Spring is approaching fast everywhere else in the Northern hemisphere (but Finland), and I'm excited to share another episode of my Pro Tips series - which is a massive global collaboration amongst food content creators. This time we will dive into an important technical element of a photoshoot, and learn more about the main factors that 88 creators consider in order to get their focus right - beyond using a tripod.

If you are hungry to learn about another subjects, make sure to check the previous episodes of the Pro Tips blog series here.


What is their pro tip for sharp photos?

Before you scroll any further, get comfy, grab your favourite snack and get ready to dive into this inspiring read!

Pro Tips For Sharp Photos Flyer - Photo & Design by © Reka Csulak - Three Pod Studio

"Tripod, strong light source and smaller aperture for detailed settings."

Shiela Cruz - CPG photographer and stylist


"Cleanliness, brightness!"

Anita Zsirmik - food blogger, content creator


"I’m always taking around 800 pictures so I can always manage to get sharp ones. The light is the most important factor I would say! I’m only working with natural light so the sun is my best friend for sharp pictures."

Sophie Depetris - photographer, food stylist


"I do a lot of movement in my work and often shoot in a dark style. What I find super helpful in creating sharp images in this style is to photograph with a flash. It gives the photos a super sharp look."

Anja Burgar - commercial and editorial food photographer


"Use a tripod (when applicable) and always do some test shots to check your focus. If things are looking off, I start with adjusting my shutter speed."

Kristina Cadelina - food photographer, blogger


"Buy quality lenses. No need to spend a lot of money on an expensive camera if you use cheap lenses."

Mikkel Jul Hvilshøj - photographer


"Go manual! Especially in product photography I focus every shot by hand manually."

Mika Levälampi - photographer


"Lens Quality: Invest in high-quality lenses. Better lenses typically produce sharper images. Prime lenses, in particular, are known for their sharpness, but there are many excellent zoom lenses available as well.

Manual Focus: For critical focus, consider using manual focus. Autofocus systems can sometimes miss the mark, especially in low-contrast or low-light conditions. Manual focus allows you to precisely control where the focus falls."

Melissa - photographer, blogger


"Check the focus, shoot, check again! If in doubt, refocus and shoot again."

Jason Wain - photographer, videographer


Photo by © Jason Wain

Photo by © Jason Wain

"Manual focus and correct shutter speed. If it's a quick action and you shoot with natural light, make sure to have fast shutter speed even at the expense of higher ISO (hence bit of noise)."

Kamile Kave - photographer



  • Use tripod or hold the camera properly: Use both hands to stabilize the camera and maintain a firm grip.
  • Optimize your camera settings.
  • Choose an appropriate aperture
  • Use a fast enough shutter speed to freeze any movement, whether it's from your subject or camera shake.
  • Keep your ISO as low as possible to reduce image noise, as higher ISO settings can introduce grain and reduce overall sharpness."

Sari Spåra - entrepreneur, food and wine photographer, recipe creator


"To achieve sharp images, it's essential to master your camera's manual mode and understand how to light your composition effectively. This knowledge will significantly enhance the clarity and quality of your photos."

Peggy Cormary - photographer


"Use a tripod and remote, always shoot in manual focus mode when possible and adjust your aperture as needed to get everything you want in focus."

Snorri Guðmundsson - photographer, recipe developer, product development manager in the food industry


"A few things make the image sharper:

  1. Shorter time - shooting faster than 1/150 or a camera on a tripod and using a remote control.
  2. A higher aperture number - between 8 and 22 works well for my lenses.
  3. Being on focus - if it is not on focus, it wouldn't be sharp.
  4. Focus stack - I have used it a lot recently.
  5. Take off the unnecessary lighting to avoid light spillage. Especially when the room is small and bright, its walls and ceiling will work as reflectors that are only sometimes of help. The image might be sharp, but the overall look will be softer."

Milena Ugrinova (Mim) - food and product photographer

"Choose the right settings and don't skimp on a good lens. Also, flash light generally provides a sharper image than shooting with natural light."

Maaike Zaal - food- and beverage photographer


"It goes without saying that taking the time to focus properly in camera is vital, but likewise using reliable editing software and understanding how, when and where to sharpen an image is of equal importance."

Jane Coupland - food photographer, food blogger


"I almost always focus manually. I mostly shot tethered, so I am able to check focus constantly"

Matt Wilson - photographer


Photo by © Matt Wilson

Photo by © Matt Wilson

"Not rushing the shot and knowing when a tripod is necessary. I also shoot a lot with flash which means a faster shutter speed and sharper images."

Jules Wilson-Haines - photographer, stylist


"Using a tripod and manual focusing. Although I'll always shoot some images handheld both before (to find the best positioning of the camera) and afterwards (for more creative freedom)."

