Food Photography: A Recipe for Savory Success By Nicole Young

1 hr 8 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

There’s a lot more to photographing food than you might think. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get started, from the gear and camera settings she uses to the importance of choosing the right props for your scene, from what to look for when selecting your ingredients to essential food styling tips and tricks used by the pros. Nicole even dishes out a number of techniques for dealing with challenging food situations that might arise. Whether you shoot with natural light or in the studio this class has you covered.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join Nicole as she introduces the class and goes over her food photography gear and camera settings.
One of the most important considerations for your photography (of all kinds) is your lighting set up.
From tablecloths to napkins, there are a variety of textures and colors you can use to enhance the setting in your photograph.
Finding interesting dishes, bowls, flatware, and glasses that you can use as props is almost as important as the food itself.
You want to be selective, but not overly picky when choosing the food items for your subject.
After assembling all of your ingredients, and just before you are ready to cook, you want to set the stage for your photograph so it is ready to go.
With the food prepared it is time to style it and complete the scene.
For the next food item Nicole talks about how you can use color accents to enhance the image.
Setting up the scene before you cook gives you time to plan and prepare before the actual food item is on the scene. Now, with the food in place you can style, adjust, and shoot while the food is fresh.
It is always good to re-check your camera settings between shoots. A new dish brings a new scene and change of props.
Placing the food and the garnish while constantly checking the view through the back of the camera allows you to build up the elements of the photo.
You can use off-camera strobe to mimic window light.
Nicole wraps up the class by walking through strategies to help you overcome challenging food situations.
Profile photo of Nicole Young

Meet your instructor

Nicole Young


Hi! My name is Nicole and I currently live in the Bay Area of California. In the past I've lived in Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Japan and Hawaii, and I grew up in Nebraska. In other words, I move a lot. I'm a full-time photographer and author, with four books published through Peachpit Press, two eBooks published through Craft&V...

Nicole's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of tmtintin tmtintin

    Merci Nicole, J’ai beaucoups appris avec ton √©mission sur la food-fotografie. Je remercie et je ne peut que recommander √† tous les amateurs de food-fptograpie de s’abonner sur ton site
    Salutations culinaires
    Tony Tintinger de Luxembourg

  2. Profile photo of Steven Steven

    Why is this course rated expert? It is as basic as can be. While the content is good, my expectations were disappointed due to the overstatement of rating. Will you consider revising the rating to be set expectations for others viewing this course?

  3. Profile photo of Susan Liberto Susan Liberto

    nice simple course, no pun intended!

  4. Profile photo of designermom4 designermom4

    Fantastic course! I learned so much. I especially enjoyed seeing Nicole create the shot from start to finish, as well as learning what sort of props to use. Thank you!

  5. Profile photo of

    thank you very inspiring job n all things that you are doing is very professional, waiting more tips

  6. Profile photo of Nimity Nimity

    Very enjoyable course Nicole. Very practical for the home cook. Would love to see some more of your work.

  7. Profile photo of belfy belfy

    I really liked Nicole’s book, this course, really love it! I learned a lot! :)

  8. Profile photo of SergeAMH SergeAMH

    Great tutorial by Nicole Young. She made so many things which were complete mysteries to me seem nice and clear. Thanks for the great instruction!

  9. Profile photo of Paul Lemieux Paul Lemieux

    Great job Nicole. Food photography books and courses I have looked at before tended to scare me away. After your course I can’t wait to try it out!


  10. Profile photo of johnzander johnzander

    I just started to try and study food photography and I was delighted to find this course. I watched it in one sitting and will be going back to it as I try the shots for myself. Nicole is a fantastic instructor! Explained and shot very well. Loved it and just what I was looking for!

  11. Profile photo of halfdome halfdome

    Thank you Nicole,
    An excellent food photo course. Great presentation, straight forward and easy to understand. I don’t very often comment on courses, but I felt I needed to with this one… I’m hungry!!

  12. Profile photo of Sealdriver Sealdriver

    Thanks, Nicole. Good information well presented. It has inspired me to have a go.

  13. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    Absolutely wonderful. Nicole’s talent and attention to detail shines through in this class. I got so much out of it. Could we please have more classes from her? I know she is a great landscape photographer too. Perhaps a class on that too?

  14. Profile photo of kazdez kazdez

    Nicole,that you for this presentation. Have been waiting for this since you did the interview on the Grid awhile ago. Loved seeing your set up.
    I didn’t realize how much I had learned from your book, until I was watching Lessons 3-5, I thought it was my little studio setup. Thanks again

  15. Profile photo of C. C.

    I would be more than happy to sit in as a consultant while you prepare the food for your shots. I find it very difficult to get through the complete series without at least a couple of trips to the kitchen.Thank you for the video, very informative.
    C. Vincent Carey Jr.

  16. Profile photo of antoniolgj antoniolgj

    Nice class, thanks Nicole.

  17. Profile photo of Scott King Scott King

    Fantastic course!

    Nicole Young does a fabulous job of sharing some of her food photography techniques. My only complaint is that I want to see more. One course from Nicole simply isn’t enough.

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