I'd like an overhead food photo please!

To me, an avid gourmand, food photography is not only a real treat, but also a guilty pleasure. I spend quite some time looking at food photos and I can assure you it is a very healthy habit. It keeps me away from actually eating everything I'd like to taste so I just love good photo feasts!

They say that in order to feel like eating, you first have to like what you see on your plate. There's nothing more inviting or appetizing than an awesome food photo. Food photography is something to savor with your eyes and this explains why restaurants, food magazines or food bloggers go through so much trouble to produce delicious looking, scrumptious, colorful plates, just good enough to taste.

My favorite kind of food photo plate is the overhead angle and I will tell you why. If you search on Dreamstime for overhead food photography, you'll see that there are around 72K media on this topic. OK, not all of them may match perfectly this search but the point is that this angle is popular.

In the middle of the action

This means the viewer is engaged directly, body and soul. The overhead angle allows you to experience what you see as if seated at the table. You're looking down and the food is right here, right in front of you. Straight angle-shot foods may look appetizing, but they look distant, remote; you're here and they're there. With top views, your food will be closer than ever, a click away. You'll entice, you'll engage so your shot is the perfect plate for designers.

Breakfast with croissants and strawberry on blue wooden table

Richness of colors

May sound unhealthy, but I enjoy foods with more than one, two ingredients. And who can say no to a feast with more than one plate? I like to see them all arranged on the table, see the ingredients, almost smell the flavors. The overhead angle allows you to show the food at its best, the shape, the texture, the colors, the contrasts. You can see everything mingling to create the spectacular plate you're about to taste. If you're looking to create a colorful food image where everything pops up, then the overhead angle is what you need.

Mexican tacos with beef

Generosity of space

This may come from the fact that you've reduced your shot to a flat one, space wise speaking. But, you're now free to show not only the layers and colors of your food, but also your work table, the ingredients, the tools you've made use of. It's a sort of behind-the-curtain shot, where the viewer gets to see the salt and pepper used to spice their food. It's the perfect angle if you're also shooting for recipes and need to show your viewers everything. Food bloggers use this angle all the time and it's no wonder. You're there from the beginning to the end, you have all steps in front of your eyes. An extra advantage is that no matter how many things you've got there, it's never messy, but always clean and sleek. And you've also got plenty of room for copy in case designers want to use your image for their campaigns.

Ingredients for goulash or stew cooking: raw meat, herbs, spices, vegetables and spoon of salt on rustic wooden background, top vi

A feast for the eyes, and mind

You can rarely go wrong with this angle, it's modern and it gives a very graphic look to your images. It is very popular because you always have the feeling of symmetry, no matter how much food or ingredients you cram in the shot. Don't you find it resting when everything is in place? In order? If you're looking for a way to get a balanced food composition, this is the angle worth considering. Just play with the food, place it in the corner, in the center, up or down, you'll see that it will look great anywhere and everywhere. Not sure if you've noticed, but this type of shots looks splendid on mobile devices. Just don't chew your phone.

Taking food photo, food photography by smart phone, club sandwich with french fries on wooden table

Now you know why I love overhead food shots. Check out my overhead food collection here. Enjoy!

Photo credits: Makidotvn, Sasinparaksa, Olena Danileiko, Victoria Shibut.

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Overhead food shots won't be a trend for no reason. Nice article.


Professional and excellent article
It is very useful
Thank you!


It is a good article. Thanks for the advices. Who knows???


Great idea


Thank you for these advices.


Thank you so much for a brilliant article, I must admit I love doing Food Shots and baking, and found your thoughts inspiring


Very interesting! Thank you!


Nice ! Made me go back and add overhead and above keywords to all my overhead food shots which I must have overlooked most !

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