Food Photography: Step Up Your Foodstagram Game in 5 Easy Steps


Looking for ways to step up your #foodstagram game? Read on below to learn some of the basic steps in food photography!

This is one of the most requested topics for me to write about ever since I started food blogging. Truth be told, I get overwhelmed whenever people hand out compliments about my photos – to me, they’re anything but ordinary. But, after a couple of years of practicing and mastering the art of taking Instagram-worthy shots, here are some of the things I learned to help you achieve your #foodstagram feed goals!

Find a good composition and angle

Different eyes can mean different perspectives to each person. Position yourself to take a good composition that highlights the interesting and intricate details of your food. The most common framing methods that I use are Top Down and Depth of Field. However, here are some other popular compositions used:

Top Down

Or flatlay, is basically holding your gear directly above your food and capturing details in the top view. This is perfect if you’re mainly shooting foods in bowls and plates. It also highlights the decorations and props used to enhance the overall aesthetic.

Depth of Field

The shallow depth of field composition technique involves focusing on the object (the food), which is in the foreground, and blurring out the background. If your camera lets you control its aperture, all you have to remember is this:

Small f-number = Shallow depth of field
Larger f-number = Deeper depth of field

For example, if you use f/2.6 in your settings, then this will create a shallow DoF. Using f/11 in your settings will otherwise create a deeper DoF.

I personally prefer using the shallow DoF in most occasions, especially since I like to focus the attention on the food. You may also capture your subject in a much closer distance to achieve a shallow DoF result.


There are times when the food looks really good in both the side view and top view. Therefore, to capture the three-dimensional view of the subject, try shooting it diagonally. In this case, you need to shoot from an angle that shows both the side and top view. Don’t hesitate to try shooting from different perspectives until you find the right angle.


If your food or drink has some fascinating designs or layers that you want to highlight in your picture, then try shooting on one side. I use this one particularly to show the details in every layer of food or drinks.

Decorate and have fun with props

These days, nothing makes your photos more interesting than adding some props and decorations to enhance the mood and its overall look. Since it would be a hassle to lug around your props whenever you’re dining, I suggest utilizing what’s around you to make the food visually appealing.

Use of Hands
Use of hands

Did you know that hand modeling is a thing these days? It’s true! And no wonder why. You can try different positions of your hands to make it seem candid. Dig into your bowl with a spoon, pick up a fried chicken leg, cut up a beef steak, pour on some sauce – make your hands busy!

Use of cutlery and cooking utensils

If you’re doing the Top Down composition, then the use of some cutlery and cooking utensils would create some stunning lines and shapes that complement well with your food. You may also use other things like colorful gems or stones, flowers, leaves, and et cetera.

Use of Utensils
Neutral backgrounds

Keeping it minimalistic is also the key. You don’t want your picture to drown in the unnecessary props and decorations that you can hardly distinguish the focus – which is the food. Try using neutral backgrounds to draw all the attention to the subject. It doesn’t have to be plain – you can utilize wooden tables, tiles, fabrics, or even walls (if shooting on one side).

Create a story

With the use of some props you can easily reach with your hands, you can tell a story when capturing your food photos. Again, play with your creativity and use elements that can weave your picture into a story without putting it into words. For example, you can add your laptop and a cup of tea, positioned in a calm and relaxing manner, to tell that you’re enjoying your tea while doing some work.


Shoot in natural light

This is important, especially since food is comprised of details that may actually entice your viewers. Artificial lights will create a color cast on your food, thus distorting its original color and ruining the quality of it. Be wary, though, of harsh lights that may overexpose your photos and cast some shadows. The best lighting to shoot into is soft, airy, and diffused daylight.

Know how to use editing apps/Softwares

You don’t necessarily need to learn how to edit in Lightroom or Photoshop, because there are apps nowadays that could easily help you with some nice filters. However, don’t overdo it with the post-process. Simply make little adjustments to its brightness, contrast, saturation, and et cetera. Keep it clean and stick close to the original tones.

