Let’s talk about angles! When photographing food, the angle of the photo can make or break a composition. Certain foods look better with different viewpoints and we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of it all so you can walk away with a clear idea of different food photography angles and use cases.

a comprehensive guide explaining different angles in food photography

Photo credit: Brooke Lark

Remember using that little protractor in geometry class? Well, we’re bringing it back (sorta) when we talk about food photography angles. Having your angles mastered, you will have the skills it takes to set up a photo shoot and capture a compelling composition.

Food Photography Angles:

1. The Overhead: 90-degree Angle

The overhead or also known as the top down image is a common one in food photography. They are popular on Instagram and they make a great composition.

  • Great for “flat food” – like this plate of popsicles
  • Great for showing plates/bowls with depth – like meatballs ON TOP of pasta, or the salad with a bunch of colorful ingredients

peach popsicles with fresh peaches

Recipe: Creamy Peach Popsicles

2. 45 and 20 degree Angles

Okay, so this might be 2 angles combined into one BUT they are both very similar. These angles are successful in food photography because they mimic what you see when looking down at a plate of food.

rose mimosa with grapefruit juice

The 45-degree angle is great for drinks or “tall” foods/props. The example of the mimosa is a 45-degree angle because the champagne flute is tall in height.

Recipe: Rose Grapefruit Mimosas

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The 20-degree angle works for “shorter” foods. It’s successful in this granola image because your eyes are looking inside the bowl. Think of this angle as slightly tilted from a straight-on shot.

Recipe: Apple Spice Granola

3. Straight On: 0-degree Angle

This angle I like to think of as the punch-in-the-face composition. It’s not for all types of food, but when it’s done successfully, it can make one powerful composition.

The food is right in your face and there’s nowhere to look BUT the food.

  • Best used for “stacks” of food – like pancakes or cookies
  • Great for showing “drips” or “dusting” on food. Like powdered sugar sprinkled on cookies

hand pouring maple syrup over stack of vegan pancakes

hand picking up vegan chocolate chip cookie with almonds and coconut

black bean and corn veggie burger on bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and avocado.

Recipes: Vegan Pancakes, Vegan Almond Joy Cookies, Vegan Black Bean and Corn Burgers

As a recap, the 90 degree (overhead), 45 and 20-degree angles, and the 0 degrees (straight on) are all great options when photographing food.

Related:
How to Make a Photography Light Box
Best Apps for Food Photography
Color Theory for Food Photography
My Top 2 Camera Lens for Food Photography

What’s your favorite angle in food photography?

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