We eat with our eyes first. How the food on your plate looks, or the food pics on the menus will significantly affect your appetite. Think about how you’d feel when someone brings a dirty plate with greasy fingerprints on the rim and the meal slopped in the middle. Consider someone bringing you an elegant dish in the pictures that looks just as good as (if not better!). The difference is night and day.
There is a massively popular subreddit with nearly 5.2 million members that encourages foodies to share beautiful photos of food. We’ve collected some of their freshest pics to show how much love and effort some chefs—professional and amateur alike—put into their creations. Be warned, dear A&D followers, this post is going to make you hungry as heck. So we hope you’ve got some snacks while upvoting your fave food pics.
We contacted world-famous pie artist Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, @thepieous, for some advice on food photography and making the snaps look as delicious as possible. She shared some great technical tips and told us about the main pitfalls to avoid. Jessica is the author of ‘Pies Are Awesome: The Definitive Pie Art Book,‘ you’ll find our interview with her below.
For more gastronomic inspiration, check out A&D’s earlier articles about the “food pics” of the massively-popular subreddit here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. And if you like content like this, be sure to join the Reddit community! (H/T)
01. Mango And Dragon Fruit Ice Cream
Jessica, the author of ‘Pies Are Awesome,’ was kind enough to share her insights on photographing food to make the pics look appealing. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need much fancy equipment to get excellent results. What’s far more critical is how you approach photography!
“You no longer need ultra fancy camera equipment to take professional-quality food photos—as of iPhone 11, cellphone snaps are virtually indistinguishable from the most expensive DSLR cameras,” the pie artist shared. She pointed out that two areas might cause problems. The first is a cluttered backdrop. The second is light.
“The two biggest mistakes new food photographers make are working with overhead kitchen lights instead of natural light from a large window and photographing their food on a counter cluttered with a million unrelated objects in the background,” she said.
02. I Had A Dream That I Made Cottage Pie With Starry Night Mashed Potatoes, And I Haven’t Been Able To Stop Thinking About It. So I Present To You The Starry Night Cottage Pie
03. Celebrating With Some Prosciutto, Capocollo, 3 Year Aged Cheddar, And 21 Days Of Sobriety
“To get started, find the biggest window in your home and pull a chair or table set with a large piece of cardboard up next to it. Place your food on the cardboard and snap away! Direct overhead shots are popular, as are slightly oblique angles that give the viewer the PoV of someone sitting down for a delicious meal,” pie artist Jessica explained how newcomers to food photography might want to approach things. Once you get the fundamentals down right, you can start investing in more professional equipment. But that’s always optional.
“As you start to up your game, you can spring for professional backdrops, and even your lights that mimic daylight so that you can shoot outside of peak daylight hours… but these are by no means necessary to get in the game.”
According to pie artist Jessica, once you’ve become confident with the basics, you can focus on the food.
“Make no smudges, drips, fingerprints, or other disagreeable elements on your dishes or styling props. Check your produce for wilted areas or other blemishes, and turn these away from the camera,” she explained that attention to detail is paramount.
04. Puff Pastry Apple Turnover
05. My Apple Pie Trifle
06. There’s An Ice Cream Place Near Boston That Sells Soft Serve Ice Cream With Gooey Caramel In The Middle And Apple Cider Donut Crumbles On The Outside
“To ensure your food is at peak freshness when you shoot it, do all of your prep work well in advance—set up your backdrop, camera tripods, lighting, props, etc. and get everything perfect using random household objects as ‘stand-ins’ for your food. That way, once your dish is hot and ready to go, all you have to do is place it in the frame and snap away!”
Jessica noted that there’s a lot to learn regarding food photography. Everything depends on your curiosity and willingness to try something new.
“There are hundreds of little tricks specific to certain types of food to make dishes look luscious and delicious, and many books have been dedicated to this subject. When you’re ready to take things to that next level, start a list of your favorite food photographers on Instagram and see if they have ebooks, manuals, or courses offering their best lighting and styling tips… before you know it, you’ll be joining their ranks and inspiring others with your killer food photog style!” the pie artist said.
07. The Perfect Watermelon
08. Potato Pavé
09. My Cousin’s Wife And I Put This Charcuterie Table Together For My Other Cousin’s Wedding! I Think It Turned Out Pretty Great
The subreddit is a great place to find some inspiration if you feel that you’ve run out of ideas when it comes to cooking. Taking a break from it is lovely if you value aesthetics and presentation but feel like you’ve hit a creative block.
Then, when you return to the kitchen, rested and reenergized, you can start looking a bit broader for inspiration. Take a peek at other areas of life for how you cook, bake, and arrange your food: maybe you’ll find something in nature, pop culture, or even architecture that motivates you to go the extra mile!
The subreddit is home to over 5 million members, or ‘foodies’ as the moderator team has dubbed them. The online community has been active for over a decade, and in that time, it has become one of the most well-known and influential groups on Reddit.
