Food Photography tips for images that sell your products

29 February 2024

When it comes to selling your product, exceptional photography speaks volumes. In a world of influencers and social media, the visual appeal of your product across packaging, promotions, websites, and pitches is paramount. However, mastering the art of food photography is no easy feat; it requires time, skill, and creativity. Plus, an extra something that has nothing to do with cameras, lenses and kit.

In our recent webinar, presented by award-winning photographer Emma Dunham, she explored all the basics of creating stunning visuals for your food and drink products. From grasping the basics of lighting to fine-tuning composition and styling, she offered a host of tips and tricks to elevate your food photography.

Watch Emma’s webinar for expert insights as she runs down ten food photography tips to help food businesses master the art of food photography.

What makes for excellent food photography?

Since the advent of cookbooks, food photography has been a big part of why and what we eat. Today, it’s even more ingrained in our culture – in the UK, it’s estimated that 130,000 images of food are shared on Instagram daily. Scroll through your social media feeds and you’ll see a parade of food, drinks, snacks and meals. In such a saturated landscape, how does your business stand out?

Imagine someone looking at your website or checking your product on a supermarket shelf. Striking, enticing imagery has a profound impact on consumers’ perceptions. Most importantly, compelling visuals tell a story, whether it’s one of exclusivity, luxury, or sheer extravagance. They should evoke emotion and curiosity, and that’s the secret to great food photography. Before you pick up a camera, decide what you want consumers to feel when they see your product, packaging or promo shots.

The psychology of food

Food Photography tips with Emma Dunham, the Foodies PhotographerEmma Dunham is a multi-award-winning photographer and best-selling author specialising in food, drink, products and people-related. With over 16 years of experience in the field, her passion is helping clients bring their food to life by delving into the psychology of what makes people want their food. That means creating an emotional response and telling a story that ties your whole brand together and gets you noticed.

Top tips for mouth-watering food photography

Emma offers invaluable advice for food businesses seeking to improve their food photography skills, including those new to the game, focusing on the importance of premium images that evoke emotion and tantalise the taste buds. Here are some of her top tips:

  1. Don’t go mad on equipment – You don’t need an array of fancy gear, especially when starting. Invest in essentials like a tripod (easily found on Amazon without breaking the bank). A camera is better for light and shadow control, but a decent phone with a works, too. Opt for natural light whenever possible as it works wonders, plus it’s abundant and affordable, minimising the need for costly lighting setups.
  2. Prioritise emotion – Begin by delving into the psychology of food before even reaching for your camera. Rather than simply aiming for a visually appealing image, consider how you want people to feel when they see your food. Whether it’s elegance, comfort, or tradition, identifying the desired emotion should be your guiding force at every step. Begin by digging deep into how you want people to feel, and think about who you are creating the imagery for.
  3. Create premium images – Remember, we eat with our eyes first. That’s why, in food photography, it’s essential to focus on creating appealing images. This involves carefully considering every aspect of your composition, from how the food is arranged to the setting, lighting and props.
Watch Emma’s webinar for expert insights as she runs down ten tips to help food businesses master the art of food photography.