The Tales

Take your best shot: Tips from a food photography pro

Dec 13, 2021

Take your best shot: Tips from a food photography pro

This time of year, we all become amateur food photographers as we try to memorialize (and share!) the terrific holiday meals we worked so hard to create. But the photos often don’t capture how great the table looks.

That’s because food photography is an art form unto itself with a specific skillset and know-how to make the food look as good as it tastes.

Lucky for us (and you!), we’ve partnered with Joanie Simon (@TheBiteShot on Instagram) to provide some trade secrets for capturing your holiday spread. Joanie is a true food photog pro. She even wrote a book called Picture Perfect Food full of tips for food photographers and aspiring food photographers. At Zunglestore, we learned a lot from her videos even before we partnered with her. While much of her advice is geared toward professional food photographers, there is a lot that amateur food photographers can learn from her as well.

In a recent Instagram post, Joanie teaches how to shoot a big holiday spread with step-by-step instructions. For the tutorial, she has set up a festive holiday brunch set using our plant-based Zungleboo plates and bowls.  She tells us that she likes the plates, not just because they are eco-friendly and look great on the table but also because they are matte. That helps make the food be the centerpiece of the shot without the shine of glossy tableware getting in the way. We love the way she mixed and matched our colors, sizes and styles in this shot. 


Joanie said, “I love the clean and modern look of Zungleboo and how it provides a perfect canvas for creative food styling. Food looks beautiful on Zungleboo dinnerware.”

Be sure to check out Joanie’s Instagram feed to see her tips and tricks. 

A few of our key takeaways, as amateur phone food photographers: 

  • Start with the “props”: Joanie talks about the importance of building the overall composition of the scene by laying out the empty plates and décor first to help create a visual path for the viewer’s eye.
  • Don’t forget the background: Just because your tabletop or counter look a certain way, doesn’t mean you’re stuck with that for shooting. You can add color and texture with different linens or other items.
  • Food looks best fresh: Pay attention to the order in which you place the food out on your “set”. Many foods lose their luster quickly and won’t photograph well. Joanie has a lot of great tips to keep some foods looking good.
  • Never underestimate the importance of instinct and letting your creative impulses drive some decisions.

Joanie elaborates on all of these ideas and more in her post, so check it out. And if you’re even a little bit serious about wanting to up your food photography game, you might be interested in Joanie’s free eight-week Beginner’s Bootcamp starting in January 2022.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.