Title- Everything You Need To Do Food Photography With A Smartphone Like A Pro

Everything You Need To Do Food Photography With A Smartphone Like A Pro

Today’s smartphone cameras are so sophisticated that you can almost do any type of photography with them, including food photography. However, in order to do food photography like a pro using a smartphone, there are several key things you need in your arsenal.

In this article, we’ll look at everything you’ll need to take professional-looking food photos with a smartphone and some recommendations of what works well.

Obviously, smartphone cameras will never replace the likes of mirrorless and DSLR cameras. However, it’s nice to know what’s within the realm of possibility despite the limitations of a cell phone camera, and what you need to capture great food shots with a phone.

A good smartphone camera

This is perhaps stating the obvious, but you can’t do smartphone food photography without a smartphone. But not just any smartphone-- a smartphone with a good camera.

They say a camera is only as good as the person using it. However, it plays to your advantage to have one that has some impressive specifications, especially when it comes to smartphone cameras.

Yes, smartphones may be at the bottom of the consumer camera hierarchy when it comes to performance, but in recent years they have gotten increasingly better. And thanks to computational photography, smartphone cameras can make up for their shortcomings.

But not all smartphone cameras are the same. Some are really good and some aren’t so great. If you want to capture amazing food shots with a smartphone, you need to use one that has a good camera.

How do you know if a smartphone camera is any good? The first thing you can do is look up the specifications. Mobile camera specs such as the size of the sensor, the number of megapixels and their size, focal length, and aperture can make quite a difference in how well your mobile photos will turn out.

And although good mobile cameras are often associated with expensive flagship smartphones, that’s not always the case. There are some affordable mid-range smartphones with decent cameras, so you don’t have to break the bank to own a good mobile camera.

Add-on lenses

Moment Macro Lens

Add-on smartphone lenses are third-party lenses for smartphone cameras that attach to the phone either via a lens clip or a special smartphone case.

The main purpose of these lenses is not to improve the picture quality of your smartphone’s photos, but rather change the field-of-view of the camera depending on the lens you attach. Therefore, smartphone lenses are not an absolute must-have, but they do come in handy.

For example, if you want to take a shot of a very large table of food, you might want to attach a wide-angle lens because the field-of-view of some smartphone cameras is quite limited. Having a wide-angle lens will allow you to capture a wider shot that includes more of the table of food.

On the other hand, some close-up detail of food can be interesting. Capturing this with an ordinary smartphone camera lens would be difficult because if you get too close, the camera will struggle to focus. To take extreme close-up shots of food, you need to attach a macro lens.

Some smartphones that have multiple cameras have ultrawide-angle lenses and macro lenses. Do you still need to attach an add-on lens? That’s really up to you. However, the reality is that the quality of other cameras on multi-camera smartphones isn’t always as good as that of the primary camera. So, attaching a lens to the primary camera takes advantage of its better specs.


A lens kit I highly recommend is the Xenvo Pro Lens Kit. It is made up of a 0.45x wide-angle lens and a 15x macro lens. It’s a quality lens kit that produces great photos and it is compatible with a wide variety of smartphones.

Plus, it comes with extra goodies. Most notably, included in the kit is a GlowClip LED light that attaches to the phone and provides adjustable continuous lighting.

Also read: Top 7 Best Smartphone Camera Lens Kits

You can check out the Xenvo Pro Lens Kit at:



When it comes to food photography, having a tripod or a stand for your phone is an absolute necessity. Sure, you can get away with not using one but, honestly, putting your smartphone on a tripod to take food shots will make things easier and may result in better pictures.

Firstly, using a tripod helps you keep your smartphone still and your shots steady. Any slight camera movement or shake can result in blurry photos, especially if you’re shooting at a slow shutter speed.

But perhaps the biggest benefit of using a tripod is that it frees your hands. This allows you to set up your smartphone camera and frame your shot, and then fill the frame with all the elements you want to capture. You can check your frame for reference without having to pick it up and put it down constantly, and thus lose your framing.


A good tripod to use with a smartphone for food photography is the Ubeesize HG50tripod. What makes this tripod particularly interesting is that it has a horizontal centre column, which makes the HG50 perfect for getting overhead shots of food.

The Ubeesize HG50 smartphone tripod comes with a wireless Bluetooth remote which allows you to take photos from up to 10m away. This means you don’t even have to touch the camera once everything is set up.

If the Ubeesize HG50 is a bit too big for you, then check out these mini tabletop tripods for smartphones.

Also read: Best Tripods for Smartphone Food Photography

You can check out the Ubeesize HG50 at:

Smartphone mount


An important yet often overlooked accessory for mobile photography is the smartphone mount. This is a piece of equipment that holds a phone in place as it is mounted on a camera support system. Without it, even the sturdiest of tripods will be of no use.

Perhaps some people pay little attention to smartphone mounts because some smartphone support systems come with a mount. However, these mounts are rarely any good. They’re sometimes quite flimsy and limited in function.

A good smartphone camera mount will hold a phone tightly secure in place yet cause no damage to the phone. It’s tight grip won’t weaken after repeated use, and it gives you the option to take photos in horizontally or vertically in case the tripod doesn’t have a head that can rotate.


A good smartphone tripod mount is the Manfrotto PIXI Smartphone Clamp. Its spring-loaded and can stretch from 60mm to 104mm wide, so it can support a wide variety of phones with rubber grip inlays to keep them in place.

