The Raw Vegan Blonde: My top 10 tips for food photography

The Raw Vegan Blonde is known across the UK for her amazing photography and art using raw vegan produce. Using her years of expertise she gives Vegan Food UK her Top Ten Tips for Food Photography.

  1.  Find good light: unless you have experience using artificial light sources it’s always best to shoot in natural whenever possible. Normal domestic lighting usually casts an unattractive yellow-coloured light and harsh shadows, so if you have the option, daylight is always the best choice. I usually shoot in front of a window, and if the light is too harsh I soften and diffuse the light with a muslin screen (a net curtain would work in a similar way), and also position a white card reflector to help bounce light back onto the subject matter if any areas are looking too dark or in shadow.
  2. Assemble everything together before you start: it’s helpful to gather together all your implements, props and additional ingredients you might need to style your shot so you have everything to hand and you can set up. Assemble and shoot in all one go so you don’t have to keep popping back to the kitchen to get something you’ve forgotten.
  3. Put together a simple tool kit: it’s helpful to have a few tools to help with styling such as tweezers, scissors, a little brush and wipes to help you tweak & position and clean up any messy edges as you shoot. I like to use little spray bottles (Muji do some great travel sprays) filled with water or olive oil to lightly mist onto food to give it a glisten or a dewy look for freshness.
  4. Experiment with different camera angles: I tend to take most of my food shots from overhead but depending on the type of food and the style of the shot you’re looking for a side shot or a 3/4 angle shot may give a better result and show your dish in a more appealing way.
  5. Don’t clutter your shot: when it comes to props I find it’s best to keep things simple so it doesn’t look too ‘busy’ on the eye. It’s tempting to use lots of beautiful bits and pieces to enhance your shot but be careful not to over do it and detract from your main subject matter, your gorgeous food!
  6. Pimp it up! If your food is looking a bit boring get creative with your garnishes. A sprinkle of finely chopped herbs, a drizzle of cream, olive oil or balsamic vinegar, a dusting of ground spice, a few delicately sliced vegetables or a scatter of a few edible flowers, etc. These little things can sometimes make a huge impact to how eye-catching your food is and significantly add to the wow-factor of your final shot.
  7. Keep it clean: unless you’re going for a messy, work-in-progress, or prep-type shot, try to keep edges of dishes, glasses, saucepans, etc. free of drips or smears of food as this can sometimes look sloppy rather than casually ‘arty’
  8. Work fast: if it’s warm or room temperature food, ingredients can quickly dry out, melt or wilt, so try to get your shot as soon as possible. If you’re working with ingredients that can discolour, such as slices of apple, avocado or raw fennel then dip or spritz them with lemon juice to slow down oxidation or browning. Also if you’re using a delicate garnish apply it at the last minute and when you’ve got your dish in position so it doesn’t displace or sink into your dish.
  9. If you’re struggling, start again: if you just can’t get a shot to look right no matter how much you tweak it or re-oragnise it, walk away for a minute or two and then look again it again with fresh eyes and you might find something jumps out at you and you know instinctively what to do to make it work. Alternatively if that doesn’t work then just disassemble your shot and start from scratch with a different approach.
  10. Practice: sometimes you can happily get a shot to look just right instantly without doing much too it at all but more often than not it takes quite a lot of fiddling around with, patience and experience to make a food shot look really good. Don’t get disheartened if you can’t achieve the effect you’re after straight away, keep experimenting and try researching advice and tips on the internet too. There are loads of good free resources out there and some of the best food bloggers have advice on food photography on their websites.
Raw Vegan Blonde
Raw Vegan Blonde


The Raw Vegan Blonde has her own ‘veg-art’ design brand called AMBA, you can check it out by visiting her site 


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