Use the right gear

Be it a camera or smartphone, it doesn’t really matter. It does, however, greatly matter that you know how to take great compositions and produce stunning photographs. Remember that the instrument is not the camera, but the photographer.

Which OPPO #SelfieExpert smartphone is the best for foodies and is great for taking photos with their yummy meals?

Mobile photography has already taken the spotlight for being the go-to compact companion of many budding photographers. Most smartphones are feature-packed nowadays, and there are a couple of them that can already create similar outputs to that of a DSLR. One of that is the Oppo F3 #SelfieExpert Smartphone. Here’s what I really love about the Oppo F3:

13MP Rear Camera and 16MP Front Camera

Perfect for capturing crisp and clear photos with vivid details!

64GB ROM and Up To 128GB Expandable Memory

Take lots and lots of photos without worrying about your memory getting full!

Thinner and Sleek Body

Easy to lug around and has a comfortable grip, so taking photos is just a breeze!

3200mAh Long-Lasting Memory

You don’t have to keep charging your phone and miss on taking photos worth keeping!

Keep on practicing to improve your foodstagram feed!

There’s no other advice worth noting than keep on practicing, no matter how cliché that is. As the old adage goes, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice.” The world spins on a never-ending cycle of change, and for us to move forward and improve, we need to keep practicing.

Are you interested in food photography? What are some of your favorite techniques to achieve your foodstagram goals? Share your thoughts below!

Mimi Gonzales


Mimi is a food and travel enthusiast who wishes to explore and experience more things in life. She blogs about food, travel, and fancy things that are noteworthy.

  1. Super love your post, cause I’m into food photography as well! Thou I still need to improve and practice, especially doing flat lays. Thanks for these tips!

    “the instrument is not the camera, but the photographer.” sobrang agree ako dito btw hehe 🙂

    If you don’t mind, what camera/mobile phone did you use on your photos in this post? Galing!

    Bia S. |

  2. I love taking pictures of food. In particular, close up shots. I’m still learning how to do flatlays. It doesn’t come naturally for me to shoot those and instantly see a story there. Your tips are very helpful though.

  3. Oppo does have a pretty good camera! I’m using R9s currently, but I do not like the selfie mode. it’s too…. photoshopped? anyway, i always struggle with finding a neutral background for my photos!

  4. I always find it hard to shoot flatlays because I can’t get rid of my own shadow haha. Lighting is key. I bought a mirrorless camera to improve my shooting skills but so far I’m still experimenting on it! Thanks for the tiiips! 😀

  5. spot on with it being about the photographer and not just the gear, though it helps a LOT. I personally use the F3 Plus and what I found is that with the right angle, you can still get great photos even if in low light situations…

    and sometimes shadows give a sense of ambiance and story to the photos if placed correctly 🙂

  6. I normally don’t share blog posts on Facebook but this I am definitely going to do- post it on my Facebook feed. Though I am not a foodie, but it has inspired me to take to my smartphone once again.

  7. It’s been a while since I’ve visited your blog and I love its new look and aesthetic. Now, I have to ask if you are on WP or SQ. Haha! It’s quite challenging for me to tweak my site because I’m no IT expert or whatsoever.

    Back to the post, I honestly have been practicing some of the tips here. Though, food is really one of the hardest subjects to shoot (for me). Natural light can be quite hard to find nowadays since most of the time it’s gloomy. Yet some use lights still and edit it afterwards. Oh well, food photography always makes me hungry and also amazed by the shots.

  8. Great tips. Creating a story is the trickiest part. The right elements give that effect.
    Great tip on dof too, it really enhances the pic. Somehow flat lay isn’t my fav but then that is the in thing in foodstagram.

  9. I’m still at the “tira pasagad” stage hahaha! I’m so lazy to learn how to fully maximize the use of my phone or camera settings. Sigh. A fan of your photography Mi so I appreciate the tips!

  10. These are some really great tips! Whilst I’m not a food blogger, I’m forever taking pictures of my food just for the memories! I sometimes go on to share them on Instagram so will be sure to remember these tips next time I’m snapping my lunch 🙂

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