How to Take Stunning Food Photos with Pina from Coffee Campari Cannoli

Here at Piquant Marketing we want to empower and connect our local food community. So we find some of Vancouver's rising food stars and ask them to share some advice on business, branding, and food! Today the talented Pina shares some secrets on taking stunning food pictures. Want more? Check out our last interview with Sisley from the Pure Life here.

Hi! I'm Pina from Coffee Campari Cannoli.  Since my blog is a reflection of my life, it mostly contains classic Italian food and desserts, or recipes with an Italian twist on them. This is what I grew up with and know well!

Over time, I've developed my own food photography style and get many questions about my photos. I thought I would share some tips and tricks with Piquant. Hopefully, this will help you bloggers who are trying to develop your own style or have already developed a style and are looking to freshen things up a bit.

Photo Tips from Pina

What Type of Camera Do You Use?

I use a Sony a6000 and love it! It's not your typical DSLR, but it produces the same quality of photos. I decided to go with a mirrorless model of camera because it's a lot smaller than a DSLR and easy to carry around. This is especially important for me when I'm travelling. I can just throw the camera in my purse and it doesn't take up too much space. 

Pina's Photography Tips

What Backgrounds Do You Use and How Did You Make or Source Them?

I take food pictures on white surfaces. I find that the crispness and simplicity of the white background helps any dish stand out in a photo. It also helps to create a cohesive look on my Instagram feed

I rotate through 3 backgrounds that I made myself. One is just a simple piece of white poster board. This is great if you want to add a lot of elements to your photo and just need a really simple background- it doesn't compete with everything else that's going on in the picture.

I use a marble background for food photos as well. I don't have marble countertops in my home (I wish!), so I had to get creative. I ordered marble contact paper from Amazon and stuck it on a square piece of wood. Voila! My marble background was complete. The best thing about this background is that I can spill sauces on it for my 'messy' look and just wipe it up after without ruining my board. 

My last background that I use is a white wood panel board. I got a friend to assemble this for me using 2x4's and then just painted it white. I love this background for a more rustic look.

Pina's Best Food Photography Tips

How Do You Compose Your Food Pictures?

My food pictures are usually something I've cooked or baked. I start with the main dish, then try to 'tell a story' around the picture. So I will place the main dish in the middle or to the side of the picture, then start placing ingredients and utensils that I used in the recipe around it. I've developed a somewhat 'messy' style where everything isn't neat and in its place. I will spill some chocolate chips around, use a used lemon, or spill some sauce in my picture. This helps to tell the story of what went into making the recipe.

I also always make sure to add some texture to the photo. This can be achieved with strategically placing a napkin in the photo, adding some florals, or even ribbon. The textured element helps add warmth and depth to the photo so it doesn't seem so cold and flat. There are definitely exceptions to the texture rule, but it's a good rule of thumb to use. 

Pina's Food Photography Advice

What Props Do You Use?

I touched on this a bit already but napkins are a big one. Whenever I'm at a kitchen store I'm always in their napkin selection seeing if I can find any more napkins to add to my collection! Bowls, plates, and cutlery are all important too. Like napkins, I'm always looking to acquire new ones and rotate through them in my photos so the same plate isn't always appearing on my blog.

This doesn't have to be expensive either. I only buy sets of 2 and at IKEA or Target both have great options.

Vancouver's own Pina from Coffee Compari Cannoli

How Do You Find Inspiration for Pictures?

I'm constantly browsing Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. I usually take what I see and make it my own; that's what has helped me to develop a personal photography and composition style. Make sure to follow accounts on Instagram and Pinterest that inspire you. I want to feel stimulated and motivated as I'm scrolling through my feed and excited to make my next recipe. Following the right accounts will help you do that.

Food Photography Tips from Pina

Want more from Pina? You can find her taking part in our Vancity Virtual Potluck, blogging, or making us hungry on her Instagram