How to take Taco Photos, 10 Tips for Great Images

Silvain • updated November 10, 2022 • 3 min read

9 Tips to Improve Your Taco Photography

Tacos are a classic and authentic Mexican street food meal, nowadays served all over the world, and definitely worth getting photographed.

What is a Taco?

Even though no one knows for sure where the taco came from, it may have been made in the silver mines of Mexico in the 18th century. You can get them in both fancy restaurants and at stands on the street.

Tacos offer photographers a distinct variety of opportunities, from bright flashes of color to classic crockery and settings.

1. Get inspiration for your taco photography

You don’t have to be in Mexico to take a beautiful photo of a taco, but you do have to honor this country’s rich cultural history in some way.

Find classical taco recipes and the traditional dishes that go with them.

Taco Photography, 3 tacos on a plate, flat lay

2. Choose only fresh ingredients

This rule applies to all food photos, but it’s especially important for tacos. I always buy ingredients at local markets that are fresh.

  • Old or low-quality tortillas will break, which will make it harder to set up the photo.
  • Use warm, fresh tortillas. Most of the meats used in tacos look better when heated.
  • Also, tacos are almost never consumed without salsa and limes, so to make the picture look more real.
  • Make sure to buy ingredients with different colors and textures when you go shopping to give your image more depth.

3. Carefully set up your picture

When it comes to tacos, the different layers of ingredients are one of the most important things to remember. All that matters is the color, texture, and volume.

Tacos are tasty, but they don’t have a clear shape, so it can be hard to arrange them well. The secret is to only include the things that are essential. If you photography tacos for the first time, we recommend to read about food styling explained and food photography with natural light.

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4. As with many things, less is more

You might have to try a few different arrangements and compositions before you find one that works. Don’t run out of toothpicks. They’ll help keep your taco in place, and they’re easy to get rid of in post-production. Win-win.

Taco Photography, beef tacos on plate

5. Be ready to do things quickly

Warm food always looks better, and tacos can get soaked with liquids very quickly. So, I always make sure everything is ready before I ask them to bring me the plate.

6. Look for the little details

Tacos are made according to specific guidelines. For one thing, the sauce should be added at the very end. You should also pay particular attention to bright and colorful ingredients and garnishes.

  • Some tacos feature open soft tortillas, while others, such as tacos dorados, have hard shells.
  • If the tacos are soft, it’s usually a good idea to add some color to the image with fresh cilantro leaves and sliced tomatoes.
  • Use an olive oil brush and olive oil to make the meat look fresh.

7. Inside the taco

Now, on to the taco fillings! Here, anything goes. The list goes on and on with pork, beef, chicken, salmon, and prawns. As previously said, the beef can be pounded, grilled, shredded, or slow-cooked for tacos. If you’re a vegetarian, you can substitute beans, avocado, halloumi, mushrooms, or sweet potato for the meat. 

8. Add toppings

The exciting part! Put in whatever you like. Cheese, guacamole, sour cream, rice, various vegetables, spring onions, cactus, coriander, salad, jalapenos, lime, and chilies are popular toppings.

Taco Photography, grilled pork taco, close-up

9. Get creative with tacos

Food photography isn’t always about bringing people to new foods. It can also be about bringing back memories, especially with meals like tacos.

Understanding how to make a taco and adding your own artistic edge are the first steps in telling an emotional and captivating story in a single photo.

Everyone knows what tacos look like, so you must reinvent them. Begin by trying new things and looking for the greatest ingredients with the most fascinating color palettes.

For the uninitiated, a Taco dish might just be about taste, but for a food photographer, it’s about the visual feast. Food presets for Lightroom are the tools that plate this feast, ensuring every image is seasoned to perfection.

Discover our collection of Food photography recipes:

10. No clue how to make a taco – check out recipes

Taco bowls
Taco Tuesday
Crispy Baked Avocado Tacos
Carne Asada Tacos
Baked taco cups
TVP Tacos Recipe (Vegan/Vegetarian, Gluten Free)


What is your opinion How to take Taco Photos – let is know in the comments!

By Furoore team member Silvain

Silvain is a French/German national and has been with the Furoore Team since the beginning. He likes to write about various photography themes, especially food photography. If you leave a comment, he will come back to you to answer any questions you may have.

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