Guest Blog: How to Take the Best Pictures of Your Food While Traveling

Below are some tips from guest-blogger Courtney Gordner on how to take the best pictures of food while on vacation, gone for business meetings, or traveling just to travel.

For me, taking pictures of food is important because it allows me to remember what I ate while I was traveling. More importantly, I can look at the food and try to remake it the same exact way.

Everyone has their own reasons though for taking pictures of their food. Some do it for social networks while others just do it to remember the experience. No matter why taking pictures of food is vital for you, it is important to know how to take the best pictures.

  1. Choose the freshest looking ingredients.

    While you may not be cooking a majority of the food you are taking pictures of, you can still make the food look as appealing as possible by picking out or covering the parts of the food that do not look fresh. If you are cooking the meal, just know to pick out the freshest, juiciest, and most visually appealing food. The more appealing the food, the more appealing the picture will look.

  2. Angle the Lighting Perfectly.

    When light is placed above the meal, the food can look flat and dull. When I take pictures of my food I always ensure that I am angling the light and camera so the food looks vibrant. Practice the lighting to see what looks visually appealing.

    The lighting you choose will be determined by how the food looks. For foods that are darker, a more rustic lighting will be advisable. However, for lighter foods, choose a more vibrant lighting choice.

  3. Pick Your Props Carefully.

    When you are taking pictures of food in restaurants, you will not be working with many props. Many restaurants garnish the food and have plates setup that ideally fit the food. However, use the utensils you have in front of you to make the food as visually appealing as well. Sort the food in a specific manner, combine a few dishes to one dish – or separate a few dishes accordingly.

    Many people do not realize how food props can play a part in overall picture taking. Food needs to look appealing and props give the visualization needed to appeal to others. Also, make sure that the background of your image is appealing. Don’t take a picture with a mess behind it! Instead, put your plate on a table and take it from above, so the table is in the background.

  4. Keep the Plates and Dishes Clean.

    It is usually best to take snapshots prior to eating the food, but if you have taken a few bites beforehand, do not worry.

    Take a napkin and clean around the plates and ensure that all the food looks organized. If you have eaten a portion of the food, make sure it looks neat. Throw a garnish on top of the food to make it more visually appealing.

  5. Before and After.

    If you are cooking abroad and want to show all of your social network followers what you were able to cook – take a picture before you cooked and after you cooked.

    Neatly stack raw ingredients in a manner where they still look visually appealing. If you have fresh ingredients, do not chop them beforehand. If you have already purchased them chopped, place them in a creative and decorative bowl. The “after” photo will really give a visually appealing look, especially if ingredients or food items do not look as appealing beforehand.

Cooking can be a fun adventure and so can eating out. Sharing your pictures with followers or just with yourself for memory-sake is more appealing when you have pictures that make the food look great. Many people might be enjoy meals that look visually appealing, but not many are able to take pictures that make the food look as visually appealing as it does in real life.

Courtney Gordner is a passionate blogger who loves writing about (and eating) food. You can read more from her on her blog at

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