Sandy Wood - photographer


"Sturdy tripod and time-delayed capture for still photography or fast shutter speed for action shots."

Andrea Köver - food photographer


Photo by © Andrea Köver

Photo by © Andrea Köver

"Sharp images? Using a good tripod, even when shooting at hight speed. The difference is notable."

Anna Ilieva-Alikaj - photographer


"Good light is everything. Understanding your camera is next."

Natalia Ashton - nutritionist, photographer, author


"I use alot of spot focusing to make sure that I get the focus on the ingredients of the dish. Also the lighting has to be placed just where the focus is to make sure that the ingredients are highlighted."

Robert Alvarez - photographer


"Use the Pinpoint focus setting on my camera. I use live view or tethering where I can. Be mindful of your focal plane. Check if the images you want in focus are on the same plane."

Leeanne Mason - food photographer, photo chef, food stylist, content creator


Photo by © Leeanne Mason

Photo by © Leeanne Mason

"Play around with depth of field, blur the background and focus the subject is the most straight forward way. Enhance it with lighting by adding rim light will make the subject pop."

Victor Chin - food photographer


Photo by © Victor Chin

Photo by © Victor Chin

"Zoom in on the subject you want in sharp focus - whether it's in live view or after you have taken the shot. If in doubt, take several points of your subject in focus so you can focus stack in post.

Emilie Dorange - photographer, designer


"Tethering, along with my editing program, was a life-changer for me. Additionally, I always use a tripod when shooting with a prime lens and keep ISO at 100."

Kata Endrődi - photographer


Photo by © Kata Endrődi

Photo by © Kata Endrődi

"Tripod and a remote control. I rarely photograph without a tripod, this way I can use a longer shutter speed if needed without worrying about blurry images. Remote control means that I don’t accidentally shake the camera by pressing the shutter button."

Julia Konovalova - food photographer, food stylist, content creator


"Always make sure that your main object is in focus. Also, you can use a high aperture with a wide-angle lens, so everything is shared on the image, but you might want a different effect with shallow depth of field."

Tibor Galamb - photographer, director


Photo by © Tibor Galamb

Photo by © Tibor Galamb

"I am a Capture One convert. I absolutely love the ability to tether live and be able to check my image sharpness with the focus mask feature."

Mary Turner - commercial food photographer, stylist, chef


"For sharp images, I use a tripod or C-stand and tether to see the images on my computer. Then I can place the focus exactly where I want it. I use manual or autofocus, depending on the situation."

Emily Miller - food photographer, recipe developer

@resplendentkitchen +

"Use a tripod as well as manual focus. This really allows you to have absolute control over the focus in your images. Every camera has an option to also manually zoom in into a point of the frame and adjust your focus from there. I use this feature all the time to make sure my focus area is 100% crisp."

Murielle Banackissa - food photographer, food stylist, cookbook author and blogger

@muriellebanackissa + Savoring

Photo by © Murielle Banackissa

Photo by © Murielle Banackissa

"Good daily light."

Sanja Alisic - blogger, food stylist


"Macro lenses."

Nicolas Newmark - professional photographer

@thedarkfoodshot + @newmark_photo

"Camera Tripod is a MUST, Tether when possible, smaller aperture, I always try to work with flash so i can control my lighting better."

Karen Loza - food photographer and stylist


"Tripod! It makes the whole process easier!"

Lara Virkus - food photographer


"I have to say a tripod. I don't know what I would do without mine, especially in the winter months. Here in Sweden it gets dark at 3 pm."

Ulrica Krii - photographer, blogger


Photo by © Ulrica Krii

Photo by © Ulrica Krii

"Use a tripod and for flat-lays, I mount my camera up to a C-stand and shooting tethered is always a good idea to avoid camera movement."

Anoeska Vermeij - photographer


Photo by © Anoeska Vermeij

Photo by © Anoeska Vermeij

"Above all, great light will give you the ability to shoot at a higher f-stop (avoiding missed focus), a faster shutter speed (avoiding camera shake/motion blur), and a lower ISO (reducing noise and muddiness)."

Suzanne Clements - photographer


"If you're struggling with nailing focus, I found that moving to a tripod was tremendously helpful. With everything staying still, you can more intentionally select the area of focus. And on a lot of cameras you can hit a magnifying glass button to zoom into a specific spot end ensure you have tack sharp focus before hitting the shutter button."

Joanie Simon - photographer


"Make sure you have a good prime lens, a tripod (to avoid camera shake) and sharpening tool in Capture One or Photoshop."

Aline Ponce & Mike Hulswit - professional photographers


"Tether on a computer."

