6 tips to improve your food styling & photography

I started taking pictures of my food (and other people’s¬†??) well before I started a blog, and even before Instagram was a thing. Obviously, the obsession’s only gotten worse since then.

So trust me when I say, I understand how difficult it can be to make food look beautiful. Making things tasty is quite a challenge in itself, but making it look good is even harder.

But, whether¬†you’re an avid food blogger yourself, or a teeny-tiny bit addicted to Instagram, sometimes,¬†making home-cooked dishes look supermodel-perfect in front of the camera does matter.

If you’re not sure where to start, below are a few easy tips* to up your food styling & photography game (and achieve that drool-worthy shot every time!)

1. Get inspired

When you’re eating out, flicking through your favourite food mag or reading your favourite food blogs, take note of what looks appealing and what doesn’t.

Salted Caramel Brownies | Cake + Whisky

As¬†for any form of art, there’s a lot you can pick up from looking at and analysing other people’s work.

Angles,composition, props… there’s so much going into a beautiful food pictures and finding what makes you hungry¬†is the first step to being able to create that feeling in¬†your own pictures.

I like to save my favourite pictures onto a Pinterest board so I can refer to it for inspiration or for times I struggle to put things together.

2. Tell the story of the dish through its picture

As the proverb goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, which is why you should try to let the picture express as much as possible about the dish it features.

Food Styling Tips

An easy way to do that is to feature some of the ingredients in their whole, pre-cooked shape in the picture.

Autumnal Hazelnut Torte recipe | Cake + Whisky

Another way to go about it is to include elements that inspired the recipe, the way food stylist Mademoiselle Poirot did, including cobnuts, autumn leaves and even garden scissors in the styling of this autumnal hazelnut torte at an event I recently attended.

Food Styling Tips

No matter what you go for, make sure you¬†keep your props, colors, and serving sizes consistent with the atmosphere the dish is meant to evoke, and that you get a few ‘in progress’ shots as well as they’re often more inviting than the final set.

3. Favour natural light

There’s nothing better than natural light when it comes to food photography.

Quinoa Fried Rice

Now, I know that can be a little bit tricky at times (looking at you, night-at-4-PM-November!), but it truly is worth it. Ideally, you want the light to come from a large-ish window, from the side of your frame.

It’s best to take a few test shots around your flat/house until you find the best spot for you to settle in for ultimate results!

4.¬†Let’s get messy!

Pouring, dripping, overflowing… sometimes, a little mess is all you need to take your picture to the next delicious level!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pancakes | Cake + Whisky

Melting ice cream, crumbled up cookies, pancakes dripping with syrup… in many cases, a bit of a mess¬†communicates movement, dynamism, and the¬†pleasure of eating.

So if it makes you hungry, get messy (just keep in mind you’ll also be the one cleaning it up later though!)

5. Use a tripod

Angle, composition, movement, and possibly a bit of pouring action on the side… food photography is serious work and more often than not, two hands are simply not enough.

Curried Cauliflower Salad | Cake + Whisky

A tripod is an unexpensive piece of equipment (I payed about ¬£30 for mine) that’s well worth investing in as it will make¬†your job much easier!

6.  An extra set of hands (or several) is always good

Even with a tripod, I find it much easier to control the outcome if I’m not trying to balance everything up all by myself.

Food styling tips

Whether it’s to sprinkle icing sugar on top of your latest GBBO-worthy masterpiece or to¬†help you polish it all off post-photography, an extra steady pair of hands, fresh eyes and tastebuds are the very best tool you could have on your food styling & photography set!

*This article & tips were inspired by an event I recently attended with Curry’s and Neff but wasn’t in any way sponsored and all words, pictures and opinion my own.

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6 tips to improve your food styling & photography

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers’ Award

Guys… As crazy as it seems,¬†I’ve been nominated for another blog award (apparently my cocktails-and-cake strategy to take over the world is working! ūüėú)! Thank you to Michelle¬†of Sugardust & Starlight¬†(the great mind behing #ltbloggers) for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers’ Award!¬†Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

The rules are pretty simple:

Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link them in your post.
Answer the ten questions you have been sent.
Come up with 10 questions of your own.
Spread the love and nominate up to 10 bloggers!

