“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”Margaret Fuller
Guided by this saying, ladies, and gentlemen, I solemnly open a new subcategory on my blog (red ribbon, snip!), under the name “Photography”.
When I started writing this blog, I had a vision that it would not only be a place where you could find delicious and inspiring recipes, but also a place where we could all learn a lot from each other, find about useful things and pick up some new skills.
Recently (or was it a few months ago, hmmm) I asked you on Instagram what else you would like to read about on my blog, and most of you said that you are interested in recommendations for good food documentaries, cool cookbooks and tips related to food photography.
Well, my dear friends, don’t think that I forgot about this!
Those of you who follow me on social networks and who read my blog posts have probably noticed that I pay a lot of attention to my food photography. Photography has been a great love of mine for several years but I’ve NEVER photographed food until I didn’t have to take some food photos for my first recipe (homemade pizza photographed with a built-in flash on a yellow nylon tablecloth in my kitchen doesn’t count).
I was in total panic. How the hell I was supposed to take photos of my food that would look nice and attractive when I live in a small basement apartment with tiny windows where I have very little natural light available. Of course, if there’s no car parked in front of that poor window. And we know that beautiful natural light is something that is often pointed out as one of the most important preconditions for great food photography.
Then, as some of you may be doing, I simply started googling things. I was looking for all the possible information on how to photograph food, what I needed to have from the equipment, how to improve my composition, how to edit photos in Lightroom, etc.
Back then, I started to learn food photography from people who selflessly shared their knowledge and experience on their websites, many times for free. That’s why I thought that it would be useful to gather these content sources all in one place so that you, just like me, can learn from the best!
Why this post isn’t titled “9 Best Food Photographers in the World”? Or something similar.
Because there are so many talented, successful food photographers and food bloggers who are awesome in what they’re doing, BUT they don’t write about it. And the superlative “best” is almost always a reflection of one’s own taste rather than objective judgment.
So, let’s get started!
9. Darina Kopčok
I came across her blog Gastrostoria only recently. Darina lives in Vancouver, Canada and besides photographing food, she also writes and mentors people.
Darina creates a great dark, moody food photography (although she’s rocking the bright ones, not to be deceived), and while her style is vastly different from mine, her minimalism and thoughtful composition is a good inspiration for anyone who wants to learn the basics of food photography. By subscribing to her newsletter you will receive a few handy, free e-booklets in your e-mail, so I strongly advise you to check out her website.
Also, for those of you who would like to learn more about composition, you can buy Darina’s e-book “Rule of Thirds: A Guide to Composition for Food Photography”. I personally don’t own one yet, but from this preview on her blog, it seems like a good thing to have because she included some kind of cheat sheets that can help you to improve your composition when shooting food photos.
Also, pay attention to her articles on the blog. They’re very useful.
8. Andrew Scrivani
Andrew Scrivani is a renowned New York Times photographer, producer, and director and in fact, probably one of the most famous names when it comes to food photography.
Why am I attracted to his photographs?
Because of the fact that Scrivani has a very good eye for details. It’s so easy to get hungry simply by looking at his photos. The food that he captures looks so real and inviting and it seems to me that he’s not burdened with the aesthetics imposed on us by social media today, which is rare.
Although he doesn’t have a special educational section about food photography on his site, on Youtube you can find a few interesting streams and videos in which he discusses topics such as how to improve your food photography, talks about light and composition, but also gives some helpful tips when it comes to food photography business.
Also, what I am really looking forward to is his first book to be released on November 26, 2019. So, very soon guys! The book is called “That Photo Makes Me Hungry”, and I’ve put you the link from which I ordered it.
Can’t wait for it to arrive!
Andrew was also writing a blog column for the New York Times Diner’s Journal for a brief time on food photography. Here are some interesting topics I found:
I also can recommend you this interview with Scrivani: “What I learned about food photography from having dinner with NY Times food photographer Andrew Scrivani”
And if you’re up to a more advanced level of learning, check his food photography class on Creative Live.
7. Skyler Burt
Originally from Los Angeles, Skyler Burt spent one part of his life as a travel photographer traveling through North America, Asia, and the Middle East and eventually settled in Oman. This blogger, lecturer, editorial and commercial photographer and Youtuber has his own blog We Eat Together that is completely dedicated to food photography.
His content is the right mix of tips on natural and artificial light, composition and technical aspects of photography, and he often shares useful reviews of photo equipment, tips on props and tips & tricks related to post-production.
I love Skyler’s food photographs because they are thought out to the last detail, very diverse and with interesting color palettes. He also often uses DIY wooden photography backdrops that give his photography unique texture and warmth. And his drink photography is just stunning.
As mentioned above, Skyler also has an interesting Youtube channel that you will definitely want to check out because you can find plenty of useful food photography videos there. Maybe you should start from this video: “How I Approach A Food Photography Shoot“
Besides this free content, you can also purchase certain courses from him. Sometimes he also offers some discounts.
6. Fanette Rickert
Just like Darina Kopčok, I also discovered Fanette Rickert only recently, perhaps even the most recent of all photographers in this blog post. And that happened via a live she hosted with Joanie Simon, another awesome food photographer. I love her story.
Fanette, originally French, in her late twenties, decided to go on a trip around the world. Quite by accident, she spent 7 years on a small Thai island where she worked as a scuba diving instructor. There she met her future husband after which they went to live in the USA. She started working there for a friend helping him with marketing and photographing his products for the web, which she didn’t know much about at the time. But that was just her beginning.
