14 Tips for Pizza Photography: Proven Techniques for Success

Silvain • updated February 2, 2023 • 6 min read

14 Secrets for Professional Pizza Photography

The Italian restaurant is a particularly popular dining destination; the menu features pizza, pasta, and focaccia, so there is something for everyone.

Pizzas, in particular, impress with their wide range of design options and color spectrum – the intense red of the tomato sauce, bright green highlights in the form of basil leaves, or yellow-brown melted cheese that makes you want to go to the nearest pizzeria around the corner, or bake your own pizza at home.

It’s one thing to bake a pizza, but it’s quite another to get it just perfect and picture it! We share the finest ways to picture the popular, spherical taste explosions here.

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1. Natural Light for Professional Pizza Photography!

Natural light is the key to success. To produce the finest potential outcomes, experts agree that photographers should use natural rather than artificial light.

Place the pizza on a table close to a window, that the light is coming from the front or from the side.

Despite what most people think, a sunny day isn’t the best day for photos. If you shoot on a cloudy day, you get beautiful photos with a more even lighting.

Direct sunlight isn’t always ideal because it casts unwelcome shadows on the subject. However, photographing with natural light is not always straightforward, as some places do not allow it.

If you must use artificial light, set the light source about a meter above the food, but avoid casting a shadow on yourself with the camera.

2. Avoid Harsh Flash light

But one thing is certain, the flash should rarely be used to shoot food if at all feasible. It would damage the pizza’s natural appearance, creates harsh shadows and, as a result, reduce the photo’s quality. If you need a light source, experiment with the flash or use a alternative light source.

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3. Choose a Suitable Backdrop

Of course, the background is important when it comes to producing the perfect pizza photo. Rustic wooden boards or majestic marble bases complement the colors of the pizza beautifully and bring the Italian delicacy to the foreground.

Pizza photography experts use really dark to black backdrops for particularly vibrant toppings to make the pizza look even more enticing.

If you are a beginner food photographer, keep it simple with a neutral background and make sure there are no extra distractions.

It is up to your taste to use a light background or a dark background.  Just keep in mind, that  the background you select will have an impact on the look and mood of your pizza photo. See also dark and moody food photography.

4. Prepare your Image Composition

The simplest, quickest, and most efficient way to improve your pizza photographs is to use thoughtful image composition.

  • For each image, the composition of this image must be different. There are no specific guidelines for how a pizza picture should be created or what criteria must be followed.
  • However, it is critical to plan out the image composition ahead of time. Anything you can prepare or test ahead of time will save you time later. After all, you want the dish to be warm when you serve it.

Read all about Food styling to the basics right!

5. Arrange the Pizza Nicely

The most challenging and time-consuming aspect of food photography is certainly styling the pizza. It’s also crucial to observe that photographers’ pizzas are set up differently than typical customers’.

It’s best to organize the individual elements separately in order to get the best photo possible.

This is the only way to ensure that each portion of the pizza looks good on its own. The dough is baked uncovered in the oven, allowing you to bake it to the appropriate brownness while avoiding the risk of other ingredients burning.

A pizza that has just come out of the oven, with rising steam and melted cheese looks far more delicious than one that is laying on the table since a few hours.

6. Use caution when using the Sauce

Tomato sauce is poured straight to the completed baked dough, as is customary. When cooking pizza for a party, substantially less sauce is required than when creating a pizza.

This ensures that the sauce does not “water down” the cheese and that other ingredients are highlighted.

7. Less Ingredients is More

The same approach applies to the rest of the ingredients: less is more. After all, potential diners shouldn’t have to guess whether the brown patch on the crust is a mushroom, burnt cheese, or anything else.

Choose your components carefully and pay attention to the color contrasts – the red of the tomato sauce, for example, complements the green highlights of basil brilliantly.

If the pizza has herbs on it, don’t cook them in the oven with the pizza because they will lose their shape and texture. Put them on after, so you have something colorful and fresh looking in the picture.

8. The Draw of the Cheese

The presentation of the cheese is equally vital here; after all, what thrills pizza enthusiasts more than gently melted cheese on their favorite pizza?

This is where the English term “cheese pull” comes from. To obtain this appearance, cut a piece of pizza and lift it off with a shovel; the cheese extends between the other pieces and generates threads that cheese lovers adore!

9. Putting it all Together

Olive oil is an excellent technique to cap off the ideal pizza shot. After baking, brush the border with a thin layer of olive oil to achieve a golden brown color.

Brushing the other components with oil can help them stand out more, but olive oil isn’t recommended because its greenish tint can affect the quality of the other colors. You can use canola or other colorless vegetable oils in this recipe.

10. Finally, add some Unique Texture

Experts advocate spreading coarse-grained spices like chili flakes, granular salt, and freshly ground pepper on top of the pizza to give it some structure.

Because one thing is certain: the emphasis here is on the finer points, and those finer points frequently make all the difference!

11. Adjust White Balance

When shooting in artificial light, the camera’s white balance must be adjusted. Because every camera’s white balance is different, you should consult your camera’s user manual for this step.

