Food Photography 101 with The Mobile Shop & President’s Choice®

food photography

Image: President’s Choice®

Vv Magazine’s Ama Scriver teams up with The Mobile Shop and President’s Choice® to school us in food photography. 

So let’s be honest for a moment – one of the most important things when it comes to food blogging is food photography. You want to ensure that everything you’re shooting looks hella appetizing to the people reading your blog. How you do this could mean choosing the right props, styling your food a certain way or even standing on chairs to get the perfect overhead shot. Yes, the perfect shot you see on Instagram isn’t so in the moment after all.

Recently I was invited by The Mobile Shop and President’s Choice® to take part in a hands-on food photography course to learn the tips and tricks some of the best food photographers use. I’ll admit, I’m by no means a professional food photographer, so I’ll accept the help whenever possible.

To be honest, I had never heard of The Mobile Shop prior to arriving at the Loblaws store. A proud member of the Loblaw family and located in over 175 grocery stores across Canada, the shop gives folks the comfort (and opportunity) of shopping for a new wireless provider (including PC® mobile) all while picking up dinner for that evening. Who knew?

food photography

PC® La Belle Rivière® (Image: President’s Choice®)

As I walked up to The Mobile Shop, one of their mobile advisors showed us around and showed off all the latest and greatest phones and accessories they had and let us play around with their stock for our Food Photography 101 class. Over a delicious spread of the Loblaw PC ® Insiders Collection holiday collection including PC® Gigantico® Black Tiger Shrimp, PC® Peppercorn Smoked Salmon and PC® La Belle Rivière® Washed-Rind Soft Surface Ripened Cheese (just to name a few) we photographed and feasted while learning a few quick tips that the team passed along:

Light It Up

  • Don’t be like Martha Stewart and break out the flash – in food photography, that’s a big no-no! Reflections and shadows will further distort the image and create an unsightly glare.
  • Don’t shoot the food in direct natural sunlight. The harsh rays will create shadows and remove textures, which can flatten the photo. Use your hand above your dish to see if shadows are being created
  • Do position your food near a window. Ideally in indirect light, which comes from a slight angle.

Work It

  • Use the grid on your camera setting and follow the rule of thirds! Your audience should be able to identify the subject of your photo (i.e. a delicious burger or bag of PC® chips)
  • Do decide which angle is the best for you. Angles that get the most likes usually are:
    • From directly above your subject
    • At eye level with your subject
    • Looking down from a 45-degree angle at your subject
  • Don’t zoom too far in or out. It’s nice to focus on one subject up close or a whole scene from far away

Get Stylin’

So the food is just one component to making a great photo. You need to make that image look great in other ways by either food styling and/or adding props to your background.  

  • People love hands in photos, so tell people to dig in and take a photo. Your food photo is supposed to look real, not staged!
  • Add accessories and stylize the space around your subject. Don’t overcrowd the space! Don’t leave it too empty!
  • Do add garnishes and tasteful splashes of colour to your dish.

Photo Editing

Once you take your photo, it’s time to give a final once over and rather than using the filters on Instagram there are lots of great photo editing software you can download. Our suggestions below:

  • VSCO Cam is the original photo editing tool for Instagram that allows you to shoot and edit your images with mobile presets and advanced camera controls.
  • Snapseed is another tool that allows you a lot of flexibility to adjust the colours and contrast – it’s one of our go-to favourites
  • ColourStory is another great app that enhance the color you’ve chosen in your composition. It brightens whites, makes colours richer, and cleans up adjustments.

**Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post that is part of a program with President’s Choice®. While we have been compensated for this, please understand our experience and opinions are 100% our own.**

RELATED LINK: 10 Things Every Loblaws Shopper Needs to Know 

Do you have any other tips for mastering food photography? Let us know in the comment section below or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe

Ama Scriver

Ama Scriver

Amanda (Ama) Scriver is a passionate storyteller, community builder and a loud and proud feminist and body image activist. She freelances for several publications including Foodism, Paste Magazine and BizBash. In her off time, she lives for coffee, trashy reality television, hip hop and all things drag. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram via @amascriver on at her website
Ama Scriver