As she describes it, her path to photography was anything but ordinary and there was a lot of learning, ups, and downs along the way. At one point, she even considered giving up on photography.
Today, not only she is a professional food photographer, but also a product photographer and educator. She finds plenty of work at Upwork, one of the largest freelancing platforms in the world at the moment, and she writes about this interesting subject in her e-book “The Upwork Playbook”.
Fanette is talking about a variety of topics on her blog and her content will be especially helpful to you if you’re interested in improving your productivity; from creating a content calendar to improving your workflow, tools that can help you, how to communicate with clients, etc. A very useful blog that is certainly worth paying attention to.
5. Kimberly Espinel
I believe that most of you have heard of Kimberly Espinel who runs the blog The Little Plantation. Scrolling through your IG feed you’ve probably come across one of her beautiful food flat lays that make her work so recognizable, so you probably know that she is a blogger, photographer, stylist and educator who selflessly shares a wide range of knowledge that she has.
Come on, admit it, dear fellow food bloggers, you’ve probably also been annoyed with Instagram lately. We all are witnesses of important changes this “scary” Instagram algorithm has undergone over the last two years and how difficult it is to sometimes keep up with all this.
The fact is that most of these changes don’t support bloggers and content creators (and by that, I’m not talking about the “disappearance of likes” on IG which I’m still waiting to show up on my profile).
Kimberly knows this subject very well and that’s probably why she has a whole part on her blog that is dedicated exactly to this complex topic. If you want to understand this whole Instagram thing, you should definitely check her content.
Podcasts have become quite a normal thing in the digital world today, but podcasts for food bloggers, influencers and food photographers are something that makes her content original and specific. And if you need the incentive to create interesting food photos for your Instagram profile (and portfolio), you can take part in her winter photography challenge for free.
They’re really cool and I always learn something new!
4. Bea Lubas
I love Bea’s photos so much! I have a feeling that I could watch them all day long and learn simply by observing them. I mean, look how gorgeous these Pavlovas are!
Although she hasn’t been so active on her blog lately, you can still find some useful articles there regarding food photography and food styling. And delicious recipes too!
Here’s one great blog post I like: Food styling is all in details
Bea also runs food photography and styling workshops that sell out really fast, and sometimes she holds interesting photo challenges on Instagram through which you can learn a lot. And most important of all, have fun!
Be sure to check out her story highlights in which she shows some interesting behind the scenes photos.
3. Lauren Caris
I learned so much from Lauren about everything related to food photography, but maybe most about composition. I don’t know her personally, but she seems like such a nice and hardworking woman who is always ready to answer any concerns or questions you may have about food photography.
She currently lives in Switzerland, and she started taking photos of food when she started writing her recipe blog, Lauren Caris Cooks. Over time, she started That’s Sage, blog dedicated solely to food photography related topics.
How to edit photos, how to style food to look irresistible, or how to take photos in manual (M) mode – these are all topics covered in several blog posts and video tutorials on her blog. When it comes to manual mode, if you are still shooting automatically on your smartphone, DSLR or mirrorless camera, you are making a VERY big mistake. Trust me.
In her Manual Mode Essentials, Lauren will teach you how to start using manual mode on your camera and start making food photos you’ve always wanted. Personally, I didn’t take this course but I believe it is something worth investing your time in. Make sure you also subscribe to her newsletter for updates on new articles, Youtube videos, and workshops that she holds.
2. Rachel Korinek
I’m sure you already know this, but let’s just confirm it once again: Two Love Studio is an oasis of knowledge for people who love to photograph food. Rachel Korinek has this unusually good energy that keeps you motivated to constantly learn and deepen your knowledge, to explore different styles and, most importantly, to value yourself and your work.
As I learn a little about everything from each food photographer, I can say that from Rachel I learned most about the lighting. Her e-book “Art of Light“ has expanded my knowledge of how light actually behaves in nature, what impact that has on our photography and how can we create our style with it.
In addition, you can find lots of useful (free), very interesting texts and tips on her blog. Much like Lauren, Rachel also offers you a free 7-day food photography training.
1. Joanie Simon
Anyone who has ever typed “food photography” into a Google or Youtube search engine knows who Joanie Simon is. A professional commercial food photographer, a well-known Youtuber, and educator, Joanie radiates with charisma that will win you at first glance.
I strongly encourage you to join her Facebook group, which currently has over 11,000 members and it can be useful to you in many ways. This is not another group of professional photographers who can’t wait to show their knowledge and where men compare the length of their lenses, as Sean Tucker would say. This is an active online community of people from around the world, both amateurs and professionals, who are always ready to help you with some tips and personal experiences.
Joanie’s Youtube channel is a mine of knowledge when it comes to food photography. If you have just started photographing food and don’t know anything about it, I would recommend starting with the basics and then progressing to other categories, whichever you are most interested in.
As someone who really studies food photography a lot, I can confirm that her content is the most diverse and comprehensive of all I could find on the Internet. She shows you what it is like to work with professional food stylists, guides you behind the scenes of taking photos at a restaurant, talks about how to prevent reflections on cutlery, and even talks about tricky topics such as things she didn’t know before her first paid photoshoot.
In addition to this free content, Joanie also has an online course called “Artifical Academy” that you can buy from if you want to learn all about photographing food under artificial lighting.
Are you familiar with the work of another food photographer I didn’t mention here that has great educational content related to food photography?
Did you find this blog post helpful? How do you like this type of content on my blog?
Any suggestions for the next topic about food photography you would like to read on the blog?
Now, it’s time to bake some cookies! Ah, guess I’m never gonna be skinny.
Until the next reading!