How to Avoid Flat Looking Food Photography

Placing a pistachio tart on a pie plate

If you’ve ever looked at an image you’ve just shot and wondered, “why does it feel flat?”

In the world of food photography we’re dealing with a two-dimensional medium, but truly captivating food photos give us the sense of three dimensions. We want to entice the viewer to want to reach out and grab that bite.

It’s All In the Lighting

slicing into a pistachio tart on a wooden table with a white table cloth

If you want to make an image feel 3D, it’s all in the lighting.  More specifically, it’s about the direction of the lighting.

This video reviews the various types of lighting scenarios from front lighting to side, to backlighting.  You’ll be able to understand why your images are feeling flat and how to correct that with a few simple lighting techniques.

Joanie Simon

Joanie is a professional food photographer and recipe developer. She creates drool worthy recipes and images for national brands and her work has been featured on TODAY, the Food Network, Shutterstock, Arizona Foothills Magazine and Food52, among others. You can also find her sharing weekly videos about food photography on YouTube at The Bite Shot.

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