What do you think makes a successful food photograph? Colors? Lighting? Props? Food Styling? Maybe all of those things, right? But what is even more important to the success of a food photograph?

The answer lies within completing the objective of the photograph. What does that mean? When I am hired to do food styling work for a food company, the first question I ask is what are the photos for? Then other questions come up like: What are we trying to convey? What message or motivation are we trying to create? What is the story we are telling?

Every cookbook recipe, blog post, social media photo, advertisement, or television commercial has different objectives and our job is to first discover that objective then figure our a way to achieve it through our food presentation and styling.

Take these two photos for instance. Both are of food but they are very different from one another. One is dark and rich, the other light and bright. Chances are you like one better but you could see using both of these under the right circumstances. Everyone has different tastes in what is pleasing to the eye. But what makes you motivated to purchase a food off the store shelves? Or order something from a menu? Or return to someone’s blog? Something to think about.

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