Artistic Food Photography: Crafting Visual Masterpieces

Do you know those impressive individuals who showcase elaborate food photographs, often with a rustic charm, complete dinner recipes, and unwavering dedication? They radiate feminine strength while sharing tantalizing food snapshots?

Well, I’m not one of them. For a while, I attempted a food blog alongside my business, but it turned out to be a bit of a disaster. Consistency in the culinary realm isn’t my forte. As an artist and professional photographer, I’ve never been inclined towards capturing the everyday home atmosphere or the routine of daily life. Instead, I constantly seek ways to transcend the mundane.

Art thrives on exaggeration, but yesterday my Instagram friend Kristine Grinvalde (@kristinegrinvalde) inspired me. She suggested that I approach food photography as an art form. That led me to share some guidelines for achieving distinct food photography that possesses the unique essence of an artwork.

Form: When I set out to photograph food, I look for items with distinct shapes—cookies, candies, fruits—anything with a well-defined outline.

Emotion: The chosen food should evoke an emotion tied to my brand. If my brand carries a fun, vibrant aspect, I seek food items that reflect these qualities in brightness and geometrical composition.

Quality of Raw Materials: Opt for the best raw ingredients. Items that can’t be cooked often possess unique characteristics—personality, emotion, color, and shape—think popcorn, cookies, or donuts. Shape holds significance.

Style: If the subject lacks the desired shape, alter, cut, or prepare it to fit the form you seek.

Composition: Adhere to composition rules—rule of thirds, golden section, golden spiral, diagonals. Composition forms the basis of art; it equally applies to food photography on an artistic level.

Color Palette: Similar to general photography, colors play a crucial role in artistic photography. Dare to experiment with a color palette that suits your message—pastels, vibrant hues, or complementary shades. Colors weave the narrative.

Complementary Colors: Pairs like red and green, yellow and purple, blue and orange, but ensure they complement each other. Use the color wheel as a guide. Complementary colors accentuate, while shades can soften the aesthetic message.

Background: A flat background isolates the subject, removing distractions, elevating it artistically. A white, clean background works wonders initially.

Aperture: Close as much as possible, contrary to other photography styles. In this case, if the light permits, a tighter aperture defines the subject.

Light and Shadow: Both light and shadows serve your aesthetic message. Well-defined graphic shadows or soft, open light—decide based on the emotion you wish to convey. Shadows can enhance the graphic composition or create an ethereal atmosphere.

Aesthetic Code: Infuse your cultural background into the image while aligning it with your brand’s personality. Consistency in aesthetic codes with your brand is crucial. For instance, if your brand echoes classic styles, avoid the pop culture vibe, and vice versa. Mix codes that overlap to create a unique visual.

These guidelines pave the way for food photography with an artistic edge. Can’t wait to see your “#food_like_art” photos on Instagram!


Hi, I’m Manuela, urban potter and Italian artist who’s passionate about exploring the expressive potential of clay. With a love for Wabi Sabi aesthetics and the beauty of imperfection, I create bespoke ceramics, paintings, and fine art photography. My studio, nestled in the charming city of Milan, is a magical box where creativity runs wild and beauty is abundant. Whether you’re looking to bring a touch of magic into your everyday life, or simply to explore your creative side through art therapy I’m here to inspire and encourage you on your journey. I bring art into the world and celebrate the beauty in every moment. This blog is my Artistic Salad, filled with creativity, beauty, joie de vivre, passion and tools for creative minds.

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