Food photography basics: camera settings and editing tips

Create mouth-watering images with these easy-to-follow tips and bring them to life with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

When it comes to creating realistic and appetising food photography, subtlety is key. With a little preparation, a touch of creativity, and a few simple edits you can produce stunning images that demand to be tasted.

There are a few things to bear in mind before you get started:

Camera settings


ISO, in simple terms, is the sensitivity of your camera to light. Generally, you want to keep your ISO as low as possible to avoid noise in your image but boosting ISO can let you use faster shutter speeds in low light.

Fast shutter speeds

By using a fast shutter speed, you can produce crisp images and reduce the risk of image blur, especially if you’re hand-holding the camera.

If you need a slower shutter speed for dimmer lighting, a tripod will help.


Show off your creativity by adjusting your aperture. A shallow depth of field will help the food stand out and command attention. With a wider aperture, you can add a touch of ambience to the shot by bringing more of the scene into focus.

Composition and staging

Natural Lighting

Lighting is crucial in creating natural-looking food photographs. Using a flash can make the food look greasy and unappetising, so try and use natural light wherever you can.

Direct sunlight can wash out your photography and lead to flat and lifeless images so experiment by reflecting sunlight onto your food with a white sheet or umbrella. Or, set your shot up next to a wall or shaded windowsill.


Once you have your camera and lighting set up, it’s time to set the stage.

Add contrast by choosing an interestingbackdrop or complement your subject with a colourful plateorbowl. Utensils, ingredients and other props can also add interest to the image and help the food stand out.


When it comes to[editing food photographs](, it’s often a case of less is more.

By using your instincts and employing a fewnatural edits, and you can create impressive images that show off your latest culinary creation and get viewers’ taste buds tingling.

Explore[Adobe Photoshop Lightroom]( and see where your creativity can take you.