• Caroline Pang

iPhone Food Photography

Updated: Feb 14

This is a creative project that I started during the recent one month COVID-19 lockdown. The concept was minimalist photography of still life images of food. These images were shot on iPhone XS Max. It has caught the attention of a group of small grocers, chefs and home based catering businesses.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.

I was approached by them for their product photography. Their businesses were affected by the pandemic. Therefore, there weren't much budget for photography. Instead, I decided to teach them with a minimal fee, using a smartphone camera ! iPhone happened to be the winner, which most of my participants were using.


We eat with our eyes, don't you agree?


Therefore food shots have to look enticing and not too over complicated that would kill one's appetite. I teach the techniques of simplicity and composition to draw out the details of each subject using natural light.


The following set of photos was shot with an iPhone XS Max during one of my iPhone Food Photography Workshops. These items are basically found at home. I like to keep the props as simple as possible and focus only at one food item at a time with a balanced negative space. The props were nothing fancy, just a black wok and a dark coloured mat for backgrounds.


To depict freshness of these fruits, I sprayed some water onto it and used dry ice to create fog-like form of a refrigerator.

Here are some flat lays shots, great for editorial layouts. iPhone does a pretty good job with an indicator to make the flat lay very precise.

iPhone is clever in emulating shallow depth of field just like a DSLR.


It is impressive what an iPhone and any smartphone can do these days. You just need to get a few techniques to make the image pops.



The iPhone photography workshop includes learning post editing on Lightroom mobile app. The final work has a perfect resolution for upload on any social media platforms as well as on websites, as seen on this post.


Here are some tips to get some good shots of food with your iPhone:

  1. Use natural light as much as possible

  2. Composition is vital. Use the Rule of Third to compose you image. Switch on the phone camera's grid line to help you with that.

  3. Work on the depth of field. Get closer for a nice shallow depth of field to make the subject pops. Avoid using the 2x zoom which make not give you a crisp image.

  4. Use props to liven up your subject but do not over do it.

If you are interested to create product images with no frills using your iPhone or any smartphone and require a tailored workshop, drop me a line through this Contact Form.


I run weekly in-person outdoor iPhone photography workshop as well. Click on this link for details.





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