12 Tips for Better Food Photography

May 6, 2015 by Kenmore

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It’s a known fact: we all love to take pictures and show off our food. We’d like to pass along a few tips from the pros so that anyone can be a great food photographer. Take notes as Kenmore Executive Chef, Kari Karch @ChiChef and Samantha Roby, of the popular Instagram account @ChicagoFoodAuthority, walk you through some of their best tips for beautiful food photography.

Be sure to enter the Kenmore food photography contest on Instagram after you’ve read these tips. See below for the contest details and how you can enter to win a Kenmore Elite® Blender with a single serve cup!

1. Use small dishes to make food appear larger:

Using the right plating techniques can make food look bigger or smaller depending on what your goal is. Turn that cherry tomato into a robust garden tomato with the right plate to skew the eye’s understanding of size.

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2. Keep your garnishes fresh:

Certain garnishes can be very delicate and due to that, air or time can have a negative affect on their aesthetic. To keep your garnishes looking fresh and crisp, simply let them sit in ice water to keep leafy ingredients from wilting.

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3. Show your recipe’s steps:

Use ingredient shots to let a viewer’s mind develop your dish’s taste profile before you begin to cook.

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4. Use food coloring:

While some foods taste bright and robust, they may not always come across that way to the eye. In those cases, bring out bold color with a dash of food coloring to help bring ingredients to life.

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5. Highlight the best angle:

The way that you view a dish can make an incredible difference. By scouting several angles to approach your dish before shooting, you can take factors like texture and height into consideration.

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6. Edit your photos:

Pulling out highlights or shadows in a dish can allow your food to appear more tonally dense and rich in flavor. The eye is keen to contrast, so while you’re pleasing your taste buds, please your eyes.

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7. Brush on oil:

With many items like berries, a light brush of oil allows the ingredient to shine just enough to stand out. Paired with a good light source, an ingredient that would typically seem visually dull will now shine like a diamond.

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 8. Show ingredients to tell a story:

Cooking is one of the oldest forms of storytelling. Let them read through your meal like a delicious story by presenting the ingredients in a way that frames the ingredients as an edible journey.

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9. Place food with tweezers:

As good as you may be with your hands, some ingredients are either too small to precisely place them by hand. Utilize a tweezers to place small bits around a dish for fine-tuned plating.

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10. Make the most of your materials:

Use elements like backgrounds or plates to help bring out textures and colors in a dish.

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11. Add condensation to a glass:

For quick condensation, lightly spray the glass with a spray bottle to show the drink as refreshing and palatable.

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12. Keep the dish as the focus:

While you may want to set elaborate backgrounds or use numerous accessories, remember to keep the dish as the focus of the picture.

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Food Photography Contest:

Now that you’ve got a handle on food photography, be sure to get in the kitchen and start cooking! Use your new photo knowledge on your next meal or drink and enter your images for a chance to win a Kenmore Elite Blender with a single serve cup. The contest will start on Wednesday, May 6th and run through Wednesday, May 20th until 11pm CST. Maximum of 3 entries per person. The winner will be announced on Friday, May 22nd.

Follow these 3 simple steps to enter:

  1. Follow @KenmoreAppliances
  2. Tag @KenmoreAppliances in your best food photography photos and include the hashtag #ArtOfHome
  3. Check back here on May, 22nd to see if you’re the winner!


The Kenmore brand represents 100 years of trusted performance, backed by exclusive features and innovations that no other brand can bring to the table. We’re always evolving to ensure day-to-day tasks are taken care of with faster cooking, better cleaning and more living throughout the home.