Style your food snaps like a pro

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Have you ever wondered how the professionals get food to look so appetising in their photography?

While you might not have the time to arrange your scattered parsley with a pair of tweezers or want to paint your chicken with a mixture of cooking oil and marmite to make it shine, there are plenty of tricks of the trade that you can use to make your food snaps look totally tempting.

As headline sponsor of The Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year we’re passionate about high-quality food photography. We’ve teamed up with the specialists at Aspire Photography Training to put together a simple guide to propping and styling images so you can get the kind of pictures that are crying out to be shared on Instagram as #foodporn !

• Take your photos in soft natural light (see our guide to food photography here)

• Pick the angle that best suits your subject; overhead is a popular option for food images because you can see every part of the dish and its setting in detail; eye level (when the camera is level with the subject) can draw the viewer in and is great for close up detail; ¾ is a good option to create a natural composition because it’s from slightly above which is where we often view our food from

• Play around with the composition and use the gridlines on your camera to keep things straight

• Odd numbers usually look better in a picture

• Keep the props simple and relevant – for example if your cheese came in an lovely piece of crumpled paper, don’t throw it away. Avoid using items that look nice but are out of context.

• Look for interesting textures and complimentary colours to create your set – marble, linen, wooden boards, handmade paper, ceramics

• Focus on the details and personality of the food to help to tell its story. Draw attention to the unique characteristics of whatever you’re photographing. Was it made or decorated by hand? Where was it grown? Can you see how it was made?

If you’re inspired to enter the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year competition you can find out more here ( There are categories for photographers of all abilities including special awards for children.

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