Food Styling and Photography


Over the past week my friend and I were trying out some new vegan recipes.  She wants to start a new food blog, so we decided to try our hand at food styling and photography.  Photos are a really important aspect of blogs, and we found a quick and easy way for anyone with Photoshop to quickly fix up any food photo to make it look awesome.

Before we get to the photo editing, I wanted to share with you a list of things we learned along the way while styling the food.

  1. Clean any drips or food that you do not want on the plate.  You can clean it up a little in Photoshop but it will be easier to just keep it clean as you are creating your plate.
  2. Add layers of interest, weather it be a cup or utensils cloth napkins etc, you can add whatever you would like in the background to make your photos feel more real and welcoming.
  3. Use color to your advantage.  You want good colors in your food, and if possible contrasting colors to make everything pop.
  4. Garnish your food! If you add a garnish it adds some height to your dish and some freshness.  In my photo I used micro greens(from whole foods)  which are great for garnishing.  You could also use fresh herbs, or fruit. Try to get different textures too, as an example I used peanuts, a puree, microgreens and roasted veggies.  This is probably too many items but I wanted to show how much texture you can add to a plate by garnishing.
  5. Try out different bowls and plates.  Some dishes do not work with certain food, so try to match up the food with the best dish.  If you are unsure, try a couple different dishes, and maybe mix up the garnishes too so you have more to choose from when you go to edit your photos.

Now for the fun part photo editing!  My camera has a setting called “rich tones” which makes the colors pop, I used that setting to start(but this setting is not needed).  After I uploaded my photos onto my computer I researched a little bit more about editing food photos and I stumbled upon an awesome resource.  I found a free download of photoshop actions specifically for food photography.

“Photoshop actions are a series of steps that have been recorded by their creator. This sequence of steps can then be reapplied at any time, which allows you to recreate the end result without having to go through each individual step every time.”

All you need to do is download the free actions and then load them into photoshop. If you have any questions on how to do this let me know in the comments section, watch this video to see a tutorial on how they work.

You can edit a lot quicker this way, you may have to go in and make a few adjustments but overall these work great.  You just have to click one button and you get a beautiful photo.  This is great for people who are new with photoshop because you can look through the steps to see how the action was made and learn how to do it yourself.  You can also create your own action if you would like.  Below is the before and after, It makes the colors pop and brightens the image.

Before and After

I enjoy cooking a lot more when I look at it as a creative way to express myself. Its like painting but you get to eat it afterwards.  I hope you are able to find the creative side of cooking, it will make the more mundane things into something you look forward to.  Have fun with food styling and cooking!

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