Ok, so here it goes!

1. What is your favourite book and why? My all-time favourite is¬†Antigone by Jean Anouilh (a modern re-write of Sophocles’ classic and a true masterpiece, but it hasn’t been translated into English unfortunately). I recently read Gone Girl¬†by Gillian Flynn and if you haven’t read it already, you really should; it’s the best thriller I’ve come accross in a long long time.
2. What did you do today? Not much sofar. I went to the doctor, which was a massive waste of my time, spent too much time on Instagram and packed about 25 suitcases in my head. Such a productive morning!
3. If you could have any pet, what would it be? A cat. I’m such a cat-lady-to-be.¬†
4. What‚Äôs your current favourite song and why? Hmm, this is embarassing.¬†I don’t really listen to music (#weirdo). I used to when I had to drive a car every day, but that’s not quite the case anymore…
5. If you could give just one piece of advice for life, what would it be? Love yourself.
6. Do you have a favourite quote and what is it? “I started with an idea an then it becomes something else” – Pablo Picasso (so representative of how I actually function!)
7. What do you enjoy reading most in other people‚Äôs blogs?¬†The “lightbulbs” moments I get and I’m all like “How did I not think about this before?”
8. What’s your worst habit? Forgetting to take off my make-up before I go to bed far too often.
9. What‚Äôs your favourite film and why?¬†I have several; Love me if you dare (a slightly fucked up love story between Marion Cottilard and Guillaume Canet), The Lion King (obv.) and my latest crush, The Theory of Everything (I still can’t get over¬†Eddie Redmayne’s incredible performance!).
10. How would you spend the perfect day? A nice lie-in, followed by breakfast in bed, then a nice walk on the beach, and dinner at my favourite restaurant with the people I love most.

As far as sharing the blog love is concerned, I am nominating some of my latest discoveries and some all-times favourites!

Hannah Gale
100 things I love
Persephone H
Rent or Chanel (best blog name ever or what?ūüėā)
Elle Bloggs
Things Sarah Loves
Oui Stephanie
Full of Living
Amanda Bootes
Cross my Heart & Hope to Die

I can’t wait to see their¬†answers to my (rather nosy) questions!

1. Your favourite season? (Summer! Summer! Please say Summer!)
2. Your Pokemon soulmate?¬†(I wish I was an elegant Persian, but I’m afraid Snorlax‘s mine…)
3. What’s ALWAYS in your bag? (Most of the time, I don’t carry a bag and only have¬†keys, Oyster Card, credit card & smartphone. When I do carry a bag though, my whole life’s likely to be in it)
4. Your guilty pleasure? (Butter. Good sea salt butter on EVERYTHING!)
5. Your #1 summer goal? (I say naps in the park and walks. And alcoholic ice lollies.)
6. Something you didn’t like as a kid but love now? (Walks. see #5)
7. Things you ALWAYS buy at IKEA?¬†(I can’t resist mugs. There. The secret is out.)
8. Which Hogward House will you probably be in?¬†(I think I’d make a great Ravenclaw.)
9. The one thing you always forget even though you really shouldn’t! (To charge my phone. Which is basically the modern day equivalent to “actually taking the shopping list along when you go shopping”, mainly because my shopping list happens to be on my phone!)
10. Where would you much rather be right now?¬†(“In bed. Or taking a nap on a sunny beach somewhere.” says my inner Snorlax (see #2))

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers’ Award

The Liebster Award

I’ve recently been nominated for the Liebster Award by two of my absolute favourite bloggers: my friend-of-23-years Oph√©lie of Cross My Heart And Hope To Die¬†and the cute-as-a-button Amanda who writes over at¬†amandabootes.blogspot.co.uk. Funilly enough, they seem to have asked similar questions… (maybe that says something about the kind of people I get along with! ūüėú¬†)

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award was created as a way of connecting new and more experienced bloggers and a way for newbies to make their mark into the blogosphere.

