Adobe has teamed up with Sarah Crawford of Broma Bakery, to present a series of tips for food photographers this holiday season. Sarah also developed a series of Lightroom presets that you can download for free!

1. Style your food to set the scene

Sarah says that styling your food is an important way to get the right look and feel for your photos. She talks about angles, balance, props and more.

Find the best angles

Think about what’s most pleasing to the eye when displaying your food. For example, if you are shooting a cookie that has a beautiful decoration on top, show the top. If it’s a sandwich cookie, then you would want to show its layers.

Think about balance

Don’t place similar colors or shapes next to each other. You should space them out to create the most dynamic photo or otherwise they will look too similar.

Don’t be afraid to get messy

Taking bites out of your food is a great way to show its deliciousness in the photo. It’s like the photographer just couldn’t wait to eat it!

Bring it to life with props

Think about how you would actually enjoy the food you’re styling and incorporate that into your scene. These visual cues help tell your story.

Photo by Sarah Crawford of Broma Bakery

2. Find good lighting to avoid your food looking flat

“Food photography needs strong light,” said Sarah. “You should be 1-3 feet from your window when you shoot. Any further away and the light won’t be strong enough, causing your food to look flat.”

Say no to overhead lighting

Make sure to turn off any overhead lights since these tend to compete with your natural light.

Use a single light source

When possible, shoot using a single light source, such as a window. Relying on multiple light sources – like two windows in a corner of a room –makes the light from these windows compete with each other, leading to a lack of shadows in your scene. Shadows are important for giving food dimension.

3. Use your smartphone to capture amazing photos

While having a camera is great, a smartphone can easily capture Instagram-worthy food photographs.

Make it easy!

Use the Adobe Lightroom for mobile in-app camera to shoot your photos. You can easily capture and edit your photos all within the app.

Photo by Sarah Crawford of Broma Bakery

Adjust your brightness and stay focused

Don’t be afraid to manually adjust your brightness and make sure to focus your photo each time you shoot.

Use the Rule of Thirds

Use the grid guides to make a strong composition. Place the important parts of your scene at or in the middle of one of these lines. This will impart balance and harmony in the photo.

4. Easily edit like a pro with Lightroom for mobile

With Adobe Lightroom for mobile, it’s easy to edit your food photographs and share them with your friends and family.

In a pinch? Presets can help!

The Adobe Lightroom presets can make your editing a cinch and help you achieve an Instagram-worthy look for your photos. I also love using my Adobe Lightroom food photography presets I created that are free and available for anyone to use to kickstart their editing.

Use the sliders to make fine-tune edits

I love using the sliders in the Light tool in Adobe Lightroom for mobile to adjust the highlights, shadows, whites and blacks to make my scenes pop. Play around with what style works for you, but in general, using these sliders over solely contrast will make your photo look more professional.

Refine your photos

The Healing Brush in Adobe Lightroom for mobile is a great way to remove unwanted crumbs or imperfections in your photo. The Effects tool sliders for adjusting texture, dehaze and clarity are great for getting a crisp photo.

Color adjustments are key

With Adobe Lightroom for mobile, you can use the Color tool to alter the hue, saturation and luminance of specific colors to best fit your scene.

Want more holiday food photography tips?

In addition to the tips from Sarah above, we’ve developed some great holiday food photography tips to get you started in the kitchen!

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