Susi Bálint - stylist, photographer, writer


"No doubt. I always use a tripod."

Emese Balog - food blogger


"For sharp images, my pro tip is prime lenses - particularly, I love my Canon 100mm macro lens. Employing a tripod also ensures stability, contributing to consistently crisp and clear shots."

Maxine Lock - photographer

Photo by © Maxine Lock

Photo by © Maxine Lock

"A tripod!!! Your hand is never as steady as you think!"

Sam Robson - food photographer


"Use a tripod, it will keep your camera still. A prime lens is a great investment, if in your budget."

Birgit Mayled - photographer


"Use autofocus!"

Dorothy Porker - food writer, photographer


"Do not rely on auto focus. It is not your friend. Use manual focus and always tether to a bigger screen while shooting. Once the shot is taken, zoom it to 100-150% on the big screen and double check focus before moving to the next shot."

Dyutima Jha - food photographer, food stylist, podcaster


"Try to shoot with enough light, and make it a bit easier for yourself to not shoot with a wide open lens... so 1.2/ 1.4/1.8... and a good AF camera makes it a lot easier as well. It really depends on what's your style and what you are trying to capture.. my style is most of the time, action shots with the plate and the chef."

Maurizio Previti - photographer


"For clear shots, it's important to hold the camera steady, choose the right aperture and pay special attention to the main subject in the frame, keeping the focus on it."

Halyna Vitiuk - food photographer


"A pro tip for capturing sharp images is to use a tripod, especially in situations where you're dealing with low light or slower shutter speeds. A tripod provides stability, minimizing the risk of camera shake and ensuring crisp and clear images. Additionally, consider using a remote shutter release or the camera's self-timer to further eliminate any potential movement caused by pressing the shutter button manually."

Alessandra Zanotti - food photographer, food stylist


Photo by © Alessandra Zanotti

Photo by © Alessandra Zanotti

"Always use a tripod and manual focus. Never trust the auto focus!"

Elisa Marina Orani - food photographer


"I use special self made presets in Photoshop."

Mihails Pavlenko - food and product photographer


"Smaller aperture + faster shutter speed, and to reduce shake I use a tripod."

Shwetha Elaina - food photographer and stylist


"For me its always shoot with better lighting conditions so your subjects are properly exposed and you can go for lower ISO to get greater details in images and playing with texture, sharpness and highlights in post processing."

Anjala Fernando - food photographer, food stylist


"I always use artificial light and also using a tripod is essential for sharp images. Lens choice and also f stop also plays a crucial role."

Gouthami Yuvarajan - food and product photographer


"Use manual focus and live view (that is, when you view it on the screen and not through the viewfinder). As someone with poor eyesight and glasses, trying to focus using just the viewfinder just doesn't work. Plus, in live view, you can basically zoom in and make micro adjustments to your focus! Also use a tripod to avoid unintentional movement blur. Prime lenses also tend to produce sharper images, but that doesn't mean you should limit yourself to only using them!"

Felicia Chuo - photographer


"Get to know your camera settings! Backlight is amazing but sometimes very string specular highlights can make an image look unintentionally blurred."

Anisa - photographer, recipe developer


"Always use a tripod."

Monika Grudzińska - photographer, food stylist


"Definitely using a tripod (but I am not good at all with this solution :-))"

Alena Prichystalova - photographer, blogger


"Ask yourself how sharp the images actually have to be. How the sharpness adds to the story and how you will achieve what you want to interpret. And remember that it’s not sharpness that makes good photo."

Veera Rusanen - photographer


"Light, focus, steady camera."

Sangita Bhavsar - food blogger, photographer, stylist


"Using the flash or taking photos with low ISO or sharpen the image in Lightroom."

Massiel Zadeh Habchi - food photographer and stylist


"A tripod is essential, as is enough light. Tethered shooting software can help determine the correct points to focus on."

Carolin Strothe - professional photographer, food stylist, stylist, art director, author


"Tripod is my life savior! It allows me to shoot in any conditions while making sure my image is still and clear. My other life changing move has been investing into a real good lens."

Constance Ibañez - food stylist, food photographer, food event creator


Photo by © Constance Ibañez

Photo by © Constance Ibañez

"Manual focus is my friend..."

Saara - photographer


"Shooting tethered is a game changer, you can see right away whether the image is in focus or not."

M. Aimee Tan - food photographer, videographer, stylist, content creator, recipe developer


"Use manual focus and a tripod, it’s a sure fire way to get the most precise focus that isn’t going to move while you take your shot."

Lauren Short - food photographer


"Always zoom the subject to 300% and make sure all the details are sharp."

Marika Cucuzza - food photographer, content creator, recipe developer, food stylist


"Expose to the right, do not underexpose. When you expose to the right (do some research on ETTR), you let more information come in, so more details = sharpness."

