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How to edit a food image

Lucy McInally

Whether someone is ordering a takeaway from a delivery marketplace, flicking through the pages of a food magazine or scrolling Instagram for food “inspo”, the best food images will make a viewer salivate. Successful restaurants on delivery marketplaces, like Deliveroo and UberEats, include food imagery on their menus, because this helps viewers to make a decision and place an order. According to Deliveroo, restaurants with imagery on their menu can boost overall orders by 24%. Although a restaurant listing with multiple food images increases sales, a restaurant won’t stand out from its competitors unless those images are high quality. For restaurant owners and photographers alike, it’s useful to know how photo editing processes can make improvements to food images. In this blog post, I talk about how to edit a food image. 

Relighting a food image

Generally, viewers are attracted to brighter images that are rich in colour and evoke feelings of excitement. In food photography, getting the colours right is important - who doesn’t get excited by the prospect of a tasty takeaway on a Friday night? A good food image can enhance this, as it attracts customers to a restaurant. However, many restaurant owners take their own food images instead of using a professional food photographer, which results in dark food images. Relighting a food image using photo editing software improves it; upload a food photo to and our AI detects dark elements in the image. It will instantly enhance the image with improved quality and brightness. 

HDR merge in a food image

Relighting a food image during the photo editing process exclusively won’t make huge improvements. This is because the High Dynamic Range (HDR) needs improvement too, which refers to the lights and shadows within an image. As an image usually has a low dynamic range, combining multiple images with different settings together enlarges the dynamic range and lights up the image. Many professional photographers use HDR mode during a photoshoot but for those that don’t, a photographer will shoot the subject several times in different focuses and light ranges. There is usually a minimum of three images used - a normal image, an overexposed image and underexposed image - which are combined together during the editing process. The HDR merge option on the web app enables you to combine images together for a fantastic food image. 

Correcting perspective in a food image

Angles are everything in food photography, and the best professional food photographers pay great attention to detail in styling food for their photo shoots. This is because angles and lines have the ability to guide viewers’ eyes around an image. A popular method for shooting food photography is in flat lay style, which refers to shooting the subject from above. It’s therefore important that the angles are straight, because a wonky food image can appear jarring and uncomfortable to viewers, who might be put off placing an order on delivery marketplaces. Upload your food images to, and our AI photo enhancer will detect a wonky food image and straighten it for a professional finish.

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