Food Photography: A Recipe for Savory Success, with Nicole Young

Join Nicole S. Young as she takes you step-by-step through her food photography workflow.

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.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction and Set Up (Duration 07:28)

Join Nicole as she introduces the class and goes over her food photography gear and camera settings.

Lesson 2: Lighting (Duration 02:49)

One of the most important considerations for your photography (of all kinds) is your lighting set up.

Lesson 3: Tabletop Textures (Duration 02:15)

From tablecloths to napkins, there are a variety of textures and colors you can use to enhance the setting in your photograph.

Lesson 4: Dishes, Bowls, and Cups (Duration 02:03)

Finding interesting dishes, bowls, flatware, and glasses that you can use as props is almost as important as the food itself.

Lesson 5: Selecting Food and Styling Tools (Duration 04:09)

You want to be selective, but not overly picky when choosing the food items for your subject.

Lesson 6: Setting the Stage (Duration 04:54)

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.

Lesson 7: Working with the Food (Duration 07:57)

With the food prepared it is time to style it and complete the scene.

Lesson 8: Setting Up for French Toast (Duration 04:51)

For the next food item Nicole talks about how you can use color accents to enhance the image.

Lesson 9: Photographing French Toast (Duration 08:44)

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.

Lesson 10: Prepping for Shrimp and Grits (Duration 03:09)

It is always good to re-check your camera settings between shoots. A new dish brings a new scene and change of props.

Lesson 11: Photographing Shrimp and Grits (Duration 10:15)

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.

Lesson 12: Using Off-Camera Strobe (Duration 04:56)

You can use off-camera strobe to mimic window light.

Lesson 13: Overcoming Difficult Situations (Duration 05:23)

Nicole wraps up the class by walking through strategies to help you overcome challenging food situations.

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…


  1. 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.

  2. Nicole, 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. 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 I'm hungry!!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

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