Lighting is always a key part of any photography and food styling is no different. Natural light is best so make the most of that when you can. You can experiment with this as food also can look great with dark backgrounds and low light. Also, consider what direction your light is coming from to avoid shadows in your image.
Choose a core ingredient
I always choose one ingredient that is the star of the image and build the remainder of the ingredients and props around that. Sometimes beautiful fresh produce looks so great by itself you don’t need a lot of other items in the photo. I always choose something that has an amazing colour or texture then I enhance it even further with other ingredients and props.
Make your setting look natural like someone was just there
I always think about what the image would look like if I was actually making this recipe in the kitchen. What utensils would I be using? Do I need tea towels/linen? What do I need to do to these ingredients to complete this recipe? All these questions will help you get an idea of which items to include in the photo, of course it is always fun to add some unexpected bits and pieces from time to time but this is a good starting point.
Choose an appropriate background
This one is pretty simple. I always try and use a background that is fitting for food, something you would see in the kitchen like stone or wood, a black background also works well. This really brings your image together.
I am a huge fan of texture and using it in as many ways possible especially when it comes to food styling. Texture can take your image from one dimensional to interesting and eye catching in a heartbeat! Food has great natural texture anyway so your already off to a good start there, but adding in other textual items can really take your image up a notch. Think about wood, stone, metal, linen, shiny surface, matte surface, if you have too many hard textures maybe you need to add some linen to soften the hard edge.
Have fun with it
Lastly and most importantly experiment, have fun and develop your own personal style. There is so much inspiration out there and so many amazing foods to play with. Best part about it all and the true reason why food styling really appeals to me…..you get to eat it afterwards!
I hope these tips help you, I would love to see how you have used them in your photos. Tag me in Instagram if you want to share the results!