Food Photography – Tips & Inspiration

Since I started my blog I really got into food photography. I fell in love with the process of cooking and baking, preparing, arranging, taking the picture at the end and of course: eating it afterwards.

Today I would like to share some inspiration, tips and things I learned through the process.

I am totally aware that I am not a pro at all, not even very good. I’m only a beginner trying my best, but I already learned a few things that I want to share with you. Maybe you want to start taking pretty pictures of your meals as well and sometimes it’s easier to learn from someone like me instead of someone that already has a lot of equipment, knowledge and practice and who can’t relate to the difficulties of a beginner.

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Equipment

My Camera. I shoot with a Sony Alpha 6000* a system camera that takes amazing pictures while being very small and light – perfect for my travels and everything I wanted. It captures the colours very beautifully and blurs the backround nicely.

My Lens. I still only have the 16-50 mm lens that came with my camera because it works very well for what I need and I didn’t want to spend more money. Maybe in the future but for now I have to work with what I got.

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The two pictures above are taken with my iPhone 6s

Phone. Your phone is also capable to take some great food pic’s. But I find that it isn’t possible to take good pictures in different angles – it just looks weird. But from above and 45° angle looks decent.

I don’t have anything else that I use for my food photography. No light, no tripod (that I use), no background/ underground. I only use what I can find at home: window light, wood floor, white table, kitchen cloth, cardigans, scarfs…

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I once bought this grey plate, but I’ve only used it once or twice because the colour doesn’t make the food look very good…
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But I always use the same plate in pink! Both from IKEA

Ceramic. I did invest in some beautiful plates and bowls cause I really enjoy cute pottery and it’s nice to switch and vary them with different colours and meals. I always find lovely ceramic at IKEA and it’s affordable too.

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Porridge

I think the easiest meal to style and photograph is porridge. Just mix some oats with hot water or plant milk and some extras (here are some porridge recipe inspirations if you need!). You can’t really make something wrong and it’s also super quick and without much effort.

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very liquidy porridge – on purpouse

Tip #1 Make your porridge pretty thick rather than too liquidy (put more plant milk in after taking the pictures when you want to eat) because that way your toppings won’t sink into the porridge. Unless that’s the look you go for obviously – can look very cool as well.

 

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I used a pullover and a sushi roll pad for the background

Nice Cream

…is pretty easy as well, but you have to be quick so that it doesn’t melt away and your toppings drown!

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Tip #2 Get creative with your toppings. It’s always so much fun to choose and cut the fruit and then carefully place it where you’d like it to go without making it look to perfect (most of the time – exact lines can look great too!). Then look for small grains/seeds to add. Maybe even some flowers to top it off? The variety makes food pictures often look super interesting and eye-catching. But don’t overdo it! Too much stuff can look very confusing and extreme. Of course, minimalistic styling can look amazing as well – just try out what you like best!

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simple and pretty- but nothing special

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Examples of toppings
  • fruit/veggies used in the meal or as an extra
  • seeds, nuts, granola, dried fruit, shredded coconut, chocolate drops
  • hearbs
  • leaves or flowers
  • cutlery
  • drizzled syrup

The green-yellow-blue colour palette.

Tip #3 Stick to a colour palette. Especially when you use a lot of different ingredients it can look unappealing when you have too many colours that don’t fit to each other well. I would say 2-3 colours are enough for most pictures. A colourful food styling can look lovely, but the colours have to work with each other well.

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I went for orange and green – just like the ingredients
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This is by far the prettiest bowl of oats I ever made. Simple but beautiful!

 

Tip #4 Leave the skin/ the greenery on. It might feel weird to put strawberries with their greens on your food – but it looks so pretty. Same with Mango, when you fold it over after cutting or cherries.

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Bright strong colours, but they harmony pretty well with each other so that it works fine. 

 

Tip #5 Stick to natural colours and stay away from bright colours (unless it’s the food itself of course). It just doesn’t fit well in my eyes.

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No need a lot of effort. Just some greens, veggies, a few sesame seeds and chopsticks on the side. 

 

Tip #6 Don’t overdo it with the styling. It’s in matters of taste, but I personally don’t like it when food pictures are loaded with too much food, ingredients, toppings etc. I’m more the basic and minimalistic kind.

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Tip #7 Movement or „just-about-to-eat“ pictures can bring your food photography to the next level. I’m just starting to experiment with it myself, but I love the look and it’s even more eye-catching than just a pretty bowl of oats or a stack of pancakes.

