5 Food Styling Tips for Food Entrepreneurs

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Making gorgeous food is one thing, but taking great food photos is quite another. Many makers don’t know where to begin when it comes to food styling and photography. So they settle for photos that don’t do justice to their product! Even the best recipe or food can fall flat without the right visual. Luckily, your food styling can be improved with simple adjustments. We asked Sean Widman-French of Harbinger, a Boston-based creative marketing agency, for some tips. Read below, and your photos will reflect your product’s natural beauty in no time!

1. It’s all about lighting

When it comes to lighting, the more natural you can get, the better. You don’t need expensive equipment to achieve well-lit shots. You just need a big window and a sunny day! If you are looking get to the next level, a well-placed foam board can help you bounce additional light back on your subject. Avoid shine and glare as much as possible! And though it may seem counterintuitive, don’t utilize your camera flash. The artificial light that it creates can make your products look worse, not better.

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2. Know your angles

Taking photographs with the right angle can make all the difference. Think about what you’d like to emphasize about your product, and choose the angle that best achieves that. Shooting something short, like a pancake? Stack them to add depth, and then shoot head-on for a visually compelling shot. Have a product with great details? Shoot close-up to capture flecks of color or spices. Try shooting from multiple angles to find what suits your product best.

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3. Use texture for compelling photos

Adding a variety of textures to a shot can make the subject much more appealing. Not sure where to start? Assemble a variety of props that make sense in the context of your product, and test how they look together. Try a soft napkin with a hard surface, or combine textures within the dish itself (melty cheese, crunchy toppings). Whatever you do, remember not to let the background overpower the subject!

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4. Composition is key

You know good composition when you see it. Think about the goal of the image, and fill the space (or don’t) according to what you’d like to convey. Negative space can work to your advantage, spotlighting your product and giving it a minimalistic feel. Use less negative space for a more natural, organic tone. And no matter what, utilize balance and the rule of thirds! Thoughtful composition conveys professionalism and, of course, pleases the eye.

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5. Don’t overthink it!

You don’t need to spend hours thinking about each shot. You know the kinds of images you like to look at! Avoid overstyling, adding too many colors or patterns, or overloading the shot with props. As long as you’re telling a story, you’re doing enough. Let the emphasis be on your product so its natural beauty can shine through.

With these tips, you’ll be well-positioned to create amazing content wherever you are. But if you need a little extra help, Harbinger has your back! Their photography studio will provide a complimentary consultation, imagery and estimate for entrepreneurs. They work any budget, timeline and product. Contact them for a level-up at a fraction of the cost, with food styling, photography, design and marketing consulting all built in one.

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