Photography for Food Packaging

April 24, 2019

Holmesterne foods specialize in producing top quality ready meals for suppliers such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencer. I was commissioned for my food photography to shoot several meals for a brand new range of ready meals which were to be used on the packaging.


The design agency was They had come up with various concepts for branding showing the position of the photography on the packets. This was emailed to me to be able to give an accurate quote for the work as well as view the size and styling of the photography.

Main Course..

After a brief meeting to discuss style and lighting with the Managing Director, In-house Chef and design agency we set ourselves up in a corner of the Kitchen ready to shoot.

The order of meals was arranged around position of shooting to keep the lighting quality consistent.  For the “No Time to Cook” range all shots were to be positioned from above. I was asked to try and keep the images looking as 3D as possible and make sure there was a bit of depth and shadow to the image. It is always a challenge when shooting objects from above to make them look 3D. To do this I used one flash light to the right of the scene with a large white reflector to the left to bounce a bit more light back into the shot. This way the depth and shadow of the plate would be kept.


After several test shots we started shooting our first images. It took on average 10 shots per plate to get to the final image which we were all happy with. Tweaks were made here and there to the positioning of the meat, pouring more or less sauce and moving vegetables around the plate. Photography plays a very important part in the overall look of the packaging as each image needs to look as appetizing as possible to the Customer.

Several meals later and we were all done with the overhead shots.

Moving on to the shots from a slight angle, these were easier to make look 3D. I used one light with a soft box from the right and a flash with barn doors to the left to provide a little fill in light and a bit of shine and gloss to the gravy.

Guideline for photographs


After the shoot, all the high resolution images were sent to the design agency. It’s then up to the client as to which images they are happy to use as the final ones.

One point to remember, It’s always a good idea to keep all images as sometimes the ones rejected on the shoot end up being the best. This is especially true if the design changes near the end.

Overall the client was very happy with the images, just have to wait and see how well they sell in the supermarkets now!

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