A few tricks about how you can make this style easy. What is the best time for shooting, what should you choose props, what type of material should you have? It is all in this article.

Food Photography and “Dark & Moody”

If a person reaches at a satisfactory level at photography then it’s time to meet Dark & Moody style for her, slowly. Landscape or portrait photographers are a bit luckier, because their work is easier than others. Why? Because, they are able to hump their tripods in a rainy and misty day; walk around the places where many number of photographers have been visited before and take thousands of long-exposure shots; so they can reach at the top of their photography career easily. On the other hand, the same career process is not so easy for the food photographers. I have no idea how people think about photographing a food by joining it to a story which it belongs to that food’s own soul and also creating an appetite awakening as well. What I know is that it is not so easy. Moreover, it is harder and more troublesome if you use dark & moody style. Why? Well, let me explain! First of all, the hero, I mean the food you are taking, has to be seen still attractive even if your composition is so dark. Another troublesome point is that it is not so easy to convince your customers about working within this style if you take commercial photos despite the fact that dark & moody style is very popular in today’s Instagram world. The reason is that the clients feel like they needed to target a more general taste, in general. Besides, some brand managers believes that artistic images may cause inconsistency with brand positioning.
No matter all troublesome sides and disadvantageous specialities, I have prepared some useful tips for you about this highly accepted – especially for winter season – admirable, very trendy “Dark & Moody” style which you can apply easily.

For evening or morning hours

It is true that food photos are likely to be seen much better if the day light filters through the window. And, captivating light which filters via angle does create smart shadows over some parts of the food; so, great patterns come into being. This effect is much easier to observe especially at the evening and morning hours. And, this is exactly what we expect from dark & moody style photos. Namely, a twilight that comes from only one direction!

Make advantage of black cardboards

Even if you take photos outdoor in general, do place black cardboards around each three sides of the composition to create a dramatic effect which you are looking for. The cardboard where stands opposite to light source should become two times smaller than the others and also the area which directly falls onto the food should be open, as well. So, the dramatic effect that you are looking for will be more effective and visible.

Never work without tripod

It is a well-known rule that you have to use a tripod if the shutter speed is under 1/125, if not; you are not able to avoid blurred which is caused by shaking. Because you will need to take this style of photos in darker places, don’t even think about taking photos without using a tripod.

Choose the right props

Choose the right props It is time demanding to take any dark & moody style of photograph. So, you should bring the right props together. What are these props? For instance; dark coloured wooden backgrounds and papers or metal plates and pastel or dark colour napkins, rustic accessories etc. If you asked me whether it were easy to find them, my answer would be no, unfortunately. Yet, it took my five years of time to collect 80 to 90 numbers of spoon and more than 150 numbers of plates, cutting-boards in different sizes, pots, fabric napkins and so on… And I haven’t completed my collection, yet. I always add new pieces. I was toast if there were not a district bazaar near my home

Tips by Ilkay Ozturk

If you started food photography very recently, you will take time to practice this style. If you make any mistake in the beginning, you don’t worry. Keep practice! Because practice makes perfect. Thanks for reading my article!


Posted by Ilkay Ozturk

I started photography when I started journalism 14 years ago. During the shooting of cover photo, food photography and preparation of all , in streets, in the restaurants, in the hotels, basically everywhere I was in photography when I was working as editor in newspaper Sabah,Hurriyet and Dogan Online. I was looking through to viewfinder of cameras,I was adjusting the lights ,frames and I was waiting in front of darkroom with dia positives in my hands at these times but my story with photography was suspended. Then five years ago I started to continue this unfinished story and I started to give my priority to the most important thing in my life... Food! Food styling became one of my job and now It is amazing to take photograph of yummy stuffed, cookies,pies and cakes the taste which I am in love.


  1. “Dark & Moody” Food Photography Tips - InternetPhotographyClasses.com January 17, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    […] post “Dark & Moody” Food Photography Tips appeared first on Photography […]


  2. jenidisqus@gmail.com'

    Its something new to me, taking shot in a dark environment really needs some extra knowledge. Thank you for explaining those points in an easier language here.


  3. cpkseo@gmail.com'
    Solaiman Sumon April 28, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Each point are perfect described here . I read this full article carefully . Really it’s educative . Specially for beginner . I admire your post .


  4. annie000015@gmail.com'

    Wow your pictures make me hungry. Its so lovely. Food photography is for creative people .The challenging part of food photography is the range of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures found in food. I saw the light pictures, now I see the dark and moody pictures as well.Its new and different.


  5. jeffruth.cloud@gmail.com'

    I also appreciate your food photography and Challenging part of colors shapes and place. Looking forward to read more about photography.


  6. clippingartservice@gmail.com'

    The food image is attractive to me more


  7. editpictureonline@gmail.com'

    Wow, it’s amazing. Full of resources .learned a lot from this. Thanks for sharing this with us.


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