How to get started with food photography and styling

For this course Karl teams up with food photographer and stylist Anna Pustynnikova, whose work has been published internationally on a number of occasions. Together they demonstrate essential preparation, styling and lighting techniques for eye-catching food photography.

In this chapter Karl delves into the world of food photography as Anna explains just how important good styling is. She shares her top tips for styling food and explains her process for creating great food shots. She also shares useful equipment, reveals where to source props and explains how to work with different clients.

In this food photography class we cover the following:

  • Product photography: Food photography
  • Key tips for styling food
  • Telling a story with food
  • Shape, color and texture in food photography
  • Sourcing props and useful tools for food photography
  • Aesthetic considerations for food photography

Don’t miss our live show with Anna, which you can watch here.


  1. Anna always inspires me to improve my self, she is very straight forward. Thanks Karl for bringing her to your courses.

  2. Thank you so much for this video, Anna and Karl. I like how Karl guided the conversation and covered so many aspects and how Anna shared her vision and secret weapons in food photography and styling. I really love the idea that you need to question yourself why you like this food, what makes you like this prop, etc. Observation in food, observation in light – those are key elements for a successful shot. Looking forward to watch more videos!

    1. Hi Anna, exactly. Observation in everything in photography is so important and you will see me apply it on all my product work, fashion too. One of the key differences between good photographers and great photographers are the observational skills of the details, the emotion, the narrative. If you watch some of our ‘critique’ shows you’ll see where I spot things that the photographer has missed and yet how that one small change can change things dramatically.

  3. This module is going to be fun, started just now !
    Thanks Karl and Anna for sharing your vision and thought process.
    – Sanket

  4. Just purchased yesterday the course, this platform is amazing, thanks so mucho for thanking the lead on doing something like this. I am very happy of finding this academy.

  5. The lighting walk through at the end of this – how moving the key light changes the image – was critical. Thanks for the fantastic information.

      1. Just purchased yesterday the course, this platform is amazing, thanks so mucho for thanking the lead on doing something like this. I am very happy of finding this academy.

  6. Great to have all valuable information, in a single place, well organized and easy to access; I’ve been looking for something like this for centuries πŸ™‚ Great and useful questions/ answers, thank you so much!

  7. Hi Karl,

    You guys briefly mentioned stock photography. I was wondering if there was a section on the site with a bit more info on that. Not just the photography aspect but also a bit of the process involved submitting work.
    Do you recommend certain websites for that?

    1. Hi Jacques, Stock photography sites are pretty straightforward, all of the information on the terms and submission of images can be found on the stock websites. The biggest player is Getty Images and they own many of the smaller players too. You have two choices really; Rights Managed images or Royalty Free Images (such as Istock). One you get paid more for an image but far less often and the other you get paid less but far more often. Colleagues of mine who have work in stock libraries said in has become very competitive and not what it used to be but then other photographers I know still make great money from some key images.

  8. This series was great, although I doubt I’ll attempt to add food photography to my professional repertoire much of this can be applied to all forms of photography. I may even have a go at it just for fun.

  9. Karl – Excellent series of tutorials – Your unsurpassed virtuosity with the lighting and Anya’s excellent food preparation and styling skills together with her obvious understanding of the photographic process made an excellent combination. A really enjoyable and educational series. If, however I am permitted to offer you one piece of advice in respect of your own culinary skills it would be to keep your day job.

  10. This is great, I am excited to watch all the videos, Karl. I have a small tip too: the besf place of getting rustic, retro, old looking props for food photos in UK are the car boot sales! They are loaded and cheap to buy! That’s where I always getting my stuff from. Cheers, Viktor

  11. Thanks for responding to my question. I’m so eager to see these videos I can almost “taste” it.

    1. Hi Christopher the first food videos are now up, there is another coming on Tuesday and then more in September πŸ™‚

  12. August is almost over!!! Can you update the availability dates for the food photography videos please?

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