Taking pictures of pizza

hey Guys,

Do any of you take pictures of your pizzas? What methods/equipment/lighting do you use? I have a very good camera and a tripod but I can get the lighting right and the pictures just don’t come out that nicely. Plus its hard to find a spot where I can just have a solid one color background/environment.

Any suggestions?


Steve I can not offer much help…Other than to say I have seen 100s of photos taken by pizzeria’s owners over the years (for magnets orders) and I can not think of one time where I used them to produce magnets…I have either used “stock” photos (http://www.istock.com mostly) or ones that were professionally photographed…And I think the professional ones cost a bunch of money…

Royster is right, however if you need to take the picture turn the flash off. If you have a wood rolling table or pizza peel put the pizza on it. Use a 75 watt bulb on an unshaded light fixture. have someone hold the light close to the pizza and then take the picture using the up close setting. If you have any decorative olive oil bottle’s put them in the background for a nice touch. I have used this technique to take some great pictures of strombolis. Pizza is a tough food to photograph.

I have never taken a picture of a pizza except one that I made out of Thanksgiving leftovers, and it turned out great except for the fact that it was taken the next day, cold…so it didn’t look as appetizing as it did straight out of the oven.

But, I do dabble in photography, so take these hints or leave them. :slight_smile:

I would make sure you have a nice clean base…a wooden peel or something to make it look more rustic would be great.

Time will not be on your side for the best shots, as the cheese begins to set.

Anyway, put the peel and pizza in the area you’ve created for your background. Dark colors work better on the table, with lighter colors in the background. Then, as another user suggested, get some props of olive oil bottles or even fresh veggies, etc to be in the background.

MACRO is a really nice setting to use if you want detail in the pie. Make your light as close as you can without it being in the shot or casting a bad shadow onto the pie or background.

Angle the shot to where it’s mostly pizza, and it’s perfectly clear, with the background props just barely showing.

Make sure your flash is off because the lighting over the pie should be sufficient.

Take the shots, and then cut the pie, and take one or 2 more shots of someone gently lifting the prettiest slice up from the pie while the cheese is still oozy.

A lot of consumers tend to like the “being served” shot over the straight pie shot as you never know if that’s a perfect, WAX pizza versus your real product.

Sorry this got so long…but I hope any of this helps.

WOW, thanks for the information. That looks quite helpful actually. I’m going to give it a shot.

Thanks again!

Steve, you’re going to be amazed at how difficult it is to get a good picture of food. Professional photographers have years of experience and, most importantly, thousands and thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

I had a professional photographer take shots of my food. The shoot took over four hours and they had more lighting and equipment than I have ever seen. And, I still spent about 8 hours retouching them in Photoshop before use (I’m no photographer, but am very proficient with PhotoShop). Every tiny little flaw in the pizza, the peel, the spatula, etc, will show up clear as day.

I’m not saying don’t try it, just don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t come out looking like a professional piece; the level of difficulty can’t be expressed!

Piper! You made a BIG MISTAKE!! You said you have experience in photoshop!! I have photoshop, and man I have been trying to get the idea of how to use that program, and man oh man, IT IS HARD! Maybe not to you. But going in green and trying to figure it out, FORGET IT!! Now…I know who to ask, hehehe You are now going to have a stalker!:smiley: :shock:

I have a friend who does food photos and label art for a food company. They use Photoshop heavily!! (In fact, in the early days of doing the labels about 15 years ago, they had a little fun with Photoshop putting tiny little faces of the employees’ kids in with the label photos like in peas or corn or broccoli. Suddenly some bloggers recently noticed little faces in the broccoli package photo and have been blogging about it all over the world, so you gotta be careful what you do!!! :oops: ) Anyway, he was showing me how a bowl of cereal gets extra sparkle with highlights and shadows and additional fruit. Very interesting. I’m tempted to bring him some of my own pizza photos and see if he could work magic but I don’t want to pester him (especially now with the broccoli people).

Yeah, it’s definitely not Picasa. Remember it’s professional level software… it isn’t really designed to be able to jump in green, so don’t feel bad. You need to either take a few classes or spend years playing with it to teach yourself. I’ve been using it for around 12 years or so now, and I still learn new tricks all the time. Most of my skills with it have come since opening my restaurant because I do all of my own artwork. Every time I do a piece I try to upgrade my skillset from the last one.

There are a ton of free tutorials on the internet if you want to learn more though! If you ever have any questions about it, my PM box is open.

(You know, I just re-read my last post… I meant to say “fairly proficient”, not “very proficient”. Don’t want to overstate my abilities!)

When I had some work done what I did was took a picture of one of my pizzas and sent it to my supplier so he would know what style of pies I make. This was so he could look through the stock photos and find one that was close to mine. I have had a photographer want to do work for me but at the rates he was asking it was cheaper and easier to just use stock photos.

Thanx Piper! I do have one question, will be sending to your pm box.

YouTube should have some quick tutorials on photoshop. lot easier watching how to do something than reading and trying to apply.

There are tutorials on Adobe’s website…You can also find some at www.lynda.com The 1st few of each series can be watched without a paid subscription…

canukfanlady, I didn’t get a PM from you. If you got it resolved already, great! But, I don’t want you to think I’m not responding if you did send it.