Roberta Dall’Alba - photographer


"For sharp images in every case when I can I use a camera tripod. This way I can minimize the chance of movement. If the camera is already on the tripod, it is definitely worth using a remote release for sharp pictures, so you don't even have to touch the camera when taking the exposure. I personally use the ARSENAL 2 pro, and I love it. I highly recommend this brand to everyone who is about to buy a remote release. Of course we also need to pay attention to the right light levels. One more thing I would like to add and could be useful is using focus stacking. For this several conditions must be present, as e.g.: uniform, non-alternating light conditions."

Liliána Tóth - food photographer


Photo © Liliána Tóth

Photo © Liliána Tóth

"Enough light and, above all, a tripod! These two things will allow you to reduce the ISO to a minimum (I shoot all static shots at ISO 100) and get the perfect focus on your main subject and a super sharp image."

Katarzyna Anders - food and product photographer and stylist, recipe developer, content creator, blogger


"I work almost exclusively with strobes and flashlights which help me keep my shutter speed quite fast, so creating motion blur is not likely. I also like to use my tripod for most shoots and the back button focus is a must to check, especially when using manual focusing."

Andrea Gralow - professional commercial and editorial food photographer, videographer


"Multiple Factors

  1. Use a steady Tripod.
  2. Keep your shutter speed 2x the focal length.
  3. Find a sweet spot aperture value for your camera.
  4. Focus Stacking.
  5. Increase the texture and clarity in the post as per your liking."

Indrajeet Nishad - food photographer and stylist



  1. Tether.
  2. Turn on the focus guide in the camera and zoom in to make sure you nailed the focus.
  3. If shooting video, use an external monitor that has focus guides."

Julia Wharington - photographer, videographer, stylist


"Appropriate light, focus and aperture are essential of course, but so are a sturdy tripod and a remote control for the camera / shooting with a timer."

Jella Bertell - food blogger, photographer


"To capture sharp images, use a sturdy tripod to eliminate camera shake, especially in low-light conditions. Opt for a fast shutter speed to freeze motion, and ensure proper focus on your subject. Use the appropriate aperture for the desired depth of field, and consider using image stabilization if available. Additionally, keep your lens and camera sensor clean to avoid any unwanted blur or softness."

Anna Janecka - photographer, food stylist


"Besides always using a tripod, I avoid touching the camera by triggering it form my Capture One interface, since I am always shooting tethered. If you don't shoot tethered, I recommend having a remote shutter release or using the timer on the camera."

Darina Kopcok - food photographer, educator


Photo by © Darina Kopcok

Photo by © Darina Kopcok

"Use a tripod when taking photos in low light. Clean your lens. Do not use too shallow depth-of-field. Tether."

Mojca Klepec - food photographer


"For achieving a subtle depth of field when you have distant elements that need to remain sharp, consider capturing 2 or 3 photos. In each shot, focus on a single element to ensure clarity. During post-production, you can seamlessly blend these photos, allowing you to create an image with multiple sharp details and achieve the desired visual effect."

Melinda Bernáth - food photographer



In the studio, I rely on a tripod for stability, complemented by a remote control to eliminate any potential camera shake. For pinpoint accuracy in focus, I opt for single-point focus or manual focus settings on my camera, ensuring the sharpness exactly where I want it in the frame."

Anita Zivkovic - food photographer, photography coach


Photo by © Anita Zivkovic

Photo by © Anita Zivkovic

"I know one should use a tripod, but I really prefer hand-held if at all possible. I look at my images immediately as I shoot to check them for sharpness."

Terri Salminen - blogger, food culture researcher


"Good lighting and post-production stage."

Harsha Sipani - commercial photographer


"This might be the most common tip but please invest in a good prime lens. A high quality prime lens with wide aperture can make a world difference to your photo. 50 mm f/1.8 is the least expensive and most popular choice for your first prime lens."

Yashaswita - photographer


"Tethering is such a valuable way of working – zoom in on the screen and confirm your result."

David Pahmp - commercial advertising photographer


"Use a tripod to frame the photos and stabilise the camera."

Dina Hassan - food photographer, videographer


Photo & BTS by © Dina Hassan

Photo & BTS by © Dina Hassan

"Always shoot with a tripod."

Monika Jonaite - food- and product photographer, food stylist, recipe developer


"Choose the right aperture based on your subject and the style you aim to express with your photo. It's best to get everything right in the camera, but if you face limitations you can always use focus-stacking and adjust the sharpness in post."

Reka Csulak - photographer, mentor

@rekacsulak +

Photo by © Reka Csulak

Photo by © Reka Csulak