Food Photography Tips : Using Mobile Phone

As the famous adage goes, The Best Camera is the One You Have With You, and I find this is so true! As a mum of two kids under 5 who constantly need my attention..time is of the essence and I often end up just taking photos with my mobile phone, edit it quickly using the apps and upload it instantly onto social networking sites.

In this post, I am going to talk about my two loves, photography and food and share some tips on how to take food photos using smartphones. These photos have been photographed using my Nokia E71 and HTC Desire 500 mobile phone. The photos, then have been edited using basic camera apps and uploaded to my Instagram account.

What makes a Good Food Photo?

When it comes to food photography, its important to use props, textured backgrounds (patterned kitchen towels, rustic looking chopping boards), fresh and colourful ingredients to make your photo stand out. Of course things like good lighting, composition, choosing the right angle and food presentation are also important factors that makes the food appetising.  Before you start taking the photo, check your phone setting to ensure that you have set your camera resolution to the largest/highest setting, set your ISO to auto, turn your flash off and wipe the camera lens to remove dust or fingerprint markings. Read up on what feature is available on your phone, you may have anti-shake, HDR or even panorama as an option.

Here are some tips to help you take some amazing food shots

1) Good Lighting

Lighting is so important! Lack of light can can make your food look dull but the right lighting can enhance the colour temperature of your food and make the food look fresh. I personally am a firm believer in using natural light, and often have my flash set to OFF. I find natural light such as using window light brings the food to life, sometimes I even use a white foam board as a reflector to eliminate shadow. Natural light also tends to give a shine to your food, which makes it more appealing, as you can see in the photos below.


2) Camera Apps

There are lots of free third party photo editing camera apps that are currently available for both iphone or android phone, these can be downloaded online. I tend to use the basic camera app which comes with Instagram to do minor tweeks to adjust lighting, contrast or to crop the image. Using apps or filters can also change the mood of your photo to give it a dreamy look and feel especially if you are taking the shots at night when you dont have enough natural light. You can also use apps such as PicMonkey to create free collages. See photo samples below which have been tweeked for contrast or had filter added.


3) Composition

In a nutshell, composition is essential to create an interesting shots. Take multiple shots using different angles to create different perspective of the same image and choose the best. You can either tilt your phone to an angle when you take a shot, otherwise the more common style adapted by food photographers recently is taking the shot from above, this gives the food a different perspective and frames your image beautifully. Some sample images below.


4) Close-up

Sometimes it is important to get up close and personal with your food. Try to fill your frame with the food or crop your image after taking the shot but don’t use digital zoom as it creates poor quality images. Also remember to keep your hands steady to avoid blur images, some phones have an anti-shake option under the mode settings. Here are some close up photo samples.




Lastly remember to back-up the photos on your mobile phones, you can either use iCloud or Google Cloud. For those using Instagram, you are able to download the images using a free download software called InstaPort which backs up the photos to your local hard drive.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this post and to see more of my baking and cooking photos, you can follow my Instagram page.

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