The Complete Guide to Food Photography

How to Light, Compose, Style, and Edit Mouth-Watering Food Photographs

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The must-have guidebook for creating great food photographs! The Complete Guide to Food Photography is a visually stunning, eminently useful, and comprehensive resource for creating fantastic food photographs. In this book, professional food photographer Lauren Short teaches you her entire image-making process, as she covers lighting, composition, styling, storytelling, editing...
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  • Print and eBook Bundle: $49.99
  • Print Book: $40
  • eBook: $31.99



Lauren Caris Short


248 pages


7.375 x 9.625in







  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Lighting
  • Chapter 2: Composition
  • Chapter 3: Styling
  • Chapter 4: Building a Story
  • Chapter 5: Editing and Processing
  • Chapter 6: 10 Image Case Studies
  • Chapter 7: Finding Your Style

3 reviews for The Complete Guide to Food Photography

  1. Who doesn’t take photos of their meals these days? Its own kind of selfie :-). This book on how to photograph food will help those amateurs as well as photographers wanting to take commercial food shots. It’s straightforward enough for a beginner, yet complete enough for a pro. I love that the author includes a useful section on natural light and points out that we do not have to accept things as they are. Just as artificial light can be shaped and maneuvered for our purposes, so can, to some extent she says, natural light. Since I use mostly natural light in my photography, I am happy to see this inclusion.

    Short advises us to experiment at home with the light from windows, photographing food at different times, and different seasons, to see what light we prefer. Honestly, I have never done that although it is obviously an excellent concept.

    The author’s section on how to use color to compose a food photograph is well done and wonderful: she provides a photographic example with each kind of color composition such as complementary, split complementary, the full rainbow, etc. Makes it so much clearer to understand than if it were just text. The author’s chapter on adding flare to your food photos with action is just brilliant! She describes not only how to add frozen, still action but also motion blur. Who would’ve thought of adding motion blur to a food photograph? Well, I will now.

    Short discusses the issue of quality and that we should work quickly with food so that it always appears (and is!) fresh in the photos. She tells us to keep the air cool wherever you’re shooting, and she gives us hints on how to make food appear to be recently cooked even when it’s been cooling because cooling food before you shoot it is what she recommends. Very interesting concepts.

    Toward the end of the book the author does what I think is so helpful for photographer hoping to learn something new: she runs through several scenarios, such as shooting a photo of Tom Yum soup, or a caramel drizzle cake. But no shortcuts here because the author goes through helpful detail on the steps she took to produce excellent food photographs in particular circumstances. Really helps to see an author’s tips in action.

    And, though not exactly a tip on how to capture a particular image, Short advises us to step away from the dinner table and look elsewhere for inspiration as well. For example, listening to music can inspire, as well as going for a walk. One of her final suggestions is to eat a cuisine new to you. That would be both fun and provide new photographic subjects.

    This book is a pleasure to read and gives us plenty to think about and work on when we photograph food. Since these days, nearly everyone posts photos of their meals, there aren’t many of us who couldn’t use this book 🙂

  2. (verified owner)

    I would like to learn how to photograph food and I am sure this book will go a long way in this endeavor. There is so much great information I had to write a review. Short is so detailed in her explanations, using “case studies” to see the entire process, start to finish. Her level of expertise is evident and I am thrilled to have this book, with great pictures and even her thoughts to read and learn from. I have not yet read the entire book but I am confident that this book will be a treasured and trusted resource on my shelves. I highly recommend this book if you are even slightly interested in this topic.

  3. Food photography is a genre that I have never tackled. That being said I was fascinated with the authors insight and talents in first explaining the art of food photography and then how to make it work.

    She starts out with the most important aspect of photography – light. She explains how lighting for food is different from the photographer’s normal use of lighting. Then the fun starts….the usual necessities of the art….composition and technical items leading up to her most important chapter Crafting a Story, which is an art all to itself.

    The book is full of hints and suggestions that can be applied to almost any still life; along with food. Ms. Short also explains the importance of color as all food are made up of many colors.
    She gives many examples but my favorite was the Story Example…food of the seasons; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

    I would highly suggest this book to any photographer for their library and it is lot of fun to memorialize GOOD food with GOOD photography!

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