Basic Tips For Shooting Food With A Wide Lens

Learn how to step up your food photography following these simple tips while shooting with a wide angle lens.

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Food photography leaves endless room for creativity. Whether it’s a crowded dinner table, coffee shop counter, or farmers market booth – the different colors and shapes of food inspire brilliant photography. Experimenting with light, composition, and context will lead to unique images that come to life.


Natural light is so important for photography, but especially for food photography—if the food doesn’t look appetizing, your photo will look bad, no matter how well you composed it. I look for even natural lighting, like outdoors on a cloudy day, to get a clean photo and show off the true colors of the food. I love natural light coming through a window because it adds some soft shadows around plates and cups, giving the photos some depth, and amplifying the food’s texture. Overhead sunlight is usually too harsh and unattractive for food photos, but early morning sunlight and long shadows casting over the table can be fun and challenging to play with, and it helps set the mood—it makes a breakfast scene feel more like morning.

Julia Manchik

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Food photography doesn’t have to be serious. One of the most playful aspects is how you use objects in the scene to provide context to the meal. Plates, bowls, table decorations, and even syrup can help to tell the story of the meal. And since meals are a time for people to connect, context can enable the viewer to feel like they literally sitting at the table with you.

Cubby Graham

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Add Some Humanity

A quick and easy to way to add interest and movement to a stale shot is to inject your friends and family. Placing a hand around a coffee mug or an arm reaching for a piece of bread will help bring life (literally!) to your photos. Your Wide lens is great for these shots because you can capture the entire table.

- Dani Chase

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