The sub is dedicated to “simple, attractive, and visual” content. If it’s related to food and it looks great, you should probably share it here.
10. We Have So Much Fruit Coming From The Garden. Brownie-White Chocolate Mousse Pie With Fresh Fruit
11. Halloween Pizza – Food Pics
12. My Girlfriend And I Don’t Bake, But We Made Her Birthday Cake From Scratch, And It Looked Beautiful
The internet is a much different place than it was in 2009 when the subreddit was first created. Back then, internet users were far more open to naming their communities something embarrassing or unusual. Something that instantly gets your attention.
Fast-forward to 2022, and internet censorship has become quite widespread. Even mentioning some of these community names in full in the text is a beautiful way to get on the wrong side of the Internet and Social Media Overlords. The sad reality is that the subreddit has a so-called ‘stop word’ in its name, so we can’t mention it directly. We can, however, celebrate just how great the community is and invite you to check it out yourselves, dear A&D followers.
If you do decide to join the sub, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the community rules. You can find them in the sidebar. They’re pretty straightforward.
Be civil toward others. Post things and pics only related to food. It is a food subreddit, after all! Many other Reddit communities exist if you’d like to discuss something unrelated.
13. Homegrown Tomato Spread
14. Poppy Semolina Bread
15. Pan Grilled Jiaozi And A Cat
Meanwhile, members are encouraged to post only images and gifs. Videos and articles aren’t allowed. While writing the title, be sure to include some context.
Oh, and mark your post with an [OC] (original content) tag in the title if the photo is one that you took.
16. Pot Roast Bread Bowl Topped With Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes
17. French Berry Tartlets I Made For My Fiancé
18. Homemade Salted Caramel Cheesecake
However, if it’s not your photo, make sure that you credit the actual content creator. Transparency is an integral part of practically any online community.
And even if it wasn’t, it’s nice to know the source of something you come across—credit where credit’s due and all that.
19. Homemade Asian BBQ Chicken Lo Mein
20. Ratatouille I Just Made
21. Went Strawberry Picking
According to the hard-working moderator team, low-effort titles will be removed. You’re asked to be as descriptive and precise as you can. What’s more, originality is further encouraged by limiting the number of non-original content posts you make to one per day.
If you’ve found a delicious-looking pic on the internet that you can’t wait to share with the other members of the sub, remember that you can only do that once every day.
22. Flour, Water, Salt. Today’s Loaf Did Things To Me
23. Baked My 30th Birthday Cake. Grapefruit And Champagne Cake
24. Crunchy Grilled Garlic And Pesto Bruschetta
Meanwhile, the mods note that if you plan on sharing a recipe with your photo, you should write it in plain text in the comments. “We do not require posts to include a recipe. However, we strongly encourage it,” the community team explains.
“You are free to link to off-site recipes, but there must always be a plain text version in a comment if there is to be any recipe. All we require is that if you post a link to a recipe, you also include a plain text version in the comment.”
25. Made A Chocolate Chip Banana Bread That Came Out Very Moist
26. I Made Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon And Mashed Potatoes
27. My Sister Made This Chocolate Cake For My Birthday. I Couldn’t Be Happier
Which of these food pics impressed you the most, dear A&D followers? Were there any dishes or desserts you’d love to take a bite out of if you could reach through the screen? And, be honest, are you as hungry as we are after finishing this list? Share your thoughts, opinions, and hunger level in the comments!
28. Onion Soup Gratin
29. Pumpkin Gnocchi With A Creamy Spinach Sauce
30. Look At This Motherf**king Paella!
31. Nothing Profound To Share; I Just Thought My Ribeye Looked Sexy
32. Moon Drops Grapes
33. A Bouquet Of Chicken Gyros On Homemade Pitta
34. Peaches And Cream Roll Cake For A Local Peach Festival!
35. My First Attempt At Beef Wellington
36. Steak And Ale Pie – Food Pics
37. Injera With A Variety Of Ethiopian Dishes
38. Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich With Focaccia
39. Homemade Broken Glass Jelly – Food Pics
40. Colombian Platter With Pulled Chicken, Chorizo, Fried Plantain, Garlic Rice, Red Beans, Potatoes, And Guacamole
41. I Made Pancakes With Blueberries I Picked This Morning
42. Are Any Garlic Soup Lovers In Here? This Is How I Make Mine
43. Our Halloween Charcuterie Spread + Pumpkin Spice & Cream Cheese Frosting Cupcakes + Skeleton Brownies + Rice Krispie Treats (Not Raw Meat)
44. I Decided To Make A Choco Taco From Scratch, And It Turned Out Great!
45. My 34th Batch Of Homemade Sushi
46. Jalapeno Popper Mummies Food Pics
47. Mini Sourdough Detroit Style Pizzas
48. Ramen Made From Instant Noodles With Beef And Mushroom Broth
49. Homemade Golden Paneer Baos With Butter Sauce
50. Seafood Grill In Santorini, Greece
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