My 10 Food Photography Mistakes

10 food photography mistakes such as glare, overexposed, reflection, focus and horizon. My little food photography & styling fails and some inspiration & ideas for food blogging and Instagram photography. 

Mushroom Soup Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. HealthyLaura @healthylauracom food photography HACKS for food styling & composition, my photography cheats & favorite food blogging tips for inspiration. My mistakes with glare, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus.

My editing frustration

Every time I sit in front of my computer and start editing I notice some of the common mistakes that I make quite often. So, I thought I’m going to share some of my thought that usually go through my mind while I’m editing in Lightroom.

How to fix it? I started to shoot tethered to see my mistakes right away!

Learn from my mistakes

Sometimes I honestly feel like I don’t like some details on my images and I just ignore them because otherwise, I would never publish anything. I feel like it’s a journey and we can’t get everything right at the beginning. I believe that sometimes it’s important to publish some of the images to get feedback and learn from the mistakes to get better.

Rice Semolina & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. HealthyLaura @healthylauracom food photography HACKS for food styling & composition, my photography cheats & favorite food blogging tips for inspiration. My mistakes with glare, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus.

Rice Semolina

Typical Internet Disclaimer

Before I go on, I need to make a little disclaimer because photography is very subjective and these are just my thoughts and critics on my own images. I’m quite sure that some of you who are reading this might think otherwise and have different opinions. However, I believe that different views are just part of photography.

All the solutions for these mistakes are my own approach & these are just the things I like to tell myself. 

Nice Cream Jars & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. Instagram @healthylauracom food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Chocolate Almond Butter Nice Cream Swirl

My 10 food photography mistakes:
#1 Headache: Glare

You might notice that these images here have a little glare. It might not be that hard, but once I see it, then it starts to bother me. I find that some of the hardest things for food photography are forks and glasses. It just gives that glare that doesn’t always have to be there.

Glass & Pouring Juice & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. Instagram @healthylauracom HealthyLaura food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

I get rid of the GLARE with a circular polarizing (read my post here).

Sometimes it might be okay, but other times it’s just so annoying that I can’t digest it. I read that the best solutions here are some white cards or a circular polarizer filter that always saves the day.

MY SOLUTION? Circular polarizer filter

#2 Headache: Comfort zone

Yes, I’m still a human. I get trapped in my comfort zone and try to get things done as quickly as possible. I’m just used to my usual routine, and I forget to try new “tricks”. However, when I have time I usually promise myself to try something new and I even write down some new ideas for the future.

MY SOLUTION? Take a long breath and try something new!

Donut & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Keto cinnamon donut for a client.

#3 Headache: Reflection

Reflection is one of the things that is quite annoying for me. I know that you can always use it as a creative tool, but sometimes it just drives me crazy. All the forks, glasses, and shiny tableware are a challenge!

Usually, I will get my window or tripod reflection on my glass or cutlery. Therefore, I try to use the polarizer filter or white cards save the day.

I know that some people use all kind of crazy trick with chemistry?! However, I personally still would like to eat the food I make. So, I try to skip these kinds of tricks. Maybe someday I will think otherwise.

MY SOLUTION?? Circular polarizer filter 

Food photography glare & reflection by Healthy Laura. Instagram @healthylauracom HealthyLaura food photography HACKS & ideas with circular polarizing filter. #foodphotographyglare #foodbloggertips #foodblogideas #foodphotographyreflection

How to fix it? Read my post here.

#4 Hangry: Focus error

That usually happens when I’m rushing with my shoot. Sometimes I’m just hangry, or I have planned too many tasks for my day. So, I try to get things done as quickly as possible. However, I still forget to double check the focus with 100% zoom. Above all, I notice my mistakes when I’m editing, and I might be mad at myself for doing that.

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MY SOLUTION? Never shoot hangry!

I usually use the back-button for my focus (AF-L). That’s one of the best things I discovered once I started to notice my focus problems.

Matcha & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Coconut Matcha Latte

#5 Headache: Overexposed

When I overexpose my images and raw files, then I lose a lot of information while editing. That’s precisely my typical mistake. Mainly, it happens when I’m in a room that has A LOT of light that is always changing.

Zoodles Pot & Food Styling Mistakes for Food Photography & Food Styling by Healthy Laura. @healthylauracom HealthyLaura food photography HACKS for food styling & composition and my photography cheats, favorite food blogging tips, inspiration, ideas to blogging inspiration and resources. My best cheats, tricks & hacks for food bloggers to create instagram photography. #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Save it! 🙂

My first year of photography I didn’t even read my histogram in my Adobe Lightroom. Somehow I was ignoring the manual mode and didn’t want to learn technical things. Big mistake! After I started to get more comfortable with Lightroom, then I noticed that my photography got better. Editing is just so big part of the photography.

MY SOLUTION? Read your histogram.

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Overexposed & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. My food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Here you can see one of my raw files for the breakfast bowl. I OVEREXPOSED the image, and in the end, I lost a little bit too much information. The image on the right is a little bit better, and I managed to get some more information with editing.

#6 Headache: Depth of Field 

Sometimes I place the food too close to my backdrop. Therefore, I lose the depth of field that is really important in photography. For example, here I placed the ice cream a little bit too close to the backdrop. As a result, I missed the depth of field on the image.

MY SOLUTION? Don’t place food too close to the backdrop!

Behind the scenes_ Instagram Stories_ Food Photography

My Instagram @healthylauracom stories screenshots (behind the scenes)

#7 Headache: Details

I forget to check my details and make sure that everything in the image is where it needs to be. I’m sure that fingerprints or dust doesn’t need to be there.

MY SOLUTION? Take a long breath & shoot tethered. 

Smoothie Jar & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. My food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

#8 Headache: Highlights & Hard Light

I usually shoot with natural light. In the winter time, I sometimes use studio light as well. However, with natural light, I forget that the light might change. For example, the sun comes out, and the light will be a little bit too hard.

Yes, I can always change some things in my Adobe Lightroom. As a result, I can’t edit all the things without compensating on quality. I just faile. The raw files should already be good.

MY SOLUTION? Use the custom setting in the camera, histogram & avoid direct sunlight.

Pasta Pot & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. My food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Over Exposed & Pesto Zoodles with Mushrooms

#9 Headache: Forget to Double Check the Setting

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who sometimes makes this kind of mistake. In my case, I’m quite used that my ISO is on 100. However, sometimes I shoot high shutter images. As a result, I forget to double check my setting, and I think that ISO is 100, but it obviously isn’t. On this image, I forget that and my ISO was too high. So, I ended up with a little bit too noisy image.

MY SOLUTION? Don’t get lazy.

Braised Meat & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. @healthylauracom food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Didn’t double check my setting & used too HIGH ISO here.

#10 Headache: Horizon

There is no excuse for me to miss the horizon. Seriously, sometimes I just forget to check my level on the camera, and I still make this kind of mistake. That’s just embarrassing. I can always fix it in my  Adobe Lightroom, but honestly, that’s just carelessness & my food blog photography fail. As a result, I will lose so much data and that it’s just BAD.

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MY SOLUTION? Use the custom level button on my camera (+ Lightroom to double check).

If you already haven’t done that, then I highly recommend to custom the level button on your camera. I installed it as my Fn button next to my lens, and I use it almost all the time.

Pancakes Stack & Horizon & Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. @healthylauracom food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Use Lightroom crop & straightening tool + RULER to DRAW a line.

Lightroom fix?

If I still have that horizon “mistake”(or I would like to double check), then I fix it in Adobe Lightroom crop & straighten tool. Therefore, if you already are not using it, then I highly recommend to use the RULER as well.  

I remember that I used to straighten my images only with the slider. Also, I didn’t use the ruler and because of that, it wasn’t as accurate as I should be. Now I always double check. All I need to do is drag the ruler to your image and DRAW A LINE.

Healthy Laura Almond Flour Pancakes & Food Photography Mistakes by HealthyLaura. @healthylauracom food photography mistakes with glare, setting, light, highlights, depth of field, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Classical Comment Begging 🙄

If this post was helpful, then please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @healthylauracom or another platform. It helps me to create better content.

Leave YOUR website link below. I would love to see your photography or ideas!

 Food Photography Mistakes by Healthy Laura. Instagram @healthylauracom food photography HACKS for food styling & composition, my photography cheats & favorite food blogging tips for inspiration. My mistakes with glare, reflection, horizon, exposure & focus.

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Comments

  1. well… your mistake images are MUCH better than my best images! haha 🙂
    I loved the tips and insights! I too hate when I notice things on lightroom that I didn’t see while shooting. One of my future goals it to get my camera tethered to my computer so when I shoot images I can see them big on my computer and hopefully notice things better.

    P.s. I didn’t even notice the glare or reflection in the glass cup until you pointed it out! 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your ‘mistakes’ Laura. And yes, I put them in between ‘ ‘ because I think they are hardly to be called that, the pictures still look amazing and even though I see what you mean, I only see it because you pointed them out 😉 But on the other hand, I’m making the same mistakes (and more) myself as well. Small steps to become better and better. Oh and that horizon-issue… Boy, how I’m still struggling with that! It feels like I really don’t have an eye for straight lines. *facepalm.

    • Oh, Eva! Your food photography is amazing! I’m so flattered by your lovely comment! I agree small steps make the difference! I totally get the horizon-issue. Sometimes I personally blame my glasses because of that! 😀

  3. Hey Laura,
    Thanks for sharing. However if I take the photos using my samsung note 8 and doesnt have any of the filter. Coud I still make high quality photos?

    Wawi.

    • Hi, Wawi! Yes, absolutely you can still shoot some great images! I would say that all of these mistakes can still be on phone images as well. When learning the composition and essential lighting, then your phone works great as well. The light is one of the key elements in DSLR photography and phone photography. Nowadays the phones have an amazing quality already. However, when you would like to get the next level, then I would suggest you get entry-level DSLR. Good luck with your photography! 😉

  4. A very helpful post for a budding food blogger and photographer like me. I end up getting stressed and berate myself later. It’s heartening to know I’m not alone. And I can especially relate to ‘Focus’ issue.

    • Oo, thank you so much! I can totally relate to that stress part but I always tell myself that it’s a journey! Mistakes always push as forward! 🙂 So happy to hear that it was helpful for you.