In a nutshell, the white balance (WB) changes the image’s color temperature to match the lighting circumstances. A white balance is essential for each lighting environment to avoid color casts (light bulbs have a yellow cast, for example). 

12. Depth of Field – Bokeh

With this, we’ve reached the pinnacle of photography expertise. The depth of field is restricted as nearly as possible around the plane on which the main subject is positioned in this design option.

As a result, the distinction between foreground and backdrop is blurred. The amount of blur is determined by the image sensor size, lens, and aperture of the camera. Intentional blurring can greatly enhance an image’s meaning.

13. Take Pictures from Various Angles

Pizzas are ideal for photographing from above, especially because of their round form. However, there are additional factors to consider if you want to be successful with your photography.

Flat shots are a great way to highlight particularly interesting toppings. When it comes to fluffy crust, experts recommend presenting it at a  to make it look really appetizing.

14. Edit your Pizza Photos

The naturalness and realism of the colors is vital here, because guests want to see what they can anticipate to see in real life through the product photographs! To attract to potential guests, the color scheme should be bright and appealing.

Capture the essence of your dishes with food presets for Lightroom, designed to elevate the allure of any meal.

Of course, there’s photo editing! It’s just as crucial as the preparation, style, and photo shoot. If you have Lightroom or Photoshop, this is fantastic.

Don’t worry if you don’t. There are numerous programs available, including free photo editing apps. You can edit photographs on your smartphone as well, using apps like Snapseed or VSCO, which are both free.

15. Frequently asked questions

Can I use my flash when shooting the pizza?

Be careful with your flash. Even though the flash is supposed to make your photos brighter, it is often so bright that it can wash out your picture.

Flash can make things look shiny and like they are made of plastic. This is especially true of pictures of meats and cheeses, which are important parts of a good pizza. So, don’t use too much flash.

How do you take photos of pizza?

The key to a great pizza photo is having the right tools. This includes at least an appropriate camera or smartphone, a steady hand, a well-lit room, and a good-looking pizza.

How do you make a pizza photo that looks like a professional one?

Using the right focal length, aperture, white balance, and shutter speed is the key to making your photos look real. In addition, understanding how light affects the image will help you create an image that looks like it was taken by someone with expertise.

How is pizza photography different from other forms of food photography?

Pizza photography is not that much different from other forms of food photography, but can be tricky because you have to make sure your pizza looks delicious while giving the viewer a clear idea of what they are looking at. 

What is the best type of camera to take pictures of Pizza?

DSLR or a mirrorless camera is best for food and pizza photography. If you have an iPhone or other smartphone, that’s a great option as well, especially when you take photos in a restaurant.

How do you take good photos of pizza?

It’s important to think about the elements that make a great photo. You want to avoid harsh lighting, which can distort the look of your pizza and cause it to look dark or blurry.

You also don’t want to have too much going on in front of your food; try using a simple backdrop like a wall. You may a small bowl with a fresh salad.

Can I create and use own interesting photogenic toppings for the pizza?

Yes, you can use your own toppings for your pizza photoshoot, there is no rule or regulation. You can use for example spicy meatballs, roasted garlic, and use herbs from your mini garden to give it some nice color. For the composition, just keep all in balance and do not put too many toppings on the pizza

Discover our collection of Food photography recipes:

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No clue how to make pizza – check out this recipes:

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17. Conclusion

Capturing the beauty and taste of a pizza in a photograph is both an art and a science. From using natural light and avoiding harsh flash, to carefully selecting ingredients and arranging them just so, the tips outlined in this article provide a roadmap for taking stunning pizza photos.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these tips are sure to help elevate your food photography game and have your followers drooling over each and every slice. So, grab your camera and get ready to make your next pizza creation the star of the show!


What are your thoughts on professional pizza photography, let us 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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Your thoughts and questions

7 thoughts on “14 Tips for Pizza Photography: Proven Techniques for Success

  1. Chef Carlos says:

    Excellent article on pizza photography! As a chef and blogger in Mexico City, I always look for ways to make my dishes look as good as they taste. The emphasis on natural lighting and thoughtful composition is crucial. The tip about using less sauce to prevent ‘watering down’ the cheese is especially insightful and something I hadn’t considered before. These professional techniques, like the ‘cheese pull’ and adding texture with spices, are game-changers. Can’t wait to apply these tips to my next culinary shoot. ¡Gracias por los consejos increíbles!

  2. stmarco says:

    As a beginner food photographer, I have to commend the author for creating such a well-rounded guide. The attention to detail, from choosing the right props to nailing the editing process, is impressive. However, I would have liked to see more emphasis on the importance of natural lighting. While artificial lighting setups work in a pinch, there’s no substitute for the depth and ambiance that comes with harnessing natural light effectively. But overall, excellent job demystifying pizza photography!

  3. YukiNJ says:

    As someone who runs a pizza joint, this piece is pure gold. Stellar visuals are crucial for driving appetite appeal and online orders these days. I particularly loved the tip about shooting from unique angles – it adds so much dynamism and intrigue to pizza shots!

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