Food Photography and Styling Resources


As I’ve been thinking about my next big post, I thought I’d share with you all some of the resources that I’ve been learning from. Many of these you may have already seen, but a few of them may be new. As I find new articles, I’ll come back and add them to this post:

Oriely Digital Media: Tasteful Food Photography – One of the best summary articles. The author, Simon Paddock, is a freelance photographer and does a nice job of quickly summarizing a few food-photography specific things to keep in mind, like proximity of the food/kitchen to the camera/studio.

Michael Ray’s Food Photography Blog – One of the most comprehensive sites on the subject of food photography, both shooting and the business. Except for the fact that it doesn’t seem like he updates it any more. Still, the articles are very well written and do a great job of talking about lighting, sheen, composition, etc. Michael has also published many of these articles on Professional Photography 101.

Shutterbug: Photos Good Enough to Eat – Lou Manna 2004 article, primarily on how he got into food photography. But there are a few good tips on page 3. I also have Lou Mann’a Digital Food Photography book, which I has some good tips in it, particularly his recipes for light. However, I tend to find his style a bit cold. I wish that Christopher Hersheimer would write a book!

“Digital Food Photography” (Lou Manna)

Shutterbug also has a post from Denny Davis, If you can shoot food, you can shoot anything which offers a few more tips, perhaps most interestingly a listing of all the lighting he uses. (This article is also on Davis’s own site.)

Silver Ace: Food Photography – A very high level summary (ie, know your camera), but this article isn’t a bad place to start.

Recipe zaar: Food Photo Tips – Short and sweet. Just 5 tips about lighting and composition that they think about when they take shots for their posted recipes.

Food Geeks: Picture Taking Tips – A few more tips. One of my favorites is cutting food into geometric shapes. I haven’t tried that yet, but I have seen it done really well a few times.

Eye Weekly: The Fine Art of Food Photography – Ok, not a lot of tips here, but still a fun, quick read about the aura of food photography

Digital Photography Blog: How to take Mouth Watering Photos of Food – Not much instruction in this article, it’s just a list of other links, all of which I’ve listed here.

IRIS Food Photography – Iris Richardson’s articles on the business side of food photography. Things like can you make a living? How does licensing work?

Foodesigns – Lisa Golden Schroeder’s food styling site, with lots of tips and resources to delve into.

Update (4/14/06)
Just stumbled onto a few more good reads:

This thread started by Heidi from 101 Cookbooks has some really good tips.

Clotilde from Chocoloate & Zucchini has documented her workflow on her blog. One good tip from her that I don’t do (yet) is making the recipe several times and taking photos each time. This lets you perfect the recipe (important if you are making a cookbook), and gives you more opportunity for shots. Clotilde is shooting with a Nikon, so she probably will have some good lens advice for you Nikon shooters out there.

Update (6/7/2006)

Worth1000 has a good article on the history and current trends in food styling.

The Australian site, Choice, offers up some food styling tips in this older article (from Jan 2002), complete with some cool before and afters (although I had some problems getting them to work on Safari)

Also, I just found a link to this book on food photography and styling. Looks like you have to order it from the author. There are a few used on Amazon, but they are $80+! Yikes!

(Updated 8/27/06)

Here’s an older article on food styling that I just stumbled on from Garry Kan, a food photographer in Calgary
Not links, but the other books I’ve been learning from are:

Still Life and Special Effects Photography

Food Design (Designpockets)

And a few books that are on the way:

“Food Shots (Pro-Lighting)” (Frances Schultz, Roger Hicks)

“Lighting: For Food and Drink Photography (Lighting)” (Steve Bavister)

Lighting For Still Life

(Updated 2/6/2007)

More articles on food styling & photography:

Food Styling tips from Pizza Today article

Tips from food stylist Lisa Golden Schroeder

This is an older article, but some offers up a great discussion of lighting and where to place it

If you have others, please send them my way!

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3 thoughts on “Food Photography and Styling Resources

  1. Just an update. The Food Photography and Styling book by John Carafoli is now $55 from his website. The same book (but earlier edition) on amazon and are more than the new edition.
    I love your blog!!

  2. I’m looking for Lighting: For Food and Drink Photography (Lighting)” (Steve Bavister) I looked on amazon and a few other sites ,is anyone willing to sell their book? Thanks – Sloane

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