action on my next hub!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi geekinmotion, I’m glad you found this useful, and thanks for your comment.


catchadream profile image

catchadream 4 years ago from Lakeland, Florida

Great information, I have invested in the portable studio which is great. Now I am working on fine tuning the process, lots of photos and looking for the great ones. Thank for the tips.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

catchadream, glad you are enjoying your portable studio. They're so cheap they are definitely worth it. Thanks for your comment.


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

Hi Melovy: Thanks for your excellent advice. I just wrote my first recipe hub, a French salmon omelet, and I used your tips for taking the photos. They came out great!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks SidKemp,

Glad you found this useful. I will take a look at your hub!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

I'm going to give this a shot! Intend to write a cookbook one day. My most viewed hubs are recipes. Great tips


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Gypsy Willow,

Good luck with your cookbook! Glad you found this useful and thanks for your comment.

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