How to Get Your Food Photographs accepted in FoodGawker – Food Photography Tips

post modified on June 19

Written by Dilip

Are you a food blogger trying to build your audience? Then one of the many questions that you might be asking is “How to Get Your Food Photographs accepted in Foodgawker?”.

get your food photographs accepted in foodgawker

You accept it or, not the fact is that food blogging is about good photographs. And hence it is not a surprise that fancy cameras and photography accessories are becoming the best friends of food bloggers.

If some of the big bloggers in the food blogging niche (unless you are in a narrower niche like that of Low Carb Diet Recipes) is a success today, it is primarily because of their photographs. Their recipes might be tasty and healthy as well but what attracts visitors to their blogs is the attractive photographs that they click.

And thanks to the hundreds of image sharing websites like Foodgawker, Tastespotting etc. and social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram it is not very difficult to drive traffic to your websites, if you have a nice and attractive photograph.

But can you be the best food photographer from day one?

Will your photographs be accepted in all of these image sharing websites, leave along the social media sites where there is no restriction on what image you upload?

Traffic Generation using Image Sharing Websites

The good photographs that you upload to your food blog serves 2 purposes; visitor retention and traffic generation.

Visitors are more likely to stay on your blog and browse through even more posts if they find something very attractive, which in the case of a food blog are the photographs.

Those yummy photographs of pancakes with honey being poured over it is sure to make you drool. You just wouldn’t want to click away from that blog.

The second benefit of good photographs is traffic generation.

And as a blogger, this is the more important one for me. Rather it is the first and most important one for me. Because, if there is no traffic, there is no point in your blog being there.

And if I can generate traffic using the photographs that I click, it is an easier beast to attack.

But how do you generate traffic using your photographs?

..from Image sharing or, food photograph sharing websites.

There are a ton of them out there, but only a few generate decent amount of traffic.

And Foodgawker is one of them.

All you need to do is submit your food photographs with a brief description of the recipe and a link to the recipe on your blog and you are done..

Just wait and watch as traffic starts to roll in…

Is it that easy?

No. Because the beautiful photograph that you think is beautiful, is not beautiful enough for Foodgawker to accept it.

And you get a message saying, “Your photograph is rejected. Poor Composition or, insufficient lighting“.

Are you familiar with the below screenshot?


And then starts the difficult part – Knowing what is right from Foodgawker’s perspective.

You submit your corrected photographs again and again trying to correct the errors and hoping that it will get accepted this time, only to find that they were rejected again.

You spend hours scratching your head with just the one question – How to get your food photographs accepted in Foodgawker?

Foodgawker Photo Rejection – Understanding the reasons

Before we get into discussing how to get your food photographs accepted in Foodgawker, we need to understand the reason why your photograph is getting rejected.

In the above screenshot, you see 2 primary reason for rejection – Composition and Lighting.

And these are the biggest reasons why they reject food photographs.

Composition/Awkward Angle:

I am an amateur outdoor photographer. Over a period of time, I learnt how to compose your shots when it comes to landscape photography, insect photography etc. And since I was more into macro shooting, I would compose my shots from a macro angle and capture them.

These photographs sold well on 500px and a few other sites.

So when I came into food photography, I thought it would be a cakewalk and went about composing my shots with the same approach.

From my perspective, the photographs were amazing. But Foodgawker thought otherwise and they rejected them saying “awkward composition”.

And then I realized that food photography is a different ball game altogether.

When it comes to composition, keep in mind that your composition in about how you place your subject in the environment that you are photographing it in.

At time, it makes sense to give a 70-30 weightage to your subject as against the environment and at some other times a 50-50 weightage. But all of that depends upon how important the subject is in the context of the picture you are clicking.

With food photography, it is a lot different from outdoor photography.

And that’s where I was making a mistake.


Lighting follows a very simple principle in all kinds of photography – too much or, too little depending upon what you want to focus on, in your photograph is bad.

And Foodgawker is very specific about the saturation.

Most photographs get rejected because there indeed was low lighting. And correcting this doesn’t take a huge amount of work.

How to get your Food Photographs accepted in Foodgawker

Now that we saw the primary reasons for the rejections, let us see how to correct these so that your photograph is accepted in Foodgawker.

What I am going to tell you are some very simple ways to correct the reasons why your photographs get rejected. But remember, this is only a good way to start. If you do not scale up and better your clicks, you might just be stuck at the levels you are in, which is not good for you and your blog.

Composition/Awkward Angle:

So how do you solve the problem of awkward angle/poor composition.

Simple. Use the easiest and universally accepted composition; the vertical look down position and click your photographs by strictly following the rule of thirds.

Check the below diagram and you will understand the angle that I am talking about.


It is indeed simple.

Place your food on the table and click your photographs from the top. This takes care of the “awkward angle” problem.

And if you follow the rule of thirds, the problem of composition is also taken care off.

Use some nice props to give the background a lift so that it doesn’t look bland.

And that’s it.

Check out some of the below photographs to understand how we clicked the pictures.

foodgawker image submission

Follow this simple tip and you should be able to take care of your composition issue and the awkward angle issues.

Lighting Issues:

When it comes to food photography, natural light is the best light. And if you can use a diffuser, then you will get the best lighting condition for your photographs.

The easiest way is to place a table just next to a window with ample of light coming in. Then spread a white semi-transparent curtain onto the window and you have your perfect lighting condition.

But natural light isn’t something that is available throughout. And when you have to shoot your pictures in the evening, what are the options?

The option is to go to an artificial light – and this one is by-far the best artificial lighting for food photography.

(I will teach you to build an artificial lighting system of your own at home, in another post)

Use a diffuser which can be a semi-transparent piece of cloth or, a white t-shirt and shoot your pictures. Your lighting issues should also be taken care off.

A couple of important things to keep in mind while photographing food –

  • Ensure there is only one source of light in the room. If there are any other lights switch them off.
  • The easiest placement is to keep the light at the head of the subject and you stand towards the foot of the subject to click the pictures.

Once you have clicked your pictures, do a slight bit of post-processing using Photoshop or, Lightroom to correct the saturation.

And that’s it!

Your photographs should now be accepted into Foodgawker and all the other food photo sharing sites.

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I am an internet marketer, blogger and social media enthusiast and the technician behind the blog here at I love the madness around the blog here and everything that goes behind the scenes in creating all these videos, podcasts and these recipe posts.

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