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How to Take the Best Photos with Food and Drinks

With the rise of visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, a striking image can be the difference between a user scrolling past or stopping to engage. For food businesses, compelling photographs can translate directly into sales. But capturing the perfect shot doesn’t always require professional equipment or a studio setting. Here’s how you can elevate your food and drink photography, right from your business setting.

Lighting is Everything

The perfect photo starts with impeccable lighting. Natural light, especially during the early morning or late afternoon, offers a soft glow that can accentuate the textures and colours of your dishes. Try placing your dish near a window to harness this natural luminance. If the sunlight is too harsh, a simple diffuser or a white curtain can soften the light, preventing stark shadows or overexposure.

Get Up Close and Personal

Capturing the intricate details of your dishes is key to creating an inviting photo. This is where the magic happens: the glisten of a sauce, the freshness of herbs, or the steam rising from a freshly cooked dish. And who can resist a close-up of melting cheese or the fizz of a freshly poured drink? By using the macro setting on your camera or smartphone, you can draw attention to these details. It’s been noted that images emphasising product details can enhance sales by up to 30%.

Master the Art of Composition

Composition refers to the arrangement of elements within your photo. It’s about guiding the viewer’s eyes and emphasising the main subject, your dish. One tried and true technique is the rule of thirds. Visualise your frame divided into nine segments by two vertical and two horizontal lines. Position your dish or the main component where these lines intersect. But don’t overcrowd your shot. Sometimes, a minimalist approach with just the dish and a couple of complementary props can work wonders.

Embrace Angles

Every dish has its best side, and it’s your job to find it. Flat dishes like pizzas might look best from a top-down perspective. In contrast, tall items like stacked burgers or layered drinks could benefit from a side or angular view. Don’t hesitate to play around, taking multiple shots from different angles to find that perfect view.

Style Your Food

The way your food looks is just as important as how it tastes. A little effort in styling can significantly boost your dish’s appeal. Fresh garnishes, strategically placed ingredients, or even a brush of oil to give a sheen can make your dish pop. However, remember to keep it authentic. The dish should look appetising but also real and achievable.

Edit Thoughtfully

Post-production is like the seasoning for your photo. A little can enhance, but too much can overpower. Tools like Instagram’s built-in editors or other mobile apps can adjust brightness, sharpness, and contrast. But moderation is key. Photos that look too filtered or saturated can come off as inauthentic.

Tell a Story

Behind every dish, there’s a story. Maybe it’s a family recipe passed down through generations, or perhaps it’s inspired by a recent trip. Sharing this narrative can forge an emotional connection with your audience. Whether it’s through props, backgrounds, or even a caption, let the essence of the dish shine through. For instance, showcasing a pasta dish’s creation from scratch, accompanied by a story, can be much more engaging than a simple photo.

Be Consistent

Your brand has a unique identity, and your photos should reflect that. By maintaining consistency in lighting, editing style, and presentation, you can create a cohesive brand image. Over time, your audience will come to recognise and appreciate this consistency.

Seek Feedback and Learn

Art is subjective, and there’s always room for improvement. Engage with your followers, seek their opinions, and continually refine your approach. Stay updated with food photography trends and incorporate what aligns with your brand.


If you find yourself struggling to capture the essence of your dishes or simply lack the time, professional help might be the way to go. At Metric Connect, a social media marketing agency based in Leicestershire, we specialise not just in promotion, but also in creating visually pleasing food and drink photos and videos. We understand the Food and Beverage industry and can help your brand stand out and drive customers.