5 Best Camera Angles For Food Photography + Which Equipment To Use

Let’s talk about camera angles for food photography! They can literally make or break a photo. And you didn’t style that beautiful dish to fall flat because of the wrong camera angle, right?

Camera angles are a crucial part of a composition. It should be the first thing to think about when you’re planning a photoshoot. Certain dishes look great using some angles, but they totally get lost using some other angles. But don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. I’m going to guide through what these 5 angles are and what dishes look the best shot at these angles. I’m also adding which equipment I love using when I’ shooting at a specific angle.

Whenever you’re considering angles, think what part of the dish needs to shine. Like, for example, if it’s a pizza you’ll probably want the toppings to shine. And where are the toppings? On top, right? So there you go, you probably guessed it. The best way to shoot a pizza would be overhead since the toppings would be the most prominent.

One more thing, before we start. Even though some foods look best at a particular angle I still like to experiment with other angles. You never know what might surprise you 😀

Now let’s start. Ready?

Here we go…

1. Overhead or 90° angle

One of the most popular angles on Instagram is overhead or top-down. It’s everywhere! Why I think it’s so popular is, because it’s an angle that we don’t really use in day to day life, at least not, when looking at food. But that doesn’t mean all dishes really pop out by using an overhead angle.

I use an overhead angle when I have a flat dish like a pie or a pizza, or for foods in bowls or deep plates that have no height like soups in shallow bowls or plates. It’s great to use whenever all the details of the dish are on top.

I love this angle for making a table scene, where I can tell a story about a dish. A lot of time that’s a story about a gathering of some sort or about prepping the dish. You can fit multiple objects in and they’ll all be in focus.

For this angle, I love to use a 50mm lens. I used to use 30mm on my old crop-sensor camera because 50mm would crop too much out. Whenever I can I use something to hold a camera. A c-stand or a tripod with a horizontal arm work perfectly. If you do a lot of overhead shots and videos, I really recommend getting a c-stand. I just got it recently and I love it! Enough wiggling around with a tripod or blurry hand-held photos.

Dishes that look great using overhead angle:

  • pizzas
  • pies and tarts
  • soups
  • smoothie bowls
  • crepes
  • waffles, pancakes, and cookies when they aren’t in a stack
  • open sandwiches
  • table scenes
Pizza with fresh tomatoes for the article 5 best camera angles for food photography + which equipment to use by Anja Burgar

2. 75°angle

This angle is very similar to overhead, the camera is just slightly tilted. This angle is great for shooting beverages in tall glasses where you want the backside of the rim to be seen. If you shot at a straight-on angle you would only see the front part. I also use this angle whenever I want to show a shine or texture, that can’t be seen in an overhead shot. Like for example this pie below. See how the fruit has more texture and shine in the 75° angle shot.

If shooting a wider scene I use a 50mm lens. But in general, I prefer an 85mm or 100mm macro lens for this angle.

Dishes that look great using overhead angle:

  • table scenes
  • beverages in non-see-through glasses or mugs
  • soups
  • smoothie bowls
A purple fruit pie for the article 5 best camera angles for food photography + which equipment to use by Anja Burgar

3. 45°angle

This is probably one of the most generally used food photography camera angles. It’s great for shooting food up close and whenever the dish has some layers or height, but you also want to show off the top. I love this angle whenever I want to focus on food and have some of the background and foreground blurred.

It’s also great to shoot smoothie bowls or soups with toppings so you can show both the toppings and the depth of the bowl.

I love using my 85 mm lens or my 100mm macro lens for a 45° angle photos. I used a 50mm lens on my old crop-sensor camera, but with the full-frame, there’s too much distortion and I try to avoid using the 50mm.

Dishes that look great using overhead angle:

  • dishes or beverages in tall mugs
  • layered desserts in glasses
  • cakes
  • cupcakes
  • pancake, waffle, or cookie stacks
  • soups and smoothie bowls with toppings
  • beverages in glasses
  • dishes held in hands
A bowl of green soup with bread cubes and cheese on top the article 5 best camera angles for food photography + which equipment to use by Anja Burgar

4. 25° angle

I use this angle whenever I need to show off layers, but where a straight-on angle doesn’t really work or I want to show a bit more of what’s going on in the scene. It’s great for tall dishes and dishes with layers or when you’ve got hands holding a dish so it looks like you’re almost peeking into the plate.

Again, I love the 85 mm lens or a 100mm macro lens when I’m shooting at this angle.

Dishes that look great using overhead angle:

  • dishes held in hands
  • cakes, both layered or lower, like pavlovas
  • cupcakes
  • dishes in shallow bowls or plates
  • waffle, pancake, and cookie stacks
  • beverages in tall glasses
A cupcake with cream and strawberries for the article 5 best camera angles for food photography + which equipment to use by Anja Burgar

5. Straight-on aka 0° angle

This angle works best for tall or layered dishes, where you really want to show off the height and all those beautiful layers. Or where your food is stacked and a higher angle might not do it justice. This angle also works beautifully for action shots such as drizzles and dustings.

I find an 85mm and a 100mm macro lens best for this angle, but a 50mm works fine too.

Dishes that look great using overhead angle:

  • layered cakes
  • beverages in tall glasses
  • ice cream in cones
  • any foods that are stacked
  • burgers
  • sandwiches in a bun
  • pouring or dusting shots
A stack of turmeric bagels with black sesame for the article 5 best camera angles for food photography + which equipment to use by Anja Burgar

Camera angles for food photography

So, we’ve learned which dishes look good shot at which angles, but how do we choose what to use? Ask yourself, what is it about that dish you want to showcase. And remember, a dish might look great at multiple angles, so there’s no one solution.

To help you decide which angles to use I’ve prepared a pdf that you can download and print out to use at your photoshoots.

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