How to Style & Photograph Raw Fish

How to Style & Photograph Raw Fish

Do you find it hard to photograph raw meat and especially working with fresh fish? In this blog post I’ll take you through some important elements on how to style and photograph raw fish. It is important when styling an image like this or any food element in general to keep in mind the elements of composition. These elements include textures, color, angles and lines. It’s important to use these elements to guide the viewers eyes and keep them glued on the main subject.

Photographing raw fish

Important Techniques On How To Style & Photograph Raw Fish

  1. Choose good looking fish – It is important to look for the best quality of fish. I’d advice getting fresh fish from the market or butchery and avoiding one that is frozen. Also avoid fish that has the skin looking damaged or bumpy.
  2. Choose simple backgrounds – I believe fresh fish looks good photographed dark and moody. Using dark backgrounds goes well with the tough look of fish. Although this is a personal preference, you can be adventurous with the background choice.
  3. Lighting – I advocate for side lighting or back lighting when shooting fish fish. It’s important to ensure that there’s some light shining on the fish so that it doesn’t look boring and flat. I also go for natural lighting. Avoid having the light too close to the fish as it may look too shiny. You want to display the right textures of the fish, that is the scales and skin.
  4.  Use simple props – Keep the props relevant to the subject and fit the kind of the fish being photographed. Avoid using props that do not relate to the fish. Fresh herbs work best with raw fish. I used fresh rosemary, tomatoes, lemons and pepper. These will be used in the cooking of the fish and go well in telling the photography story. Make sure any garnishes used work with the recipe and avoid inedible garnishes. For example I would not add lettuce to this set up as I would not typically eat cooked fish with lettuce.

photograph raw fish

I hope I have inspired you and equipped you with key techniques in styling and photographing raw fish. I hope that next time you don’t shy away from photographing raw fish but use these tips to guide you through your creative process.

raw fish

If you’re interested in food photography tips, also check out my other post on the art of story telling and how to incorporate it in food photography.


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