Behind the scenes of a recipe photoshoot

The best food photography looks effortless – but the reality is anything but! Every delicious dish in a magazine or cookbook or on Instagram has been carefully curated. In this post, we’re taking you behind the scenes of a recipe shoot, from cooking, to styling, to getting that perfect shot.

Step 1: Setting the scene

The first thing to consider for a successful recipe shoot is location – there needs to be enough light to get good-quality photos, a kitchen to prep the food and enough space for everyone involved in the shoot to be able to get to work. Proximity to a coffee shop is a definite plus for when everyone needs a caffeine kick!

Step 2: Get cooking

Usually, a home economist or food stylist will prepare the recipe and set it up on a plate. Every detail needs to be considered: the colours of the food and the background; the accompaniments, sides and sauces; and the positioning of the food on the plate. This is where props such as tablecloths and cutlery come in. It’s a good idea to do a test run before the real deal, so the stylist might bring double the ingredients needed for the recipe. It’s good to have some spare in case something goes wrong.

Step 3: Set up the shot

It’s time for the photographer to step in and work their magic. They will experiment with light, layout and angles to try and orchestrate the perfect shot. The food stylist will step in and make any changes necessary. This may take some trial and error, but the results are worth it.

Step 4: Post-production and editing

The photographer’s next job, once they’ve got the perfect shot, is to finesse the photo even more by editing the brightness, colour and clarity to make the dish look as delicious (and professional) as possible.

Phew. Then, it’s time to sit back and admire the result of all the hard work that’s gone into creating the recipe photography – and maybe eat the evidence! Here at Curzon Associate Marketing, we work with a range of FMCG and food brands including Gressingham Duck, Munchy Seeds and Sutton Hoo Chicken. If you’d like to chat more about what we do, you can get in touch here.