How To Take Mouthwatering Food Pics

Whether you're a food blogger or not, chances are high that you've received a recipe program opportunity. With the help of veteran Linqia influencer Catherine Pappas, we're offering the ins and outs of how to entice your hungry readers with the best food photos possible. Catherine writes  Living the Gourmet, where she showcases original recipes and breathtaking photos of her creations. "Photography is perhaps the single most important aspect of being a food blogger, since people cannot actually taste what we have made, we have to make it as appealing to the eye as possible," says Catherine. "In other words, presentation is key, and that is where the photography comes in." Catherine approaches each post as a new story to tell, and the effort she puts forth shows. 

Read on as Catherine maps out how to achieve melt-in-your-mouth food shots your readers won't be able to resist.

1. Invest In A Camera

When Catherine first started blogging, she had a point-and-shoot camera. She then upgraded to her iPhone's camera, since it took clearer photos than any point-and-shoot cameras she'd owned until that point. Once things started picking up, she finally made the leap to a Nikon D3300.

2. Set The Scene

According to Catherine, food photography is more than just a pretty plate. You need to create a story around the dish to entice your audience! You’ll notice that in many of Catherine's photos, she place fruit slices, herbs, or nuts around the finished plate to highlight the main ingredients. Sometimes, she'll even decorate with fresh flowers, or a pretty napkin to accent the plate. Catherine says it is all about the "finishing touch" that adds character and charm to her photos. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add your personality to your photos. Find your signature or niche. This is what will help make your photos stand out!

3. Find Natural Light

Whether you're going for bright and clear or dark and moody, lighting is the key to great photos. Don't get caught in the details of whether you're using an iPhone or a Nikon D3300; Catherine says that finding the best light is how you'll ultimately do your menu justice. Aim for natural light! Take your photos in the day if that is possible, preferably near a window. If you are shooting at night, invest in a natural light lamp to ensure clear photos.

4. Test Different Photo Editors

Photo editors are just as important as the lighting; they can help “spot heal,” provide filters to help elicit the right mood, or help you adjust the lighting, coloring and clarity. While there are plenty of free programs to get started with, we suggest investing in quality software.

  • PicMonkey and Canva are free, easy programs that offer limitless editing options for your photos. They also allow you create graphs and watermarks.
  • VSCO is a free mobile app that offers set, premium filters and DIY editing capabilities. Catherine will sometimes transfer my photos to my phone to edit them through VSCO. This service also offers features to sharpen or blur, as well as color adjustment. It’s a great tool for blogging and social media. 
  • Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop Elements are great editing softwares that Catherine uses.
  • Radlab is a new software that works alongside Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop Elements. It offers a variety of new filters help clarify photos, adding more focus to your shot. Their filters also boost colors in a variety of different moods, enhancing your photography to a whole new level.

5. All Parts Of The Process Matter

At the end of the day, “photography” is essentially a process. From “setting the stage,” to taking the photo, to making adjustments to achieve a desired result, every step requires thought and care. While a good photographer might not necessarily ‘need’ a pro camera, at this level it certainly helps!

This article has been adapted from an interview with Catherine Pappas of Living the Gourmet. Check out  Catherine's Influencer Advice on How to Take Mouthwatering Food Pics and Living the Gourmet influencer spotlight.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your program Brand Success Manager or the Influencer Success Team at

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