The Best Camera Angles for Food Photography

What are the best camera angles?

When shooting food, it’s important to use different camera angles to bring out the best in each dish. The easiest place to start is with a wide-angle lens. This creates a sense of depth, giving a focal point to the foreground. Another option is a telephoto lens, which works particularly well with desserts. It focuses in tight, and makes the dessert look as though it is floating above the plate.

For salads, wide angle lenses are also good for showing off the full color and variety of ingredients. For a shot that shows off the visual interest of food, a wide-angle lens creates a large space. If you want to show off the flavor of a dish, try a macro lens (a lens with a short focal length) or a super-macro lens (lens with a short focal length that has been specially adapted to increase magnification).

When shooting desserts, you might want to use a wide-angle lens to capture the whole dessert plate and a macro lens to capture the detail.

Finally, if you’re photographing fish, you’ll need to use a tripod and ensure you keep the camera still. To avoid blur, hold the camera steady with one hand, while tilting the other around the lens.

The ideal angle for photographing food depends on the type of recipe being shot. Our expert food photographers offer these tips:

For a photo of food that’s appetizing, show off the color and texture of the dish.

A wide-angle lens is often a good choice for capturing a big piece of food, whether it’s an entrée or a side. A telephoto lens is perfect for a salad or dessert, as it allows you to focus on the details without the surrounding items getting in the way.

Use a wide-angle lens for a busy plate of food.

A wide-angle lens can work as a background for a busy dish. Try a portrait-style lens for a dish that has more items.

Don’t use a wide-angle lens to shoot food that you want to highlight.

This will often lead to the background of your picture looking too cluttered. Instead, choose a wide-angle lens for dishes that are evenly spread across the plate.

Use a telephoto lens to show off small bites.

Telephoto lenses have a shallow depth of field, so you can get a clear image of the dish. You can use this to your advantage to create a shot that focuses on the mouth-watering details.

A macro lens can be used to highlight smaller bites.

A macro lens lets you get very close to a dish without making it too tiny, so you can create a shot that looks like it’s floating above the plate.