8 Food Photography Tricks

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Food & Product Photography

8 Food Photography Tricks | Backdrop Express Photography Blog

We’ve all seen the appealing images of naturally beautiful fresh produce, delicious pie, and tempting oven-roasted poultry. These images, which appear in popular cooking books and cooking magazines, create the illusion that anyone can produce the same enticing meals. The truth is that a lot of the food dishes you see have been artificially made up and styled to achieve that perfect look! If you want your food photography to look as professional as the books, you’ve just got to have the knowledge of the right tricks.

One of the most problematic subjects for photographers to capture is food. When photographing food, you are working against it’s natural inclinations to stay hot, cold, moist or solid. You’re also working under the warmth of studio lighting, possibly with backdrop changes and other props, that can cause vegetables to wilt and fruit to discolor. The most stubborn photographers will however, take this challenge and address it with creative techniques. If you look behind a kitchen pantry door, you’ll find some of the tools that are used by food photographers to change to artificially maintain those old beef briskets as gourmet specialties straight out of the oven.

Some seemingly funky styling tools include car oil, deodorant and polish for shoes!

Some photographers will only work with real food while other photographers will happily use artificial food and props. Images that are intended to be used in advertising for restaurants or food stores are required to utilize real food, however, fake cherries against a blurry background and artificial ice in a beverage are acceptable to use.

Not only do food photographers need the essential equipment for photography, they also need tools that come from hardware stores, grocery stores and craft supply stores to create stunning food images.

Here is an example of some of the items that food photographer might use regularly.

1. Blow Torch

This tool is essential for giving the edges of hamburgers their brown color. In addition, a torch will help brown other kinds of meat.


2. Car Oil

Believe it or not, this is a perfect substitute for syrup.

3. Glycerin

This versatile tool can make fish look fresh and vegetables look just picked.

4. Cosmetic Cotton

These are essential for the illusion of steam by sitting soaked in hot water behind your subject.

5. Spray Deodorant

Frost your grapes or cherries with this essential garnish.


6. Hair Spray

This can help revive dried out baked goods.

7. Aerosol Fabric Protection

When sprayed on top of baked goods, this stops other liquids from soaking in.

8. Toothpicks

Keep your foods in one piece and stacked high with these building tools.

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in learning more about food photography? Check out 15 Easy Tips to Master Food Photography!

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