The Most Common Food Photography Mistakes

Food and product photography is an ever-growing niche, and with this comes trends in the pitfalls and mistakes that we all make when photographing food. In this video, I cover the most common things that trip us up.

As a self-taught photographer, I have made all of these mistakes and many more! Although this video is specific to food photography, most of the pointers will translate to other genres too. 

Back when I started out in photography, I thought I knew it all. I genuinely thought that I was good at my craft. That was until I had my first mentoring session from a top pro who pulled me apart and explained that I was ever so slightly worse than a teenager with a smartphone. Thankfully, to go along with this, he also offered me some useful feedback that I carefully followed. 

In this video, I go over my four biggest tips to help stop you make the mistakes that many photographers and especially food photographers make when they are in the first few years of their craft. The video covers lighting, technical aspects, and probably most usefully how to choose what to put in front of your camera and looking at intent rather than simply following trends. 

What advice would you give to a beginner in your niche to help them progress more quickly?

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Benoit .'s picture

Shallow DOF is dead. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You shouldn't post this, there is a lot of $ to make while people are left behind in that shallow universe.

Uneternal Van de Dood's picture

I agree on DOF, however here's my take on "a pretty picture is just not enough today".
Wrong, you're trying to find a niche to justify your "elevated" style of photography. But truth is, most customers and most normal people who watch ads don't care for all of that BS like what softbox is best or is the camera perfectly leveled or did I fix it in post. With so many photographers nowadays, its simply a lottery.
Some chick who does her photos with an iPhone and uses window-light might get the job. People just don't care anymore because of the sheer amount of photography that is just good enough. They don't care if your camera is leveled or if you used a Profoto flash or a $30 LED light from Home Depot as long as the photo meets the requirements. And no elevated philosophy behind your photo will save you from that lottery.

chris bryant's picture

I think the most common and by far the worst possible mistake in food photography is eating the subject before the shoot.

Catherine Bowlene's picture

Or look at these photos when you are hungry!

Catherine Bowlene's picture

Okay, so another common mistake is looking at food photos when you've missed the breakfast and have to edit tons of these pictures without a chance to eat. Wish I could teleport that turkey I had to edit right from the photoworks window but the technology isn't that high yet.

Roy Whittaker's picture

What is an inverse square!!? And what’s a ‘pretty picture?