The rules: 

1- Thank and link to the people who nominated you
2- Answer the 11 questions that have been given to you
3- Nominate 11 blogs and include their link in your post.
4- Create 11 new questions for your nominees
5- Notify your nominees (blog/social media)

Oph√©lie’s questions:

1-¬†What’s your biggest dream? Having a house of my own, doing something I love for a job (any idea what I should do? HELP ME!!) and making people around me happy.
2- How do you react to failure?¬†I usually over-obsess and end up try again and again (and again) until it works (well, unless we’re talking about macaroons, in which case I do the dishes and buy a box from Ladur√©e).
3-¬†Do you have good relationships with your parents?¬†My parents are simply the best people I know and I’m so glad for the person they’ve made me. Everything I have and am, I owe it to them and one of my biggest fear is to never become as good a person, let alone a parent, as they are. Also, they’re actually coming to London next week and I couldn’t be happier.
4-¬†What’s the last book you’ve read? La Faute de l’Abb√© Mouret by Emile Zola. Yes, yes, I’m the kind of girl who actually enjoys reading classic French litterature where it takes caracters twenty pages to climb up the stairs… #TotalWeirdo
5- What’s your favourite hobby?¬†Sleeping and eating cake both rank very high on my list!
6-¬†What would you bring to a desert island?¬†A bikini seems like a must-have. Also, a BBQ and my beloved non-disposable straws. It’d be a hell of a beach party, I’m telling you!¬†ūüĆī
7- Which country do you dream to visit? Australia!
8-¬†Where do you see yourself in 15 years?¬†I honestly have no idea. But you might want to ask my boyfriend, he’s the one who makes detailled plans the next 20 years (and they all make a lot more sense than any I could ever come up with anyway).
9- Why did you start blogging? I was really just looking for a good excuse to click pictures of my food! Oh, and meeting people along the way was kind of a good surprise!
10- Are you a dog or a cat person? I never know what to answer to this one! I actually have 7 dogs at my parents but I also think I was a cat in one of my past life and still act like one from time to time (#CrazyCatLady, litterally).
11-¬†What’s your favourite icecream flavour?¬†I’d always been fairly loyal to sea salt caramel. Until I discovered The Ice Kitchen‘s Mojito Lollies. These things are THE BOMB!¬†ūüí•

Amanda’s questions:

1- Why did you start blogging? See #9 above
2- Who are you inspired by?¬†Other blogs and bloggers, books, restaurants’ dishes & menus, window displays, colours looking nice together, whatever I find in my fridge. Not necessarily in that order.
3- Celebrity crush? Eddie Redmayne, Guillaume Canet. And also Marion Cottilard, Emma Watson and Natalie Portman.
4-¬†What’s the last lie you told?¬†Most probably something along the lines of “I don’t know why I’m crying”. Or “I’ll be back in 5 minutes”.
5- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Geographically, probably in London. For the rest, see #8 above.
6- What do your friends/family think about blogging? I have no idea.
7- If money was no object, what would you be doing?¬†Probably working in a kitchen somewhere. I’ve always been fascinated by the restaurant industry and wondered if that was something I would be able to do.
8- What has been the biggest challenge you had to face?¬†Like most people, I’m usually the only person standing in my own way. So trusting myself and realising what I do is actually worth something I suppose.
9- Cats or dogs? See #10 above
10- What 3 words would your friends use to describe you?¬†I’m fairly sure food-obsessed and social-media addicted will be among the top answers. but some of my friends might also tell you about my compulsive container buying habits…
11- If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?¬†Probably tomatoes. They’re so versatile, I never seem to¬†get bored of them.

My 11 nominees:¬†Not all of them are new but they’re all definitely worth a look/read/follow!

Broke in the Big Smoke: I met Leanne recently and she’s the loveliest person you could ever imagine. Also, she’s TONES of cheap as chips ideas to have the best time in London!

Little Miss Katy: Do I even need to introduce Katy? I don’t, do I? But I know she’ll come up with the best answers (and questions)!

