Easy Tips on Food Styling and Photography.

No Sweetener Chocolate Raspberry Brownies2

When we look back to our early food photos we’re like what the bleep is that merrymakers?! Like seriously… is it food? Or is it mush? Why did we use that ugly as plate? Why did we leave the pan in the background and hello beautiful artificial lighting! (Trust us you don’t want to look at this photo).

But don’t worry your pretty faces because we’ve definitely improved and of course we’re all about sharing the love. Plus we’ve had lots of emails asking about food photography, so it’s about time we put together our easy tips on food styling and photography! Yay hot tips coming at ‘chaaaa!

Let us start with a merrymaker motivator! Do not worry if you have no photography or no styling skills. We didn’t and our photos still look totally drool worthy.

The more you do it… the better you will become!

We’ve put a collection of our favourite and (what we think) best food photography photos together in our OneDrive (click HERE for the pictures)! Feel free to take a look and download for inspiration!

Now to the Easy Tips on Food Styling and Photography!

Our number one most important tip is to follow the light! Food photos need good lighting. 

We take all our photos outside because we have no good windows. If you have a super friend, get your hands on a big white piece of cardboard (or a proper photography reflector) so they can hold and reflect the light back on to the food… so there are less shadows.

It’s ok to be simple. We know that all the little food styling objects are super cute and totally all the rage. But if you don’t have this knack… don’t do it! We used to try and use tea towels, salt and pepper shakers, flowers, plates in the background and the photos ended up looking like a great big mess!

If you don’t have the knack… just don’t do it! It’s as simple as that!  It’s definitely a cool knack and we want it! BUT because we aren’t so good with the styling we choose to make it super simple!

Just the plate and some cutlery… BOOM! This looks good and it’s very time efficient! Coz you know what… we have better things to do, like eat the delicious food! Below is our totally droolworthy Pumpkin and Spinach Pancakes!


Batch! Batch! Batch! We like to create several recipes on one day and photograph them together at the ‘perfect lighting time’. For us this is usually late afternoon and mid morning. This way you’re not setting up photo shoots every other day, which can seriously take a lot of time!

[Tweet “Batch! Batch! Batch! We like to create several recipes on one day and photograph them together.”]

A perfect example of this was when we were shooting for our bread book… we made like 7 recipes and because of this, we got an EPIC front cover shot too (see below!). We also had delicious bread to last us the whole week!

You can find most of these bread recipes in our new book: Make It Merry!

flatlay Easy Tips on Food Styling and Photography2

We keep a running blog editorial using a simple Microsoft Excel document, listing what recipe is going out on what date so we can make sure we have the photos organised prior! Check it out below!

easy tips for food styling and photography
Plates/serving stuff. Create a unique style for your photos! That way people will start to recognise them as yours! We like to use an eclectic mix of plates and serving dishes for our photos but keep it to the colours of green, pink, yellow and white (mostly)!

We have our entire collection of plates on display in Merrymaker Land so it’s super easy to grab the plate we want. Searching for the ‘right plate’ in a messy crockery cabinet can again be a super frustrating and time wasting job! Instead, why not just make a pretty display of plates?!

easy tips for food styling and photography
Photo boards! These are what you place your plates on top of to make them look ridiculously stylish and pretty! We have a huge table that we had made from recycled timber, it’s definitely part of the Merrymaker brand now because we’ve used it so much! You probably recongise it!

P.s that’s our new Paleo Chocolate Waffle recipe! Check it out here!

paleo chocolate waffles

Our friend Gina from Style Curator also made us these super cute boards, a white wash board that we just started using for our #flatlays! The lighter background allows the objects to show up really well! If you want to know more about Instagram check out our hot tips!

photography flatlay tips

She also made us this funky MDF board with geometric pink splashes! We had fun and photographed our delish Sweetener Free Good Fat Cake on it! YUM!

mdf board_easy tips for food styling and photography

Last but probably the most important is that your food needs to look good! And if you’ve got the lighting and plates right, then it probably will! But take extra care when cutting cakes or dishing up meals! You might find that you become THAT person who now wipes off splashes of sauce and cake crumbs… oh! That is so Chef-y of you! Check out the crumbs above… we like the ‘ala-rustic’ look 😉

[Tweet “You might become THAT person who now wipes off splashes of sauce and cake crumbs #foodstylist”]

Do you have your own tips or do you have more questions?! Leave us a comment on this blog post and we’ll most DEFINITELY get back to you!

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla

This content has been created as part of our involvement in Microsoft’s #WorkWonders Program.

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