Thought of the Week: Food Photography

This post contains an affiliate link (*) for Composition Essentials by Rachel Korinek.


Food Photography


“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” This quote by Imogen Cunningham, one of the most important modern photographers, speaks from my heart. Sure, I like my pictures, but there is always a part of me that sees mistakes. I am often dissatisfied, but even then, or because of that, I continue. For you I want to better myself, telling visual stories with my pictures, putting the dishes on your tongue and bringing ingredients to life. What I do is called food photography and is its own genre. Today, in this TOW, I would like to tell you a bit about it.


Food is what we eat, the bulk part of our shopping list, the one thing that nourishes us. Photography is composed of two ancient Greek words: photos for light and graphein for drawing, painting. Photography can thus be translated with a drawing of light. This is rather romantic but quite a good description of a picture. Food photographs are therefore pictures focusing on the things we eat. To include a bit more, food photography also portraits the groceries origins, the cooking process, situations in the kitchen and at the table.

In everyday life, it encounters us in cookbooks, magazines, in advertising and in many other places. There are professions that deal specifically with the topic, such as food photographers and food stylists.


Generally speaking, there are four different types of food photography. Very well known is the journalistic approach, which is more documented and focused on the process. In addition, there are the highly stylized images in which food becomes an art object. This form is known mainly from glossy magazines or advertising. On Ginger by Choice I go for the other two groups, with a tendency to last: food portraiture and food scenes. Food portraiture has a minimalist approach. The focus is on the food as it is presented as realistic and approachable as possible. On the contrary, food scenes tell stories about dishes and products and have a lot in common with journalistic food photography. They are usually deliberately composed.


Pictures are just necessary for a blog. The ones for my first posts were made by my husband. Unfortunately, because he is not always available, I myself had to deal with camera. Initially the thousand wheels, buttons and settings often brought me to the brink of tears. Giving up isn’t an option for me, so I’ve read, watched video tutorials, and took pictures all the time. Currently, I even take a class at the University and do two online courses that are crazy good.

One of them is called Composition Essentials * and is created by Rachel Korinek. It is a training that deals with composition, arrangement and style of food photography. Rachel is an incredibly talented and self-though photographer. That’s encouraging and inspiring at the same time. The course is divided into individual, well-structured modules with presentations and tasks. Examples from Rachel’s own work support the detailed instructions. From approaching a photo shoot to building a picture, everything is explained in an understandable and appealing way.

By now, I feel confident in dealing with my camera and begin to understand how individual elements in the image interact and create an aesthetic whole. However, there is still much to learn. I continue to work on my skills and am happy to share my developmental steps with you.


Thanks to GBC, food photography has become an important part of my life that I don’t want to miss anymore. One year ago, all I knew was that I liked the many, pretty food pictures on social media. Over the past year, I’ve learned why this genre appeals to me so much. The photos let us smell roasted spices, they let us taste sweet cakes and hear bubbling soups. The small pictures are captured stories and we humans behind the camera are allowed to create exactly that for you. That’s why I learn, gain knowledge, and strive to be even better tomorrow. Always in the spirit of Imogen Cunnigham: ” Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. ” –

PS: If you are interested in the online course mentioned above, just follow the link  and a small fraction of your purchase will help me continue to create this blogs content.