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food photography tips with philippe trinh
Photo courtesy of Philippe Trinh

Food Photography Tips With Hudson Valley Influencer Philippe Trinh


Ready to go viral? Level up your food photography skills with these helpful tips from foodie influencer Philippe Trinh.

So, you want to show off your skills in the kitchen on Instagram or TikTok? Food blogging might seem like a whole ordeal, but with the right equipment and basic knowledge, anyone can create engaging content about their bites and beverages. Set yourself apart from other food bloggers and influencers with these food photography tips from Hudson Valley chef, kombucha maker, and fashion designer Philippe Trinh.

The Right Tool for the Job

“I have two professional Canon cameras with a bunch of prime full-frame lenses. However, what many people don’t know is that 80 percent of my food photography and Reels are taken with just my iPhone.

If you’re debating between a camera or an iPhone, I would definitely suggest looking into the iPhone 14 Pro Max. About 90 percent of the brands I work with want a more ‘homestyle creator’ type cooking vibe rather than super crisp, professional-looking content. Creating your signature color, sharpness, and point of view is what will ultimately define your photography style and set you apart from others.”

Let There Be Light

“It’s all about the lighting. You can have the most expensive camera set up in the world but if you have terrible lighting, your photos will look terrible. Here are a couple simple lighting tips to take your food photography from amateur to professional:

My favorite lighting for food photography is just natural lighting by a window. If you have a window that lets in sunlight, that is your best and cheapest option. Just place a table in front of the window and be sure to turn off any other kitchen or room lights (most home lighting will alter that beautiful natural daylight color). If the sunlight is too harsh, place a thin white sheet in front of the window or use a reflector to help diffuse the light.

If you don’t want to depend on shooting only on sunny days, then I would suggest investing in a good lighting kit. This kit should include a quality continuous light, light stand, and a soft box. The soft box will help your light source cast a nice softer light and I like using continuous lights instead of photography strobes because they’re also perfect for shooting video.”

If you’re interested in trying the same equipment that Trinh uses, click here.

It’s All in the Angle

“When shooting food, consider what angle will best portray your dish. What angle will make your food look the most appetizing?

Flay lays: Generally, I’d say flat lays are about 75 percent of my food photography. This technique entails shooting your food from above, straight down to your dish. This is great for plated foods and big spreads, giving a solid view of everything in the shot.

Straight on: For shooting foods that have lots of height—think burgers, drinks, pancakes, a pile of cookies—I would consider shooting them straight on so you can see the full height and dimensions of those foods.

45 degrees: This angle is great for foods that have a lot of texture.”

Proper Props

“Add dimension to your shots by layering in an ornate dish, bowl, or tea towel for texture or color. I’m a huge collector of vintage homeware, which I then use to accessorize a shoot. I love going to Bluecashew Kitchen Homestead in Kingston for a lot of my homewares, but I’ll shop vintage and thrift spots like Restore, The People’s Place, and local flea markets or yard sales. The vintage wares definitely add a unique quality to my photos.”

Harness Your Garnish

“Garnish your foods. Make your viewers want to make the dish at home. Garnishing your dishes will make the finished photo look more complete and satisfying.”


“In general, I don’t like using moody filters or different color hues for food photography. Always go with a natural setup for more appetizing photos. I like to shoot food exactly as it looks in real life as if I was plating something in front of my viewer.”

Want to learn more about Philippe Trinh? Check out his Instagram, website, and organic kombucha brand for recipes and more food photography tips.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!