3 Quick Food Photography Cheats



Whether you’re a new food blogger or you’re a seasoned pro looking to improve your photography, you’ll hopefully find this useful. We asked Becky Arber to share three quick cheats to achieving brilliant photos of food…

becky says…

Unless you’re rather organised and plan your photography in advance then taking pictures of your cooking can be a complicated task. It’s dinner time, things are rushed, food is cooling down by the second, you don’t have time to get out lights, backdrops and reflectors.

If you’ve been in this scenario then I’m going to show you an amazing way to get fresh looking food, a cheats’ reflector and a backdrop to hide that messy kitchen. Ready? Here we go…



You see this little water sprayer here?

That’s right, the cheap one I picked up for 99p years ago. This little water sprayer comes in useful and not just for misting my kitchen plants from time to time, when they’re nearing death. This water sprayer is the trick to making fresh food look super fresh.

How? Just give it a spray – simple.

Apples, oranges, salad greens, any vegetables or fruit or flowers are so much crisper to photograph when they’ve been sprayed with a little water from a cheap and cheerful water sprayer.

fresh apples


No time to get out the reflector? Don’t own one?

Don’t worry – find an old, large, white dinner plate. Find your light and reflect it towards the subject of your photo.

Food photography is about subtle changes. Subtle changes make a big difference. This dinner plate reflector removes enough shadows to keep the focus on the main subject and create balance in the image. It’s cheap and it’s quick. Plus you don’t have to try and fold a huge, bouncy reflector back into a very small packet when you’ve finished.


The photograph on the left here is without the dinner plate reflector and the one on the right is with it. It helps to eliminate the shadows on the left and make the apple pop in the image. shadow


If you’re a clean and tidy cook then this cheat won’t apply to you. However if you’re like me, then when you finish cooking, it looks like a small explosion happened. Small explosions aren’t conducive for the tidy background that decent food photography requires.

The best solution? Use a cookbook as a backdrop. It hides all the mess in your kitchen and it’s relevant to what you’ve been cooking. Problem solved with the cook book backdrop.


 Thanks so much to Becky for sharing her tips! What are your quick photography cheats?


Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

Discussion23 Comments

  1. Clever tips! I have used a cookie sheet and baking pan as reflectors before, but never thought of a simple white plate. Loved the backdrop idea too. Sometimes I just set up a brown background using a piece of a cardboard box.

  2. Fab tips. Any tips to combat that horrible electrical light in the kitchen? I’m always rushing food outside to take photos which is fine in the summer but doesn’t work in the winter. In the kitchen everything looks sort of orange.

    • At the risk of speaking for Becky, I know a photographer we work with (who happens to be married to Becky!) recommends a halogen lamp – I bought one on Tom’s recommendation from B&Q at around £16, and it’s great. I also have another friend who made her own lightbox to use in her kitchen in the evenings, which helps.

    • Hi Elaine, again, we can’t speak for Becky, but I think you hold it up behind the camera, so that the light bounces off it, and onto the subject of the photo.

      Foodies100 Editor

  3. Thank you so much for posting this so I could discover Becky’s blog. It’s absolutely stunning and Tom is clearly a very talented photographer! Gorgeous, gorgeous family.

    I’ve been shooting food for over 11 years now but can never resist reading up on some tips 🙂

  4. I love the book backdrop idea!

    I’ve also found a cheap way to get a white background it to buy 2 A3 sheets of card, tape them together and use them as a base & backdrop for the food to go against. They fold flat so take up no storage space and if you spill food onto them they are cheap to replace.

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