Thursday, August 20, 2015

Phenomenal Tip: Guide to Mobile Food Photography

I am not a professional food photographer, and neither am I a professional chef. I am, however, a full-time homemaker who has lots of practice cooking food for my family. Naturally, it follows that I also have a lot of practice taking photos of what comes out of my kitchen, and posting them on IG.

Seems like my family almost know already that before they can dig in what’s on the table, I have to snap some quick photos first.

Even if my husband gifted me with a DSLR, my camera of choice is my iPhone cam. It’s accessible and convenient while still giving gorgeous, high-quality images.

Allow me to share with you in this post some lessons I learned on how to style and take better food photos with the iPhone, or any smartphone. I picked up these tips during the second Mothers Who Brunch event held at the Viking Range Kitchen.

 Here are our hosts and “mentors”, left to right: Sabrina Go, Ezra Antonio, Hazel Dizon, 
Mish Aventajado

Phenomenal Tip:
Guide to Mobile Food Photography 


Shooting food photos in natural daylight will yield the best results, so it’s best to find that spot in our home where natural light is present. The biggest mistake in mobile photography would be to use our camera’s flash as it makes our captured photos look so artificial.

I have been a follower of Hazel (IG handle: @clari88e_8 )even before I met her during the event.  She's a natural at food styling, and I love that she also shares baon ideas occasionally.

Use the same basic principals you would use when taking "real" photos--don't shoot directly into your light source and make sure you're not blocking light with your own body.


When dealing with phonecams, Ezra shares that we basically have two options:
Either shoot our food directly overhead, which they also call flat-lay in IG lingo or straight-on, with our camera as close as it can get to the food.


Hazel shares that the iPhone (and most other mobile phone cameras) has a feature that allows us to "meter" by physically tapping on different areas of our photo before taking it. This will allow us to change the photo's focus point, both for sharpening the image and choosing an exposure point. Basically, tapping on a dark area in the photo will make the light parts darker and tapping on a light area will make the dark parts lighter.
Here's my daughter practicing some of the tips she learned that day


Do not edit your food photos too much, or at least go easy on the filters. When shooting food, your goal should be to make whatever you're taking a photo of look as delicious and natural as possible.

I do not use filters for my IG feed, inspite of numerous lectures from my teenaged daughter that I should. I don't really think there's a need because I mostly post food photos, anyway, so I want the food to look as natural as possible. I only edit in IG for brightness, saturation, and clarity.


Food is best photographed when plated nicely, and for our styling and photo session that day, all our props were provided for by Boqueria Lifestyle Market.
Here are Hazel and Ezra teaching us the basic tips on food styling

It's also a nice addition to put in props that matches the theme of the photo.  

Pop-ups like other small ingredients, spoons, pepper shakers, magazine, etc are perfect to add on the sides.

Get some live action by asking "willing victims" to touch the food. If there's no one around, your own hand can hold the food, just make sure you get a nice and simple background.


Like everything else in life, this also gets better with practice. But, if you need a daily dose of inspiration, I suggest you follow the IG feed of some of the people who do it best.

 Ezra (IG handle: @ezgasm)for his food shots that are full of mystery and drama, not to mention the wittiest caption that makes me chuckle.

 I love Hazel (IG handle: @clari88e_8) for her colorful and beautifully styled feed. Because she is a tsupermama like me, her feed also features snippets of her life as a mom through the food she shares.

Allow me a little bit of shameless plug of my own feed. I do hope you follow me along in IG as I share bits and pieces of my everyday.

Viking Range PH

Cooking with friends doesn't really seem like cooking, at all. 
It's so easy to get lost in all the conversation and laughter.

Each time I visit the Viking Kitchen, and the more I get to know its modern features, the nmore I want to invest in one! I want to have this same induction cooktop at home. It can boil water in no time at all, and is child-proof, too! Here is Mish's daughter touching the cooktop just seconds after we used it to boil water.

I appreciate that the oven racks easily extend and is able to hold heavy items on any rack level with the help of roller bearing glides. No more struggles with the racks especially when roasting chicken or beef.

The Viking Range showroom is heaven for anyone who loves to cook! If you are interested to know more about how your cooking can be transformed with Viking Range appliances, visit their showroom in Alabang. It's worth a visit!

Mothers Who Brunch

Michelle and Sabrina are the two mothers behind Mothers Who Brunch.  Their aim in hosting brunches is to gather moms to cook, eat and also learn something new and enjoyable. Like their first event, this one is also held at the Viking Range Kitchen.

This short clip beautifully captures what happened that day in the Viking Range Kitchen.  You can almost feel how much fun we had when you view the video. Promise!

A photo of the entire group

Thank you also to the generous sponsors who made sure that we went home with loot bags that's full of so many things that make mamas who cook and take photos so happy!

To know more about Viking Range Philippines:

To know more about Mothers Who Brunch