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Taking Pictures Of Food: 6 Ways To Avoid A Disaster

How To Master Food Porn
Kohei Hara via Getty Images

For those of you who love photography and food equally, combining the two may not always work.

The "foodtography" movement (taking pictures of your food and posting them online) has moved from the pros to amateur diners. As you're probably already well aware, these days diners can and will take pictures of their dishes with a smartphone and post them to a variety of social media sites. And with the holiday season upon us (think Christmas cookies and turkey dinners), your streams are only going to be increasingly food flooded.

But this seemingly simple task isn't as easy as it looks. Just a few weeks ago, Martha Stewart caused an online uproar after she posted so-called "disgusting" photos of food on her Twitter feed. And if Martha can fail at this, you know your shots probably aren't up to snuff either.

Lighting, angles and even editing are all things to take into consideration when trying to capture your mouth-watering meal.

To help avoid a food porn disaster, Mark Shannon, a photography expert at Toronto-based camera shop Henry’s shares some quick tips for smartphone users. And don't just read along for the "likes" — you also know your mom's pot roast deserves better.

What Is That? Turn Off The Flash

How To Take Food Pictures

What Is That? Turn Off The Flash

No really, is that food or something you found in a swamp? The flash feature is built into our phones and is responsible for doing one thing — flooding the frame with light. Often, when you use flash to take pictures of food, you also capture harsh shadows and unflattering detail.

The Fix: Get Natural

Instead of putting your flash on auto, try positioning the shot near a window to make the best use of natural light.

Don't Shoot From Above

Dishes appear vastly different from various angles. When you shoot a plate of food from above, you often miss out on the detail, texture and height of the plate.

The Fix: Try A 45-Degree Angle

A 45-degree angle, for example, will capture the plate from the diner's perspective, while incorporating utensils and dishware.

The Magic Of Editing

We're not saying you need to spend hours trying to Photoshop your food pictures, but a few touch-ups on your device — either through filters on Instagram, cropping or brightness tools on your camera — can help.


Easy tweaks with brightness or contrast can improve your dull pictures. Don't forget to use the #foodporn hashtag when you share it online!

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