Food Styling Techniques

By Foodism Team


There are many things that come together to create good food photography: your photography skills, good use of light, some cooking knowledge…the list goes on. But one of the most important skills is one that is often overlooked: your food styling skills. Here are the styling techniques to keep in mind:


Use layers in food styling

To create depth and add interest to your images you can, for example, lay a napkin and then a plate, then a small bowl with your smoothie and fruits on top. That’s 5 layers! Look at your favorite food photographers and notice how they constantly use layers in their work.


Garnish the perfect layer

If you want to add interest and draw attention to your food, use a garnish. You can add fruits on top of a smoothie, and even coconut flakes on top of the fruits for yet another layer. Sprinkle parsley on top of your stew, pepper on top of your egg, confectioner’s sugar or sprinkles on your cupcakes. You get the idea.


Opt for the best-looking plate, bowl, or serving dish

Don’t be afraid to try unconventional options like wooden plates, marble cutting boards, or stone bowls and see how they work for your photographs. 

Useful Tip - A lot of unique serving ware can be found at second-hand shops for a quarter of the price of more expensive retail outlets.


Don’t forget the cutlery

Use cutlery to ground the image in reality, and give the viewer a sense that they could just dive right in.


Explore fresh ingredients as background details

A few juicy lime slices and hot chilli flakes scattered beside a monotonous (but delicious) food item helps to freshen up the image. Go ahead and experiment with unlikely background options like leaves or dried flowers. Remember - when executed correctly, your viewers aren’t going to be wondering how leaves got on the table, they’re going to be wondering how your images look so great.


Rope in a cloth napkin to add colour and texture to the image

While a blue linen napkin behind a roast chicken can help make the image pop, a detailed or embroidered napkin can add texture beside a bowl of soup.


Let’s not miss out on the garnish

A sprinkle of parsley or cilantro and olive oil can take a regular dish to the next level


So go ahead and explore these techniques and make your dishes not just taste but even look more awesome!