Professional Food Stylist Shares Her Secrets On Taking The Best Food Photos

how to take the best food photos

Brooke Lark

Getting that perfect food photo can be tricky. We all know how mesmerizing a crystal clear shot of a steaming apple pie or glistening scoops of ice cream can be, but there are a lot of factors that go into the ideal shot, from timing to ingredients to prep work to the color scheme. It takes more than just a fancy camera.

So to get the best intel around, Swirled interviewed Brooke Lark, a professional food photographer, videographer and cookbook author with a roster of clients ranging from Disney to General Mills. Most recently, Lark has been busy making videos with Bluprint for her educational series “Five-Course Photo.”

The Salt Lake City-based food photographer has five core suggestions when it comes to taking your own professional-level food photos.

1. Keep the greens on.

Lark says that reds and greens tend to make us hungry. If your fruit or vegetable has a naturally pretty green vine or stem, keep it on for the photo to add a pretty contrast.

2. Slice your food in an interesting way.

Instead of slicing your food in half, figure out other creative ways to cut your fruits and vegetables. Let those seeds shine!

3. Cluster your ingredients.

how to take the best food photos

Brooke Lark

Instead of arranging your tomatoes or blueberries evenly on a plate, cluster them together in bunches for a cleaner effect. It’ll end up looking professional even with the simplest ingredients.

4. Freeze cold dishes ahead of time.

If you’ve ever seen a picture of glistening ice cream scoops, you’ve probably wondered how the photographer caught the shot without the ice cream melting. Lark says the trick is to scoop the ice cream ahead of time, place it on a piece of parchment paper and freeze it 24 hours in advance. Using ice cream that’s been pre-frozen will buy you about five minutes of shooting time. Lark also says to turn the air conditioning on really high.

5. Choose a plate that’s the same color as the background.

When it comes to the color scheme, Lark suggests using a plate that’s about the same color as the background. This will quiet the backdrop if you’re not exactly happy with your setting. You can also go to any kind of home decor store and buy a rustic-looking piece of wood to use as your background. No one will know the difference.


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