Home > Take Great Food Photos with your iPhone: Tips from Lensmaster Smine27

Take Great Food Photos with your iPhone: Tips from Lensmaster Smine27

smine27If you’ve been lucky enough to come across any of lensmaster smine27′s recipe lenses, you already know he’s a talented food photographer but you might be surprised to learn that he uses his iPhone to take all of those stunning photos. We asked him to share some of his secrets and he courteously obliged us with some pretty awesome advice that you’re going to want to gobble up now and  bookmark as a resource for later.  Here’s what he had to say:

Getting great photos isn’t as hard as you’d think. First, I take pictures with my iphone so expensive equipment isn’t necessary. Also plate your food as beautifully as you can. If there are drips of gravy on the side of the plate, I make sure to wipe them off before doing anything else.

I make sure to get the best lighting possible. Although outside during the day is best, it’s not always possible ( especially for dinner ). In this case, I choose the most lighted place in the apartment. I choose the best plate ( usually white ) for my food but I do try and vary my photos as much as possible so I mix it up.

I also like using props such as napkins, cutlery and real food. For example, I saved some strawberries to use as props for my strawberry cupcakes. I also have a small collection of “fake” flowers to use a decoration. It’s all about balance and composition.

Editing and tweaking:
I take between 7-20 photos, a variety of shots from different angles. I then edit my photos if needed right on my Iphone using an app called Snapseed. It’s very easy to use and can enhance your photos in a few seconds. Once I choose the photo I like,I get it onto my lens. However half the time, I find that once it goes onto my lens, it doesn’t look as good as I thought it would. In that case, I either choose a different photo or on rare occasions, I retake a few more shots to get it just right.

A good way to improve:
Browsing through Pinterest and studying food photos is a good habit as they will give you ideas for your next food photo session.

These two lenses kind of show you what I go through with my photos.

matchaFor instance on my matcha cupcake lens, it shows different shots that I was experimenting with as well as the props I used.

Matcha Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

With the experience I got with the matcha cupcakes, the photo for my strawberry cupcakes turned out better.




strawberryI put them into a basket I had lying around, used a fake flower prop and put them on a yellow paper napkin, which made the picture pop. The photo was taken on a glass table in my living room with bad lighting so I edited in Snapseed to enhance the photo.

No-Sugar Gluten Free Low Carb Strawberry Cupcakes




Be sure to stop by smine27′s bio page to see more of his terrific work and to thank him for sharing his secrets.

Find more helpful food photography tips HERE.

Our Giant Squid lensmasters are smart, creative and experienced in their craft. Stay tuned to HQ for more helpful interviews and advice to come from this super group.

Robin Svedi aka rms is a Community Organizer and member of the Creative Team at where her daily mission is to help lensmasters build better and more successful lenses about the things they know and love.

  • Wednesday_Elf

    I don’t have an iPhone, but am always on the lookout on ways to improve my photography. Thanks for sharing smiine27′s tips.

  • grammieo

    great hints, yes, his pictures do really POP!

  • Susan Deppner

    Smine27′s pictures always look good enough to eat! I really appreciate the tips.

  • CherylFay

    Great tips. I’ve used my phone too for picture taking. I have a Samsung S3. Im learning more and more taking great pictures.

  • mountainmistjewelry

    Great ideas! I don’t feel so bad about taking my photos with my LG phone now.

  • britflorida

    Excellent tips! We don’t even own a ‘proper’ camera these days – everything is taken from our iphones.

  • AnuradhaM

    Good effort from your side. :)

  • Ruthi aka abitosunshine

    Every lens of smine27′s I visit makes me wish I liked cooking! Thanks so much for the tips. I am going to keep them in mind for future photos with my cell phone camera!

  • Sir_Daniel_UK

    Good tips.

    Although if you have seen the food I eat in the two ‘recipe’ lenses of mine, then even you would probably concede that no camera yet invented is going to make them look appetising!

  • cheerfulnuts

    With these tips, I can make my recipe look delicious even if it’s not! :)

  • Jolene_Belmain

    Those are great looking photo’s!! I also only use my iPhone for my photo’s, I find it so much easier all the way around. I do still have some tricks of the trade I will need to learn ;)

  • BeatriceRyanDesigns

    Great tips.. I am going to check out Snapseed!!

  • vikksimmons

    Great ideas. Lately my photos have had a yellow tinge. I may need a new phone.

  • YourHandyHelper

    Thank you for the tips and the recipes!

  • Laura Brown

    I wrote a lens about food photography too. Jut skimmed this because my camera isn’t a phone.

