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How to take better pictures of food

Sid Ali specialises in stunning food photography. With a combination of beautiful soft lighting, extensive technical expertise and attention to detail, Sid creates mouth-watering images that encapsulate his passion for food. Here are his top tips to get better snaps of your favourite snacks.

Read time: 2 minutes


When not to plan your shots

Over time I’ve learnt that, while it’s important to plan your shots, you shouldn’t ignore what’s right in front of your eyes. Look for beauty in everything. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and try new approaches, even if it’s the middle of a shoot (within reason, of course).


Image A chance moment by Sid Ali

Convey the right mood

There are many ways to set the mood in food photography. You can use lighting, props, colour, form and story, but begin by deciding what you want the image to depict, and then make technical decisions based on this. For example, if I were shooting a hearty winter recipe, I’d use dark props, dark surfaces (perhaps rustic wood) and add to the shot a winter drink (like red wine).


Image A winter story by Sid Ali



What not to do for overhead shots

Shooting overhead can be fantastic for making food look extremely beautiful and graphic, but it doesn’t work for all food or for all occasions. When starting out, experiment by shooting the same food at different angles to learn what works and what doesn’t – and which angle is best at telling the story you want.


Image Stunning, deconstructed art by Sid Ali


You can find four more tips and images from Sid, as well as the stories behind the images featured above here!

Looking for better photos all round? Check out these pro tips for fashion, family and travel photography!

If you try these tips for yourself, don’t forget to tag us in your photos on social media using the handle @PhotonewsPN!

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