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Examples for movement in pictures
  • Cutlery digging into the bowl of oats, stabbing into a piece of pancake, rolling up some spaghetti or laying on the plate
  • pouring chocolate sauce or maple syrup over pancakes/waffles, pouring milk into a bowl of granola, coffee poured in a cup or smoothie in a jaw
  • hands holding the bowl of oats or the plate with pancakes into the frame, holding the cutlery or jaw
  • syrup, sauce, melting ice cream, berry jam dripping from pancakes or waffles

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Tip #8 Don’t just focus on the bowl/plate itself, the scenery is just as important. Of course, you can leave it very plain and basic to put the focus on the food, but most of the time some little details in the background are essential for great pictures.

Underground & Background

It looks super beautiful when you have many different varieties of wood floor, plain coloured floor, marble floor etc. but I just didn’t take the time and effort to make some square meters of under-/background myself. Here are some DIY tutorials on how to make them yourself (1 and 2). I am for sure going to do that when I’ll be back from my travels and start getting into food photography more again! It makes your pictures look much more professional and put together, but until then just look for different floors or tables in your home or…

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this picture is taken in my bed
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My grey cardigan as the underground

Use kitchen cloth, bed linen or clothes as an underground or detail in your picture. Kitchen clothes are obvious, but it can also look great to take foot pictures in your bed or use cardigans and scarfs as an extra.

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newspaper and a drink
Examples of details
  • kitchen cloth, blanket, clothes
  • cutlery
  • kitchen tools
  • fruits, veggies, ingredients (separate or in a small bowl)
  • seeds, nuts, granola scrattered
  • flowers, greens, leaves
  • drinks (tea, hot chocolate, smoothie, juice, coffee)
  • news paper
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baking tray 

 

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two plates on a grey t-shirt

 

Tip #9 Have two or three plates/bowls with the meal and not only one. Style them similar but not same so you have a bigger variety and more possibilities to picture them. For example one in the foreground, the other blurred in the back or both next to each other/ behind each other as if you would want to eat with another person sitting in front of you.

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Pancakes

Stacks of pancakes are a bit harder to capture because they tend to look crooked and the angle can be unflattering. But it’s so fun to style (and eat!) them so I love to experiment around and try different things.

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Got inspired to make bigger and thinner „Crêpes“ and roll them up on Instagram, so that’s what I did

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Putting banana between the pancakes or cutting pieces out – so many great ideas to incorporate into your own pictures.

Tip #11 Take the idea of a food picture you like and recreate it. I promise you it won’t look the same and copied in the end, but when you do this you start to look exactly at how it’s done. How the setting, food, toppings and details are arranged to make it look good in the end. You’ll learn and understand a lot in this process!

I really like to get my Inspiration from Pinterest – have a look at my food photography board!

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I hope you enjoyed this post! I really tried to show what I’ve already learned and I am super excited to experiment around more and get better! 

Do you like food photography? Are you hungry now? And do you take pictures of your meals as well?
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New Motivation & Inspiration | Favourites

This month I fell in love with a few new things: people (or their Instagram accounts), food (as per usual) and products that I want to share with you today.

I guess this will be the last Favourites blog post for now because I’ll be travelling with a backpack soon so I won’t have a lot of new things to share with you. Probably there will be a section in my monthly review with my loved ones I discover in Australia so I can tell you about them.

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Do you already have any blog post / video suggestions that you want me to make in Australia?

I want to start doing videos and obviously still write articles on here so tell me what you are interested in down below in the comments!

I am thankful for relaxed evenings with good conversations, to spend time with people whom company I enjoy and for sure will miss when I’m Down Under.

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Food

I got a few new and old favourites that I want to show you, cause there is nothing better than food – am I right? Also, I am going to share the recipe for my green-protein-smoothie I made a lot in the last weeks and you’ve probably seen it in my Instagram Stories & for my favourite salad dressing that makes all the greens taste great!

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I really like eating salad for lunch because I usually have a huge breakfast (like you see above) pretty late in the day cause I work out in the morning. Also, it is a great way to get all raw greens in. Sometimes I have baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli on the side or more raw veggies like tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper. But my dressing is always the same because I love this combination so much!

Fresh Sweet & Sour Salad Dressing

All measurements are just roughly measured and it depends on how you like it to taste and how much salad you have.

  • 1 tsp olive or flaxseed oil
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1,5 tbsp raspberry vinegar (I use a homemade one) or other fruity vinegar
  • 1,5 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • pepper

I really love the sour but fruity & sweet taste of this dressing and it fits perfectly to any kind of veggies & greens.

Black Smoothie

We have a lot of Kale in our Garden and because Kale is super healthy and has so many vitamins I try to have a green / almost black smoothie about 3 times a week and get all those greens in. Especially when I don’t have a salad for lunch.