The nice thing about this smartphone tripod mount is that you can attach your smartphone to the tripod horizontally or vertically for landscape and portrait shots. Should you wish to attach a light or whatever other accessories above your camera, there is a cold shoe mount on top that allows you to do that.

Also read: 5 Smartphone Mounts That Will Actually Keep Your Phone Secure

You can check out the Manfrotto PIXI Smartphone Clamp at:

Lighting kit

Lume Cube 2.0

No other type of lighting beats natural lighting. So, if at all possible, use as much natural lighting as possible. But if you want to do food photography like a pro, you might want to set up your own lights so that you can dictate what the final shot will look like.

Professional food photographers use expensive lights and strobes for their shots, but luckily there are some options for smartphones that aren’t that costly. To light your smartphone food shots, you can either use an LED light that offers continuous lighting or a wireless smartphone flash.

No matter what type of lighting you use, sometimes it can be too harsh or cast dark shadows. Should you experience this, you can use a reflector to bounce some of the light and get rid of some of the shadows. Or you can use a diffuser to soften the light coming through.

Some lighting kits come with reflectors and diffusers. Other kits come with extras such as colour filters and cutouts for effects.


The Lume Cube 2.0 is a small yet feature-packed lighting tool that is designed to work in various environments and elements. It’s only 4cm high but it packs enough power to light up a room.

You can control settings such as brightness, light mode, and flash duration on the Cube 2.0 wirelessly using the Lume-X app. Whenever you take a photo using the app, the Cube 2.0 will fire a flash at your desired brightness setting.

This pocket-sized light is perfect for food photography because it comes with a number of filters and diffusers that allow you to control the light to your liking. And because it’s also water-resistant up to about 10 metres, you can use it for underwater photography with your smartphone, too.

Also read: Lighting Solutions For Smartphone Photography

You can check out the Lume Cube 2.0 at:

Power bank


Power banks are not a “must-have”, but rather a “good-to-have”. Having a power bank will not necessarily help you take better pictures with your phone. But when you need one, you’ll be glad you packed one or two with you.

The reality is because smartphones are constantly operating something in the background, their batteries don’t last very long. If you plan on doing a lot of shooting with your smartphone in an environment that has no electricity, it may be useful to have a power bank with you. Even if your smartphone makes it through the shoot, it still needs power to keep operating as a phone.

Also, you may need a power bank to power up your lights or recharge some batteries. This may not be an issue when you’re working indoors where there’s electricity. However, if you’re doing food photography outdoors, power banks can help with that.


The Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 is an amazing power bank with a high capacity of 20 000mAh. Depending on your device, you can get more than five full charges from it. Two USB ports allow you to charge or provide power for up to two devices at the same time.

The PowerCore Essential 20000 is small and light enough to carry around with you anywhere.

You can check out the Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 at:


Using props adds more flavour to your food shots. It takes what could have been an otherwise okay photo and enhances it by giving it a more professional look. If you Google food photography photos, you’ll see that a lot of food shots by professionals use props quite extensively.

A prop can be anything. It can be something simple like a teaspoon, or even something that’s not food-related like a book or flowers. Whatever prop you choose, it should complement what’s in the shot by colour or by theme.

Props should not clutter the shot and draw attention to themselves. So, be careful of putting too much extra stuff in the shot. Also, you don’t have to spend money on props. Just have a look around you and see what’s available.

And don’t forget about the background. It’s also as important as the props. If you’re taking an overhead shot, the background will obviously be the surface on which the food is placed. It can be the wood of a chopping board, the granite of a kitchen counter, a tablecloth, etc.

If you’re taking photos from the side, then whatever is behind the food will be the background. If it’s too distracting or undesirable, then you can put a backdrop behind the food. However, if you’re out in nature and the view is amazing, you may want to incorporate it into your shot and make it the background.

Good editing app

After all is said and done, and you have taken amazing food photos with your smartphone, you need to do some touch-ups to the image so that it can look as best as possible. That’s where having a good editing app comes in handy.

There are hundreds if not thousands of editing apps out there, but not all of them can do a good job, especially for food photography. You don’t want to use an app that only allows you to throw on a filter and adjust a few parameters. Food photos look best without a filter and with the colours well balanced.

A good mobile photo editing app will allow you to do just that. You need the power of a professional editing software in the palm of your hands to help you make your photos look as good as possible. Luckily, there are some free pro-level apps you can download that are powerful enough to do just that.


Personally, I’m a big fan of Snapseed. I have used many photo editing apps over the years but Snapseed has always remained at the top. It is 100% free and gives you near unlimited editing capabilities. I have even used it to remove people who were ruining my shots. It’s available on Android and iPhone.


Can you take good food photos with your smartphone without these items? Sure, you can. Do you really need all of the above to take good photos of food? If you want them to look professional, then yes, you do.

Is there a point in putting all this together to just take pictures with a smartphone instead of a “real” camera? No, to some people this is all stupid and a total waste of time and money. Why go through all this trouble if you can get better picture quality with a DSLR?

However, just like different artists can use different media to capture the same thing, there are people who enjoy taking photos with phone cameras and don’t mind putting some extra work into it. It’s just another way of capturing images. A camera is a tool, the artist is the operator.

If your mobile photos don’t look great and would like to improve your smartphone photography skills, download the 5 Ways To Improve Your Mobile Photography ebook for free. It’s easy and simple to understand yet very informative. Download YOUR FREE copy here.

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