What is the Best Camera Angle for Shooting Food?

by Christina Peters on November 12, 2014

Camera Angles for Food | Food Photography Blog

Do you have trouble figuring out what camera angle to use for your food shots?  I find that with the students that I teach,  this is a very common problem.  

My students often teach me what I need to teach them.  When I first started teaching, I would do a demo in class where I set up my camera while my colleague, who I was teaching the class with, would set up our food and props for the demo shot.  A student asked me, “how do you know where to put your camera?”.  I had to think for a few minutes.  This has become so built in for me, that I realized I didn’t even think about it, I just sort of knew where to put it. 

This was never taught to me in school that I can remember.  I have two degrees from two different schools.  Neither of these schools ever talked about food photography when I was there.  So how did I know where to put my camera?

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Restaurant Photography | Food Photography Blog

And now for the final part of my Restaurant Photography Series – Part 3.  I will finally be talking about photographing the food and chefs for restaurants.

The shot above was done for Napa Valley Grille in Westwood, CA.  I was hired to shoot from 2-4:30 pm.  I ended up shooting from 2 – 5:30 pm.  We did a ton of shots in a short time period.  This is completely normal.  Chefs are used to creating fabulous food quickly.

Equipment

Here is a list of what I always bring to photograph restaurants

  • Canon 5D Mark iii and also a Canon 5d Mark ii as a back up camera
  • Canon 100mm macro for shooting food shots and drink shots
  • Canon 28-105mm zoom lens for shots where the 100 macro is too long
  • Canon 17-40mm zoom lens for shooting architecture shots of the space
  • Gitzo tripod – I always shoot on a tripod
  • Overhead tripod head extension
  • Mac laptop MacBook Pro for shooting tethered
  • My food styling kit
  • Lighting equipment for chef portraits when I know there won’t be enough natural light – 3 or 4 strobe packs, 4 or 5 strobe heads, soft boxes, and grid spots, sand bags for stands, extension cords, strobe triggers, and various strobe accessories
  • White fill cards
  • Step stool for shots where the camera must be higher

Be speedy!

You have to work fast!  You have to be extremely organized and you need to have a game plan.   The more organized you are, the smoother your shoot will go.

You must have a shot list from the restaurant before you consider shooting for the restaurant.  You will be surprised at how many restaurants have no idea what they want to shoot and they just want you to show up and start shooting.  I will not work that way.  I need to know what they want to shoot to make sure that I will be prepared for what we are shooting and what to charge.

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Photographing Restaurants - Part 2 - My Food Styling Kit

Photographing Restaurants – Part 2 – My Food Styling Kit

by Christina Peters October 26, 2014

I am not a food stylist.  I am a food photographer.  Huge difference.  Over the years, I have learned several tricks for styling food, so when I am photographing food in restaurants without a food stylist, I will have to help the Chef style the food a lot of the time. I will show you […]

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What You Must Know about Photographing Restaurants - Part 1: The Business Side

What You Must Know about Photographing Restaurants – Part 1: The Business Side

by Christina Peters October 20, 2014

  I started writing this post – first with the photography how-to part, and found that I kept talking about the business aspect of the shoot, as there is so much that must happen before you step foot into the restaurant. In this post, I will explain how to photograph a restaurant professionally and what […]

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Behind the Scenes of a Breakfast Food Shoot

Behind the Scenes of a Breakfast Food Shoot

by Christina Peters September 28, 2014

  It’s been very crazy and busy the last few weeks.  I thought it would be fun to show some recent photo shoots. I had a very fun shoot with a good friend, chef and budding new food stylist, Sarah Simms Hendrix of La Femme Epicure.  We tested several breakfast dishes. All the images were […]

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10 Strange Food Photography "Tools" and Tricks

10 Strange Food Photography “Tools” and Tricks

by Christina Peters September 5, 2014

Contained in this post are 10 strange and unusual items that I have in the studio for shooting food.  I’ll also tell you where you can get them as well.  I’ll be mentioning or linking to a few companies here – none of the companies or links are affiliates.  #1.  “Shaved Ice” Looks like shaved […]

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Fabulous Images from the Food Photography Contest

Fabulous Images from the Food Photography Contest

by Christina Peters August 26, 2014

We had so many nice entries for the food photography contest, I just had to share our favorites with you.  As you scroll down you can see several of the entries.  I decided to do a food photography contest to celebrate National Food Photography Day, the holiday I made up a few months ago.  Yes, […]

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Food Styling Tips - How to "Grill" Food without a Grill and make Bacon Ribbons

Food Styling Tips – How to “Grill” Food without a Grill and make Bacon Ribbons

by Christina Peters August 18, 2014

How many recipes do you have that involve grilling food?  It’s summer time, so chances are you’ve got several.  I’m going to show you how easy it is to get the grilled look without busting out the grill for your photo shoots.  Then I’ll show you a super quick and easy trick for making beautifully […]

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How to Make Distressed Wood Backgrounds for Photo Shoots

How to Make Distressed Wood Backgrounds for Photo Shoots

by Christina Peters August 11, 2014

Quite often I am asked where I get my backgrounds.  Many of my surfaces are painted or stained wood.  You don’t have to be a woodworker to do this.  I’ll show you how easy it is.  After I had my materials, this took me about an hour to do both the wood plank surface, and […]

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Easy Refrigerator Pickle Recipes - and How I Photographed Some of Them

Easy Refrigerator Pickle Recipes – and How I Photographed Some of Them

by Christina Peters August 4, 2014

What kind of pickles do you like?  I love the tart, vinegary kind – not the sweet ones.  A good friend of ours gave my boyfriend a great cookbook for his birthday.  It’s called, “This is a Cookbook, Recipes for Real Life”.  That was my inspiration for making pickles.  They have some super easy pickle […]

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