  • 3 handful of fresh kale
  • 1 frozen banana
  • some frozen blueberries
  • sweet fruit like watermelon, pineapple or apple
  • half a jar of coconut water
  • half a tsp of each greens powder (I use Moringa, Barley Grass & Camu Camu)

I really like this combination cause it is cold and refreshing, nourishing but doesn’t taste too green/healthy. Do you like drinking green smoothies as well?

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In Berlin I ate a super yummy wrap with black rice, tofu and a tahini sauce. I never ate round black rice before (not the hard, thin one you mix with basmati rice) and it tasted so good, very flavourful and now I want to cook with it at home. I could imagine it in a salad with greens, cucumber, pepper, smoked tofu and a tahini sauce…

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I also discovered a vegan „Mortadella“ and I really love it. It almost tastes like the real one (even my dad & brother like it!) and it’s perfect if you crave something savoury but not veggie-tasting on your bread. I eat it with a bit avocado as a butter substitute and I can highly recommend you to try it if you like substitutes.

 

 


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Inspiration

I just recently discovered @maddielymburner on YouTube and now she is my number 1 inspiration when it comes to health, veganism, food and fitness. She is so lovely, healthy and fit and her videos really motivate me a lot and give great inspiration for meals. She also has a second Instagram account that is more fitness related @madfit.ig as well as a second YouTube Channel where she posts at home workouts that I’ve been doing since two weeks now and I really love them!

I am totally inspired by the idea of minimalism and don’t owning a lot – just what you really need. Something that I want to work on more when I’ll be back from Australia. I am sure it will be a great start to only travel with a backpack for a year and hopefully, it won’t be hard to declutter because I know that I can live a wonderful life without many things I own.

Raw Alignment and her minimalism series on YouTube really inspire me, as well as Pick up Limes, who is another great inspiration!

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I found this picture on Pinterest and that’s truely how I want all my relationships to be… This picture really speaks to my heart and soul.

Last but not least I completely fell in love with @annietarasova she is such an inspiring soul and her travel photography and also videography is just beautiful. She also creates amazing art and inspires in mindfulness, self-love and more!


What are your favourites this month? Who inspires you to work towards your goals, learn & grow?

What I Eat on a Hot Summer Day #19

Summer is the best time for fresh healthy food. So much variety, lots of garden produce and local produce, the prices are affordable and because of the heat you just want to eat fresh food.

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Right now I am soo addicted to watermelon. I could literally eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as a snack. I mean, what can I say – it’s sweet, fruity and so refreshing!

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In Portugal, I fell in love with grapefruit because they taste so sour-sweet and fresh.

Peaches, Nectarines, Mangoes and all kinds of Berries are some more favorites that I can’t get enough of! Fruit is all I crave at the moment and I can not understand how people do a keto or low carb diet and not eat fruit in summer. I would not be okay with that. I love fruit just way too much!

How about you? Do you eat lots of fruit at the moment or do you try to get away from all the fruit sugar? 

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The last few weeks after our trip to Portugal I tried to eat very clean, vegan and healthy because I didn’t eat that well on vacation (lots of white bread and cheese) and I did okay. Not as I hoped, but I ate out with friends a lot (basically all vegan at least) but still bread and cheese here and there and the last days I also craved chocolate every night… But I also tell myself that I won’t have access to a lot of the food I can eat now when I am in Australia cause I need to buy cheap – so I let myself have it all now :D

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My breakfast still looks pretty much the same: some porridge, lots of fruit and sometimes a bit vegan lupin mango yogurt. I often have an extra bowl of watermelon or other fruit on the side as well.

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Then for lunchtime, I sometimes have more fruit, a big salad with garden tomatoes and cucumbers or a wrap depending on how late I ate breakfast and how hungry I am. I really like to have cold food for lunch because at 36°C it’s just too much to cook something or eat warm food and wraps and salads are a great way to get some greens in as well!

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Now that we super many tomatoes from our garden we love to roast thick slices in a pan on both sides an then put it on a bread with hummus. Or you can also put some feta cheese on top and wait one more minute until it gets warm as well. Tastes freaking amazing and I can highly recommend making these hot tomatoes to top your bread.

Sometimes we have some tofu with it or some fresh cucumber and chives from the garden.

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As I already mentioned I craved chocolate after dinner and I let myself enjoy some vegan chocolate. It’s not healthy and clean at all, but I still want to be honest with you.

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Luckily I bought silken tofu today at the Asia market and now I can make my healthy vegan chocolate dessert mousse again to have something chocolaty but still healthy when I crave it.