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3 food photography tips for your tea party

Amy from Lemon and Raspberry takes really pretty pictures, and soon, you will too!

Welcome to the Wild Olive Tea Party!

I'm SO excited to be part of this with you all :) I love parties. I love themed parties. I love food. I love cooking and baking ....

And I love taking yummy photos of food!

Even if you don't run a fantastic food blog, practicing on your food photography can help you better capture the story for special meals and family gatherings!

Today I have some easy, manageable tips for food photography for your own tea party!

P.S. The best thing about these tips - you DON'T need a professional camera!

Top 3 food photography tips (at a glance):
  • natural lighting
  • eliminate distractions
  • composition

Artificial lighting has the unfortunate effect of of making your food look artificial as well. Natural lighting is always the way to go!

In the 'BEFORE' image above, the food and table are lit with an overhead dining room light and the on-camera flash.

In the 'AFTER' image, the food and table are lit with the light from a nearby window (and NO flash).

When throwing your tea party, look for the room that has the best natural lighting. Sometimes that means moving your dining room table into the living room, or completely outside in good weather.

Not only will your food images look more appetizing - and better help you document and remember the lovely meal - but your guests will be able to see each other that much better!

Natural lighting keeps any waxy sheen from showing up on your fruits and vegetables in your images.

Natural lighting keeps the correct coloring and depth of your baked goods in your images.

Natural lighting keeps your food looking natural in your images .... and that much more delicious!

Eliminate distractions

Distractions in the BEFORE photo include: water bottle, salad dressing, crooked silverware, plastic packaging for the mini pie, background, etc....

You may be serving your guests salad.... but there's no need to show the store-bought bottles of salad dressing in your images.

The mis-matched labels and half-full bottles are unnecessarily distracting. Moving them off the table when you take your food photos will really help focus on the food and not take away from the story you are documenting at all.

Look for little distractions, like crumbs on the edge of the plate or silverware that is completely crooked.

Just cleaning up those little things before snapping the photo can make your food photography images look that much more professional and appetizing....

Get rid of as much product packaging as you can.

In these photos not only did I remove/hide the water bottle and salad dressing bottles, but I also put the mini pie on its own serving dish and even pulled the soda-brand labels off of the glass bottles.

Look for anything (ANYTHING) that might draw attention from the food itself, and do what you can to eliminate (or minimize) it.


In the BEFORE photo above, you'll notice the photo is taken from about where you would stand at the table. Kind of above and off to the side. With no thought to the placement of food/etc on the table.

The salad dressing is blocking your view of the cherries, and I bet you can barely tell what is in the clear glass bowl.


So many photos could be noticeably improved just by tweaking a few things here and there in the composition.

Generally, the lower you go, the better your food will look. This helps show the food's height and makes the image look more three-dimensional.

Don't be afraid to get close. Focus on the details. Getting close like this helps show the food's texture - which again helps look the food look natural and appetizing.

Always look at the edges of the frame and try to crop out the unnecessary.

And if you're shooting digital, try photos from ALL angles! Experiment and play and give yourself a chance to practice....

That's it!

3 EASY easy steps to make your tea party images look delicious and beautiful!

For even more food photography inspiration, here are some of my favorite food bloggers to follow!
I hope this helps for your next special dinner or gathering ....

Amy T Schubert blogs tips and inspiration for creatives at Lemon and Raspberry, including photography resources. For more tips like these check out the recent ebook Tell Its Story. You can also follow Amy on Twitter and sign up for the L&R newsletter.

Thanks for the great tips, Amy! Could you make my slice of pie a little on the large side? It looks so yummy, and I do like pie for breakfast...


  1. Great post! I think it's important to note also that the close up pictures you took use a shallow depth of field, something that really helps the viewer focus in on the central object.

    And I once did a post about getting pictures using natural light, even when it's low light, making sure to use a tripod. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes... http://wisdomofthemoon.blogspot.com/2010/02/low-light-pictures-with-point-and-shoot.html

  2. Natural light is awesome for photos. Great post.

    ♥ sécia

  3. Wendy, you're ABSOLUTELY right re: shallow depth of field ... But I intentionally wanted to keep the focus of this post to easy tips for beginners.
    thanks for the link, btw :) Looks great!


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