How to Shoot Mouth-Watering Food Pictures

Jignesh Jhaveri, CEO of Photolink and winner of the Living Foodz Powerlist Award for the Best Food Photography, shares his tricks.

LF Team

What's the next best thing to a bowl of cheesy fries? An amazing picture of a bowl of cheesy fries!

Whether you simply love to document your delectable food choices as you dine out around town, or love creating painterly still-lifes that rival the masters, you're not alone! To help you up your food photography game, Jignesh Jhaveri, CEO of Photolink and winner of the Living Foodz Powerlist Award for the Best Food Photography, shares his tricks. 

1. Which food/cuisine/dishes photograph the best?
Ah, this is not a question I like to answer :-) as Indian food is not the most photogenic cuisine! Typically, gravy or curry dishes do not photography very well and that does make up a significant part of our cuisine. However, with careful styling, planning and propping, we do make them look as good as they can. European food is probably the easiest to photograph.

Also read: How to nail plating like a pro

3. What's your favourite cuisine?
Italian is my favourite cuisine—authentic home-style Italian, the way it is cooked in Italian homes.

Give this Italian classic, Risotto Balls with Pizza Sauce recipe, a try:
How to Shoot Mouth-Watering Food Pictures

4. Photographing Western food versus Indian food—What are the important points to keep in mind, and what are the challenges with each?
They are like night and day. The approach is completely different. Western food tends to be easier to photograph and works with a range of props/crockery/cutlery and even without. With Indian food, a certain structure needs to be supplied to the hero dish.

5. What tips would you like to give to budding photographers?
If you really, really like shooting and that’s all you want to do, nothing can stop you, except yourself. All you need to do is shoot every day. Pick something that you enjoy and keep doing it. Stay dedicated. If you put your 100 per cent into it, in five years you should be well on your way to being at the top of your game.

Also read: Amti, Kadhi, Dalma and other ways Indians love to savour dal 

6. According to you, what's the most difficult food to photograph?
Again, Indian food is tricky to photograph. Yellow dal probably, as it is soupy, featureless, and hard to make look appetising. This is something I had to tackle quite early on, we do a lot of photography for packaged food, and dal tadka is an extremely popular product! With careful colour coordination, excellent styling and lighting that works to enhance the food, it can look quite amazing.

Here's a Lauki Chana Dal recipe to help you savour some soul-hugging dal-chawaal:
How to Shoot Mouth-Watering Food Pictures

7. Share some hacks to shoot awesome food pictures.

A lot of patience and practice. Focus on the texture. If you can highlight and show the texture of the food, you have half a chance of making it look mouth-watering. In order to do this, it needs to be lit in a way that enhances what you'd like to present.

Image Illustrated by Vartika Pahuja 


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