7 Tips for Capturing Motion in Food Photography

Tips for Capturing Motion in Food Photography by stolen maps

7 best tips to capture motion in food photography

Magazines love pictures where movements freeze in time. Photographs with sprinkling sugar or pouring honey are really eye-catchy. Obviously, publishers love what attracts viewer’s attention. Clients often demand food photographers for such pictures.

Read below for some simple and effective tips to make you better at it.

Manual Mode

You must be in manual mode camera setting to capture motion in food photography. Manual Mode allows you to choose aperture, shutter speed, ISO and other parameters to click photographs just as you wish.

Consider different types of motion in food (sprinkling powder, pouring liquids, etc.), lighting, fo2od color and several other similar things while choosing camera parameters.

Manual mode is best to capture creative/unconventional shots and moreover, you sometimes don’t get favorable lighting conditions. In such situations, manual mode becomes a compulsion. So it’s better to become familiar with it by continual usage.

also read: Top 7 Tips on Food Photography with Smartphones


I suggest you to use a tripod for food photography. Camera shake can easily be avoided with it and in case you don’t have a tripod, place your camera on a chair or table and use Shutter Release to click photos.

If you’re shooting in consistent/longer motion (like pouring liquid), you can use camera timer as well. But for inconsistent or quick ones (like dropping chocolate chips), it’s better to use manual shutter release.

In both cases, having a tripod is really convenient.

Motion Based Shutter Speed

You need to adjust shutter speed according to lighting and the type of motion you’re capturing. For quick motion (like sprinkling herbs or powdered spices), a fast shutter speed will be great. For consistent/longer motion (like pouring milk) slow shutter speed might give better results.

Shutter speed must respond to ISO and aperture values. A fast shutter speed in low-light conditions generally give underexposed images. I recommend you to take a few test shots (before the food is ready) to properly adjust camera settings.

also read: Top 7 Tips For Low Light Food Photography

Focal Point

While shooting movements in food photography, focal point must be chosen carefully. Pick focal point at almost the same distance as between moving object and camera.

Of course, selecting behind the moving food will make subject out-of-focus. It is often recommended to choose a stationary point in frame as your focal point.

Some photographers keep center focal point at center of moving objects.

Large Aperture & DOF

Depth-of-field or DOF is defined by much of a photograph appears in-focus. When just a small portion in foreground is sharp and background is blurry, the photograph is said to have a shallower DOF. When almost everything in frame is in-focus like in landscape photography, it’s deeper DOF.

Large Aperture (lower f-stop) is associated with shallower DOF. To capture (foreground) food in absolute sharpness and keep background out-of-focus and blurry, choose larger aperture. “Strong impact” subject and pleasingly blurred background attract viewer’s attention onto the subject directly.

Burst or Continuous Shots

You should use Continuous High Speed or Burst mode while capturing motion in food photography. Simply choose the best photos out of several rapidly clicked photos.

Burst mode becomes crucial while shooting with camera timer.

also read: Common Food Photography Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Play with food!!

Photography thrives on creativity; so never restrict yourself to your “comfort zone”. Always explore new ideas and techniques.

I feel that freezing motion amplifies the very meaning of photography— capturing fractions of life in a frame. Food complemented with antique tableware are my favorite.

Play with food— sprinkle your love, pour your heart out, let it sizzle, let it drizzle.

Wrapping it up

  1. Always use manual mode.
  2. Tripod makes your work easier.
  3. Fast shutter speed is better for “quick” motion.
  4. Choose a stationary item as focal point.
  5. Shallow DOF captures great photos.
  6. Click multiple photos with Burst Mode, choose the best one.
  7. Try new ideas and possibilities with your tasty subjects.

Well, there you go! That’s all I had to share. Don’t forget to drop a comment down below if this post helped you in some way or if you’d like me to write about something or maybe just to say hi!

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