Best Tips and Techniques for Taking Great Meat Photography

If you’re an aspiring food blogger, you may have heard that taking great photos of your food can be a real challenge. After all, it’s not like you can just snap a picture of your food and call it a day.

But did you know that even when the lighting is perfect and the focus is sharp, your photos can still look unnatural or even unappetizing if you don’t use the right techniques?

The good news is that there are a few simple tricks to take your meat photography (and other types of food photography) to the next level.

What is Meat Photography?

The idea behind ‘Meat Photography’ is to capture the beauty and the drama of the animal in a way that is meaningful to the audience and the environment in which the meat is produced. The art of meat photography includes an understanding of the animal, a knowledge of anatomy, a thorough understanding of the process of slaughtering, and a desire to produce stunning images of the highest quality. In addition to that, the photographer needs to be prepared to work fast, and not to be scared of blood.

How do you photograph meat?

Take a series of shots

Use your camera in different settings. You might take shots of the food on white paper, on brown paper, on white plastic, on colored paper, on the plate or in the kitchen. Try different settings such as taking shots in low light and in bright light. You can experiment with different types of lighting such as natural, fluorescent and artificial. For example, you might use a flash in bright sunlight.

Keep still

To remove the red from a cooked piece of meat you must take several pictures in quick succession. Your camera will move as you take each shot and the results will not be consistent.

Get close

If you want the most successful result, you need to get close to the meat. Put the camera lens very close to the food and take several pictures. This ensures that the picture is clear and there are no distracting reflections from the plate or other surfaces.

Choose a suitable camera setting

You may find that the automatic setting is the best for removing red from cooked meat. However, you might want to control the lighting or create interesting effects. For example, you might use a small flash to light the food in a dark room or you might want to take pictures through colored glass or colored filters. The camera controls allow you to adjust the settings for each image and to create the effect you want.

Take a test shot first

Make sure your camera and lenses are set to the right settings, or use an app such as PhotoPills. Take a picture of a simple object to ensure you can get the right focus and exposure.

Find the perfect angle

Hold the camera at an angle that shows the whole dish. If you are photographing meat, you will probably want to hold it straight up, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Choose a different angle to create a different look.

Focus on the meat

For meat dishes, it’s important to make sure that the entire piece of meat is in focus. Set the focus manually and then use auto focus to help you focus on the meat.

Choose Your Background Carefully

The background of your photo should complement the subject matter rather than detract from it. If possible, choose a simple background such as white or black so that it doesn’t compete with the food itself. If you must use an interesting background (such as wood grain), then keep it simple by placing your food directly in front of it instead of off at an angle or behind something else in order to keep from distracting from your subject matter. You can also choose to blur out any details on your background by using a shallow depth of field setting in order to bring attention back to your main subject matter (the meat).

Take advantage of natural light.

The best light for photographing food is natural light. If you have a window that gets good sunlight in your home, then you’re all set. You don’t need to buy any additional equipment or spend hundreds of dollars on artificial lighting. Just get yourself a stool or chair and prop up your camera on the table next to the window so that you can see what you’re shooting through the viewfinder while looking out at your subject at the same time.

Frame carefully

Try to frame each shot as if you were framing a portrait of someone else. You want all of your ingredients in focus and nothing else distracting from them (like clutter on the countertop). Make sure that there aren’t any stray hairs, strings or other objects that could distract from your delicious dish!

Use props!

Don’t underestimate the power of props when it comes to food photography! A simple addition like an apple slice on top of a pork chop can make all the difference when it comes to creating a visually appealing photo. Try adding herbs, spices or anything else that helps tell your story about this dish!


Today’s modern consumer expects great tasting food. But it’s not just about taste anymore. The visual side of food matters too.

If you want your food photos to be considered a true representation of the product, you need to know the right angles to shoot them from. And this doesn’t just apply to meat photography.

In fact, it applies to every kind of food photo you’ll ever take. So if you want to make money as a professional food photographer, you need to know the fundamentals of shooting great pictures of food.