  • nancycarol

    smine27, Not only are you a talented writer and lensmaster, but an accomplished cook and photographer. Congratulations on being spotlighted, well deserved!

  • squidcrusher

    I’m fairly new to the iPhone 5c,and it takes good pictures,thanks for the staging tips and the Snapseed app.

  • paperfacets

    I still use a camera. iPhone is an expensive item to upkeep every month. The process here is very helpful and can be used with any device.

  • Tracy1973

    Very helpful tips! Thank you for sharing your secrets!!!

  • artyfax

    useful tips

  • AlleyCatLane

    Thanks for the tips. I don’t use an IPhone and can’t seem to get decent photos with my Samsung. I use my Canon then edit with Picasa.

  • Kathryn Grace

    Oh good, there’s hope for my food photos then, as I have only an iPhone as well. I will check out Snapseed, as I need all the help I can get. Thank you for all these tips. smine27 is one of my favorite Squids because he never fails to teach me something new or touch my heart or provide a recipe I can’t wait to try.

  • MarcellaCarlton

    Thanks for sharing these important tips. I needed it.

  • tok2gman

    Very nice!

  • RenaissanceWoman2010

    I love reading about how others enhance their food photos and always appreciate the care that Smine27 takes with his lenses and his photography. The attention to detail shows. Thanks for the tips!

  • favored1

    Appreciate the tips for better photography with food. It has been a challenge at times.

  • EditorDave

    Good ideas.

  • lbmiranda

    I love Snapseed too and actually used my iPhone for almost all of my photos on Squidoo too! Glad to know someone else is utilizing Apple’s finer tools!

  • charlino

    Very good information for taking pictures with a mobile phone.

  • Ladymermaid

    Your photos always have my taste buds smiling. Very appetizing photos.

  • Merrci

    Great tips that we can all use! His photos always make me want to be there!

  • RisingTide

    Cool. Good info. I use my android phone for pictures.

  • gt06jh

    I only ever take a single shot, perhaps I need to start getting extras from different angles.

  • FreshStart7

    Great tips and lovely food photos, Smine27! Thanks for sharing.

  • artbyrodriguez

    Beautiful photos and you make it look like fun.

  • conniec123

    Some wonderful advice here! I like taking pics to go with my food lenses too – and I use my iPhone. smine27′s lens photos look great — I’ll use this info to make mine better!

  • adventuretravelshop

    Thank you for this it’s very useful and much appreciated advice.

  • Arachnea

    Great info.

  • 1angelsbestkeptsecrets

    Thanks for the great tips on staging your food photos, Smine27. I don’t have an iPhone but appreciate you sharing your secrets.

  • River_Rose

    Great ideas, thanks, hope to get an iPhone one day.

  • cercis70

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Steve_Kaye

    Great tips. Thank you for publishing this.

  • selfhelpguru

    Great photos and tips! One thing though… in my book, an iPhone DOES count as (very) expensive equipment! Hundreds of dollars, plus ongoing monthly charges!

  • 0ctavias0fferings

    Fascinating, thanks for sharing

  • MarathonRunning

    Thanks for sharing your tips smine27!

  • Debs

    Great tips, but have to agree that an iPhone is way out of many, many budgets…particularly in Europe. You can almost buy an entry level DSLR camera for the same money over here!!

  • jsr54

    Thank you for these continued excellent tips!

  • davdlynch

    Thanks for the food photography tips!

  • katiecolette

    You take outstanding photos. Thanks for the tips. I will have to work on balance and composition.

  • theJavaGirl

    Great tips! I alternate between my iPhone and Canon Powershot, but have to admit that the iPhone takes better photos, especially when the light is not great. Unfortunately my phone memory is almost full, so lately I’ve been experimenting with my camera’s manual settings.

  • 25251325
  • Brite-Ideas

    you’re very good at this too, your photos and recipe pages are top quality!

  • flinnie

    Hi thanks for sharing these great photos tips.

  • partybuzz

    Great tips…I need them!

  • Shari

    I don’t have an IPhone, but I think these tips can work with any cell phone.

  • LiteraryMind

    I have enjoyed many of your food lenses

  • KitandCaboodle

    Great photos. Thanks for the tips.

  • Marketsearch1

    lol, what a great Idea. Taking some cool snapshots in the kitchen… Helps with improving the quality. Thanks for the tip

  • JasonEaves

    Sence I stopped smoking I’ve eat so much more food, and now my weight is climbing :/ but i do like pictures of appitizing foods.

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