Prepping for your food photo shoot

Prepping for your food photo shoot


So, you’re about to do your first food photography shoot, or, you’ve done them before but feel like you need a re-visit to the basics for a refreshed perspective – great, this handy little blog is just what you need!

First things first, get your shot list sorted. This is not simply a list of photos that you’re going to take, it needs to be a real plan, including what you need equipment wise and what order you will be taking them in. You’ve probably been doing some form of scribbling down a rough plan already, but here is how to really reap the benefits.

What would complement your main focus of the photos? For example, if you have fresh fish, citrus fruits can emphasise the crisp imagery. Once you’ve answered this you can write a shopping list. This will ensure you’re not rushing around or interrupting your shoot on the day.

If it is a recipe, do you want ingredient shots or only finished dish shots? You could also have some in-progress shots if it is for a cookbook or guide.

Are you picturing flat lay imagery or including background? Have a think about what type of surface and background would work best. Some ideas include fabric, wood, slate or marble (or a mix!). It often takes a bit of trial and error until you’re happy.

Now…moving onto non-food props. Finding that perfect plate or bowl can be trickier than it initially seems with so many patterns, colours and shapes available. Do you want any additional props such as cutlery, scales, chopping boards or wooden spoons? Again, make a list of these in advance of the day, including what item you will pair with which food.

What type of shots do you want? Horizontal or vertical? Do you need to leave white space if they are to be used with text inputted around? Do you need zoomed in shots? Do you need photos of the food being cut into? If so, for obvious reasons, these should be last on your list. 

If you are shooting for a client, ensure that they give you any notes and ideas they have for the photos. Talk it through with them and work their ideas into your shot list. They may not know what they want, or they may have a very clear vision for what they want. Once the list is created, ensure that the client agrees to it – this will prevent 8 shots becoming 30 along the way!

See below an example of a very basic shot list:

Ingredients flat lay on wooden surface with cream mixing bowl: butter, sugar, eggs, flour
Cake on wooden surface with fresh strawberries and raspberries
Zoomed in shot of cake layers, with strawberries and raspberries still there
Horizontal shot of cake
Cake on its own with no props 
Cake being cut into with silver knife
Slice of cake on grey plate

Give it a go next time you’re doing a food photoshoot, either at home or for a client. We promise, the time it takes to write will save double that on the day!

Published by Buy-From Creative Agency on (modified )