How To Edit Food Photos: 5 Easy Steps

(Last Updated On: August 4, 2020)

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

How To Edit Food Photos


Expensive camera: Check.
Artificial Lighting Set up: Check
1,723 cute food props(okay fine 1,725): Check

Photo, WHY YOU NO LOOK PRETTY like other pictures I see on the internet?

It took me a long time to figure out what I was missing: Editing!


I like to do most of my editing in Lightroom with some touchups in Photoshop.

Because of this, I was super excited to see the Adobe Creative Cloud Membership. You pay once, and get access to Lightroom AND Photoshop. No messing with discs, or monthly debits to your credit card!

My favorite part is that I can access and edit my images from anywhere! Whether I’m stuck in a hotel or on my phone in the car, I have access to my photos.

Want to learn how I edit my photos? Keep reading for exactly what I did with my Watermelon Margarita photo.

1. Exposure: This controls how bright the image is. I made the image brighter by increasing the exposure slightly.

2. Contrast: Contrast increases or decreases the difference between the light and dark areas of the image. In this picture, I increased the contrast to make the image “pop” off the page.

3. Shadows/Highlights: Highlights bring out the detail in the brightest part of the image whereas shadows bring out details in the darkest parts of the images. In this image I increased both.

4. Hue/Saturation/Luminance of individual colors: Looking at my image you can see the 2 main colors red (the drink) and green (the glass).
Adjusting the hue will change the shade of color (i.e. lighter vs. darker). Adjusting the saturation will change how intense the color is. Finally, luminance will increase or decrease the contrast of that certain color.

For this image I slightly altered the hue of the drink, and increased its saturation as well. This makes it look more true to life.

5. Sharpening: Finally, I like to sharpen the image by bumping up the detail in each to make them appear more crisp and clean.