Spoon Me: I discovered Molly’s blog through Twitter and I’ve been hungry ever since!

A Certain Adventure: Tamsin’s sneaky Instagram previews are definitely the main reason why I consider having a second lunch every day. Not even talking about how her blog makes me feel. (hint: HUNGRY!)

City Cookie: Did someone say cookie? (also, some of the most lovely pictures around!)

That’s So Bekaah: I don’t know the first thing about beauty stuff. I need more people like her in my life.

Isoscella: Can I please leave in that blog? I promise I’ll behave and put things back where they belong!

Too Short for High Fashion: Totally relate to that blog name! Also, major clothes envy.

Wander To Wonder: So many perfect macaroons! It -almost- makes me want to try making them again!

Pretty Hungry: If anyone can ever convince me to go somewhere, it most certainly is Bianca. Everything just looks fantastic (and delicious, obviously).

… and YOU! Yes, you, who are ready that right now! Come on, it’ll be fun!

My questions:

1- 5 things you always have in your fridge?
2- The most beautiful shoes you’ve ever seen?
3- The quality you value over every other?
4- The ultimate comfort food?
5- The website I should definitely add to my read-list?
6- Your ultimate pizza toppings?
7- Your favourite colour?
8- What do you always ask your mum to cook for you?
9- What you dream to get for your birthday?
10- What should I eat tonight?
11- Biggest pet peeve(s)?

I honestly can’t wait to read the answers!

The Liebster Award

The Creative Bloggers’ Award

Cooking without limits not only have a cracking blog name and brilliant photography skills, but also happen to have excellent tastes (if I can say so myself) and just nominated my little blog for The Creative Bloggers’ Award!

I’m naturally over the moon and being told what I write here has value makes me want to work even harder to build something I’m proud of and you, all my lovely readers, enjoy!

Cake + Whisky | Natural History Museum LondonLovely pic from my even lovelier sister. Isn’t it just the most beautiful stone you’ve ever seen? It reminds me of old-fashioned plates…

The Rules

1. Thank and post the link of the person/people that nominated you

2. Share 5 facts about yourself

3. Nominate your favourite blogs and pass the rules on to them!

5 things you’ve always wanted to know about me (don’t lie, I know you do!)

1. I don’t like Nutella. Shocking, I know.

2. I do however like what most people consider to be “boring” books. As in French-classics-that-are-nothing-but-detailled-description-from-the-first-page-’til-the-last-one.

3.¬†Up until 3 years ago, I had no idea soy sauce was a thing. Needless to say, I also didn’t know the first about Asian food. Pathetic (but I’m trying to catch up!).

4.¬†I think I’m starting to enjoy exercising (but don’t tell my dad, he’d make me go on a run with him and I don’t think I’m ready fot this just yet!).

5. I am absolutely obsessed with postcards and convinced I’m one of the main reasons with the Post Office still has work to do (well, that and my boyfriend’s Ebay habits…).

Brilliant blogs I love reading

A Certain Adventure: It’s just like being taken along on an adventure with a friend. Plus she’s a sweety and a half (and often contemplating eating pie, which is something I can definitely relate to!)

A Little Lusciousness: This blog is at the very top of my list of reasons why we should invent a way to send food through a screen. Also one of the most passionate cooks I’ve met.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Die: Oph√©lie’s been strong enough to deal with me for over 20 years, so she’s more than earned her way in this list! Plus she gives me good reasons to try all the veggie food in London!

Little Miss Katy: I love the chatty tone (+ she’s far more fearless a blogger than I will ever be!)

Marine Loves Polish: I struggle to put clear nailpolish on, but she creates real wonders!

Pretty Hungry: We share a passion for peanut butter, which clearly is a mark of people knowing what’s good. Also, drool inducing pics EVERYWHERE!!

The Londoner: I don’t think I’ve ever had that much life-envy before.

… not on my list yet? Follow Cake + Whisky on Bloglovin’ and I’ll add you to my reading list!

The Creative Bloggers’ Award