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What Are The Best Books For Food Photography?

Nowadays we photographers are spoilt with choice when it comes to resources for learning. You can find online courses and YouTube tutorials on pretty much anything you can think of.

But sometimes a good old fashioned book is the best, and for a lot of people it is the best way for them to learn.

Photo by Radu Marcusu on Unsplash

In this post we have listed a few of the best food photography books for you to check out and broken them down into categories so you can pick one that matches your needs.

Best Food Photography Books For Beginners

1. Food Photography: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Appetizing Images

  • Author: Corinna Gissemann
  • Publisher: Rocky Nook
  • Pages: 240
  • ISBN-10: 1681981017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1681981017

A great all round book for beginners.

It covers everything from styling and lighting all the way to post production. If you are more of an advanced photographer then some of the concepts might be basic, but its great for beginners as it give you advice on hardware which you might not always get in food photography books

Some people may find the section on projects especially useful. In this section the author goes step by step through different shoots for various foods so you can really get to grips with the process of creating that perfect shot. 

2. Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography and Styling

  • Author: Hélène Dujardin
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • Pages: 288
  • ISBN-10: 0470932139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470932131

Hélène Dujardin is a food blogger who owns the Tartelette food blog , but also runs her own photography business focused on food. 

You can check out more of her photography at her photography site to see her style and we are sure you won’t be disappointed. 

The book is a great starting point for anybody wanting to get into food photography as it covers aspects ranging from styling to gear to lighting. 

Best Food Photography Books For Food Styling

1. The New Art of Cooking

  • Author: Frankie Unsworth
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Pages: 334
  • ISBN-10: 1408886731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408886731

The author Frankie Unsworth has been a professional stylist for cookbooks and TV shows and in this book she shares lots of tips and tricks so that you can style your home cooked meals like an industry expert. 

For those of you who want recipes, this food styling book will quench your thirst and anybody from the Instagram foodie to a professional food photographer will find this useful when it comes to styling and serving food. 

2. The Food Stylist’s Handbook

  • Author: Denise Vivaldo & Cindie Flannigan
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Pages: 320
  • ISBN-10: 1510721142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1510721142

While this book is packed full of a lot of tips and tricks on styling food it has a substantial amount of information on the business side of being a food stylist. This is something that other food photography books can lack. 

Whether you want to become a food stylist or food photographer, the wisdom in this book will give you a better understanding of how things are done in the industry by renowned experts. 

Since the authors have worked with TV, the book also gives you tips regarding video and not just still images of food, so people interested in creating a cooking series or working in the TV industry could find this especially useful. 

Focuses on business and artificially presenting food. Not the best choice if you only want to photograph food naturally since it includes lots of tips which can make the photograph look better , but render the food inedible.

3. Food Styling: The Art Of Preparing Food For The Camera

  • Author: Delores Custer
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • Pages: 416
  • ISBN-10: 0470080191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470080191

With so much content within this book you can be sure that you will find out all the tips and tricks of the trade that food stylists use. 

It’s perfect for an aspiring food stylist or someone who just wants to learn more about the styling side of food photography.

However, if you want a book that covers both photographing and styling in an equal manner then you should consider something else. 

Best Food Photography Books For Inspiration / Lookbooks

1. Visual Feast 

  • Author: Gestalten
  • Publisher: Die Gestalten Verlag
  • Pages: 224
  • ISBN-10: 389955695X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3899556957

Visual feast is exactly what the title suggests. The book is packed full of images that showcase food in a myriad of ways. Some of the pictures might not be what you would be used to seeing in food adverts or blogs, but anyone would agree that there is art to the images in this book. 

Like the next book, this isn’t a book you want to pick up if you want tonnes of practical information, but it is full of beautiful images which you can draw inspiration from.

2. Feast For The Eyes

  • Author: Susan Bright
  • Publisher: Aperture
  • Pages: 320
  • ISBN-10: 9781597113618
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597113618

A niche book which examines the history of food photography and looks at the culture behind how food is incorporated in photos not only in the food industry but also in other genres. 

Not for everyone, but for those of you who are interested in the history of food photography then this will be something worth reading. Just don’t pick this up if you are looking for more practical tips or tricks for your photography. 

3. The Photography Of Modernist Cuisine

  • Author: Nathan Myhrvold
  • Publisher: The Cooking Lab
  • Pages: 312
  • ISBN-10: 0982761023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982761021

What do you get when you put together scientists, research and development chefs and a creative team on the search for new frontiers in culinary art. You get this book.

It contains hundreds of amazing photos which have been taken using ingenuity that you won’t expect in normal food photographs. Many of the images are taken in a way that almost make them seem impossible to recreate.  

It even has a section which briefly outlines what kinds of studio setups and lighting was used to create some of the images. It is definitely not an all encompassing book if you are looking for in depth guides or tutorials on taking certain photos, but if you are just looking for a visual book for inspiration then this book is amazing. 

Best All-round Food Photography Books

1. That Photo Makes Me Hungry: Photographing Food For Fun & Profit

  • Author: Andrew Scrivani 
  • Publisher: Countryman Press
  • Pages: 224
  • ISBN-10: 1682683982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1682683989

As a food photographer for The New York Times, the author Andrew Scrivani is well placed to share wisdom on the best practices in this industry. 

This book is full of advice that covers all aspects of the creative process when it comes to taking mouthwatering pictures of food. If you want an all round book which shares knowledge not just on the creative process but the business side of things too, then this is a great option for you. 

You can see some of Andrew’s work here.

2. Food Photography : From Snapshots To Great Shots

  • Author: Nicole S Young
  • Publisher: Peachpit
  • Pages: 272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0134097138
  • ISBN-10: 0134097130

In this book Nicole teaches you everything you need to know about getting those perfect food shots

Nicole is an accredited Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Photoshop and it really shows as this book goes into detail on the post production aspect of food photography (something that a lot of books can lack information on). 

It might not be the best for an absolute beginner, but for someone who knows a little bit about their camera gear then this book is a solid resource – especially if you want information on post production.


We hope you have found something in the list above that is perfect for you. If you are interested in food photography you might also like the following posts: