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How to take amazing food photos

by Hannah Sherwood

We asked some expert photographers and foodie stars for their top tips…

Kris Kirkham, food photographer: ‘Always try to make the individual elements of the image connect in some way. A bit of overlap always helps to lead the eye around the image.’
Follow Kris on Instagram and check out his work here.

Natalie Seldon, award-winning food writer, food and props stylist, and author of The Goodness Of Nuts & Seeds: ‘Capturing beautiful food from behind the lens is not only part of my job, but also an enjoyable passion of mine. It’s important to use natural light where you can; positioning your plate near a window achieves the best results. Most types of food shoot effectively from directly overhead, but when a recipe involves layers and height (such as cakes and stacked pancakes) a 45-degree angle is always best. Finally, imperfection is perfection in my book. The more natural and “real” your photographs are, the more appetising and delicious the end result (ie leave those crumbs where they are!)’
Follow Natalie on Instagram and check out her website.

Edd Kimber, 2010 The Great British Bake Off winner: ‘If you’re just starting out, try to keep it simple, and don’t go overboard with composition. Simple shots work really well.’
Follow Edd on Instagram and check out his work here

Anna Glover, our creative food editor: ‘Lighting is so important when you’re snapping food pictures on a phone, especially if you’re in a low-light restaurant. You can easily up the exposure in your phone camera if you need to – just click on the sun button next to the focus box on the phone screen. If it’s really dark, get someone else to use the torch on their phone to make it brighter – camera flash and food are not friends! If you’re taking a snap of your dinner at home, think about the picture you want when you are plating up the food. Food styling doesn’t need a pair of tweezers and to take 30 minutes.
Follow Anna on Instagram.

Rocket & Squash aka Ed Smith, blogger: ‘Decide what angles work, and stick to them. For me, it’s from above, at about 45 degrees, and an occasional close-up. When I diverge from those, the photos are rarely successful.’
Follow Ed on Instagram and check out his website here.


Eggs is eggs

A post shared by Ed Smith (@rocketandsquash) on

Toby Scott, food photographer: ‘Over the past 10 years, I have developed a personal style. When I work on a brief, it comes from intuition and personal creativity. I have learnt to adapt to different client requests, but maintain my own stance. It’s a fun and creative process that changes on a daily basis, depending on the job.’
Follow Toby on Instagram and check out his work here.

Jo Rodgers, Instagrammer: ‘Where possible, photograph food in natural light, and switch off any artificial lighting. I forget about the kitchen light fairly often, and the result is always a bit too orange!’
Follow Jo on Instagram.

John Whaite, 2012 The Great British Bake Off winner: ‘Food photography is always best in natural light. The best kind is in a window that is north facing, so the light is more or less constant. I have a selection of reflectors so I can bounce light into even the darkest recesses of a Black Forest gateau, and some lovely rustic props. Absolutely vital is a selection of backgrounds, which can easily be made at home but, if pressed for time, I’ll order them from a great little company called Woodrow Studios.’
Follow John on Instagram and check out his work here.

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