10 Unique Food Photography Ideas

An important part of being a food photographer is to come up with creative ideas. With food and beverage photography becoming more popular, it is getting harder to come up with new ideas. To help inspire you, we have a list of 10 unique food photography ideas.

#1 Use reflections

Food Photographer ThaiThu, reflected mangos, Klaud9
Food Photographer ThaiThu, Klaud9

A simple way to make your images interesting is to add a reflection. It allows food photographers to create unique perspectives and contrasts. You can achieve this effect by placing the object on a plexiglass surface and experimenting with light beams. This technique can help photos look more polished and stylish, which can be useful if you are a commercial food photographer. If you are going to use the photos commercially, you should be careful to not show visible brands in them.

#2 Create a concept

Food Photographer Klaud9, fruit rainbow above lady
Food Photographer Klaud9

Conceptual photography can be a challenge but it can create appealing and interesting photos. It is all about ideas, symbols, and themes. A simple way to create a conceptual photograph with food is to adopt a minimalist style. This is easier to do with  single ingredients rather than complete dishes. Backgrounds are often used to complement a subject or to make it stand out. You can use common backgrounds, such as walls, to make a concept come to life. Motion blur is also popular technique. The right kind of blur will make your photos look eerie and confusing. These are two qualities that many conceptual photographers love using in their work. You can combine levitation and conceptual photography to create beautiful fantasy-themed photos.

#3 Illusions

Food Photographer Phichack, Klaud9, water being poured into floating glass, Klaud9
Food Photographer Phichack, Klaud9

An interesting technique is to use illusions to make food appear gravity-defying. You will need a frame or support to keep the food balanced. It is easier to edit this out if the background is a block colour. This can also be achieved without editing if you drop the item of food and use a fast shutter speed instead

#4 Add splashes

Food Photographer Phichack, splash caused by ice cube falling into a drink, Klaud9
Food Photographer Phichack, Klaud9

This is an easy way to make food and beverage photography more dynamic. You can use sugar cubes, fruits, vegetable, ice cubes and more to create the splash. The photograph should be taken with a fast shutter speed to achieve this effect. To capture the splash, you should put your camera in continuous shooting mode and start capturing the photo an instant before the item is dropped.

#5 use props

Food Photographer Klaud9, dragon holding chili peppers in its mouth
Food Photographer Klaud9

Using props is a great way to get creative with food photography. Food photographers do keep an eye out for weird, funny or interesting items to use as props.  

# 6 Keep it simple

Food Photographer Olena Markova, salmon and other ingredients, Klaud9
Food Photographer Olena Markova, Klaud9

Some food photographers highlight the elements that go into a dish. This can add more items to the photo to make it more interesting. Beware not to use too many, it might make your photo look too busy.

#7 Slice up the food

Food Photographer Klaud9, sliced pear
Food Photographer Klaud9

Using slices is an easy way for food photographers to create different and interesting shapes. This technique does sometimes require you to set up supports for the food.

#8 use stacks

Food Photographer Lok1509, stack of chocolate and sweets, Klaud9
Food Photographer Lok1509, Klaud9

This is another way for food photographers to create interesting shapes and dynamics. It could be a stack of food or even just different foods piled on top of each other. Or try using plexiglass as a mirror to create some interesting photos.

#9 experiment with colour

Food Photographer Mary Dimitropoulou, purple foods, Klaud9
Food Photographer Mary Dimitropoulou, Klaud9

Creating monochromatic images is a great way for food photographers to display different shades and textures of food. Bright coloured foods like candy are also fun to play around with.

# 10 use water

Food Photographer Andrey Eremenko, orange submerged in water, Klaud9
Food Photographer Andrey Eremenko, Klaud9

Water can be used in many ways in food photography to create unique photos. We have checked out some of the techniques food photographer use. Why not trying out and use water to create reflections, drop items into water to create splashes or just submerge an item in water. This creates bubbles and waves which make intriguing photographs. Or if you want to improve your food photoshoots, experiment with droplets and ice, such as putting food in and around ice or making ice cubes with the food in.

We hope our food photography ideas inspired you. If you want to learn more about food and beverage photography, click here to read our guidelines on menu photographs.

Klaud9 has a wide network of talented food and beverage photographers based all over the world. Click here if you want to learn more about our services.

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