5 Fun FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY Tips for Beginners by CaptainRuby

We already knew that millennials like to show off their lifestyle and skills. Instagram has brought a new light for millennial food enthusiasts to enhance and share their food photography skills to the world. Like other photography styles, beginner food photographers need to know some technical stuff and trained eyes.

Last Saturday, I arrived with my bff at Spumante, Menteng to hone our food photography and styling skills because we are really into it more and more each day. We came because we hope we could learn something more than we’ve already known.


Fellexandro Ruby, a professional food photographer, or known by the name of captainruby in the Instagram world, shared some fun food photography and styling tips for beginners as part of FujiFilm event.

Honestly, it’s my pleasure to be able to attend the event because not only learning about technical photography stuff, he also shared some food styling tips which is the thing I want to learn more. Here they are.


Befriend The Window

In food photography or maybe any photography styles, natural light is the best source of light. If you want to get a good exposure of the food in indoor area, you need to place them by or near the natural light source, which is the window. If you want to take a photo in a restaurant, make sure you do some research about the place because you will need to know where the windows are. Even if you are in the photo studio, it’s best to have a spot near the window. By getting a right lighting, your works are 50% done.


RLB (Right-Left-Back)


If the food is in front of you, you need to know where the best light direction comes from. Look at the diagram above, if you are positioned at 6 o’clock, the light source will come from the 9 to 3 o’clock direction. However, the question will always be, “Which is the best?” The best place to put the light source is either at 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock. In short, light should come from the side of the food because the detail of the food will be showcased more.

If the light comes from the back or 12 o’clock direction, it’s a mandatory thing to put a reflector, such as white styrofoam, just to reflect the light back into the part of the food which is not lighted by the light source.

You just don’t want the light to come from the 6 o’clock direction, because the food will looked flat, really flat.

Gear Up

At first, it’s okay to go around capturing things without any proper equipments, but if you are getting more serious with food photography and you want to really hone your skills in this area, you will need to gear up. There are some equipments that we need such as tripod, reflector, and props.


Tripod is the thing that you need because you won’t need to readjust the framing again and again if you have tripod and you will get a steady shot if you guys have camera with bluetooth remote integration. If you don’t have it, just use timer to capture it.


Reflector comes in many types and sizes. The most accessible one is white styrofoam. It will be a useful reflector wherever you go or even in the studio.


Props are properties is the additional things that you need to convey stories from your photos. If you only capture coffee, then it will not have many stories behind it. If you capture coffee with passports, plane tickets, wallet, watch, notes, and so on, you will be able to tell more stories behind it. The story will be like this is a guy who are going to travel abroad for some business purposes because he takes his notes with him and need some caffeine to stay awake on the road later. Isn’t it interesting how the properties could convey the story? That’s why you need to purchase some props that will fit your style; white, vintage, or any styles.

Take More Selfie

Why did he say take more selfie? Because when you take selfie, you often took it from the same angle because it works best to show your face feature. “Oh it’s better for me to take a selfie from upper right part because it will make my face slimmer.”


The same goes to the food. The more you capture, you can grasp the feel of what angle works the best on each type of food. For example, pizza will be best taken from top because there is no height in pizza. Different from when you are capturing burgers. Burgers will be best captured from side because burgers are quite tall usually and the fillings of the burger will be showcased.

Different angle, different story.

Wise in Choosing the Menu

When you go to a restaurant to conduct some food photography, it is best for you to find the menu on the internet first and you should know from what angle you want to take the food from. Do you want to take the menu from the top or the side angle? What is the concept, is it white or vintage or any other styles? Make sure you finished them all before you come to the restaurant, so you might save more time. It’s a good thing if you have your own style, what do you want to show your audience at your social media? You also have to understand the trend and your target market.

Those five are the basics that you should know first before moving to 4 Fun Food Styling Tips for the Beginners. Stay Tune on my blog for the next part.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Thompson Photography, News DPhotographer UK Petapixel , Pinterest , Howto-simplify.com

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