Inspirations and tips for coffee cup photography

Home / Inspirations and tips for coffee cup photography

Show how it’s made

Coffee cup photography is all about capturing the essence of this delightful beverage. Everyone loves the aroma and unique flavors that coffee brings. It can be prepared in so many ways and using different techniques.  There is the concentrated espresso, the Turkish coffee, drip coffee, French press, Moka pot method, cold brew….  It’s interesting to explore the singularity of each process with creative coffee photography.  Let the composition tell the story!


Coffee prepared in a Moka Pot

Coffee prepared in a Moka Pot


Creating the Style with Steam and without it

In Coffee cup photography many aspects will affect the final image and will be decisive to tell your story. Start with the coffee décor. Would you use steam? Serve it hot or cold? Even the temperature does not appear clearly in the picture, the details created by the hotness can make a notable difference. The cup you choose will carry the main subject of all the work. Coffee seems to be a simple and direct element, but the possibilities are endless for coffee and art! Try a lot and brew more than you would need for the shoot.


Set your coffee decor

Set your coffee decor


The Food Photography Setup

Have your basic food photography setup ready for starting trying and creating! I enjoy using natural and diffuse light (use white fabric to cover windows) and a reflector (anything can turn into a fill card). Get extra cups and dishware available for changing ideas and perspectives. Use transparent glass, old fashioned china, simple and clean designs and whatever your creativity tells you to do. The most important in coffee cup photography is to risk without losing the essence of the photoshoot.


Trying backgrounds

Colored and texturized backgrounds contrast very nicely in. You can use neutral colors and not so appealing prints. Perhaps the coffee is part of a nice breakfast table? Or it’s just waiting on the top pf the table for being catch? The composition and the backdrops need to give plot, but perform supporting roles at the same time. In other words, if you are performing a coffee photoshoot, give the spotlights to coffee!


Try different backgrounds for coffee photography

Try different backgrounds for coffee photography


Take a risk at a time and find the answer

You might want to risk a bit or stay at something more classic inside the coffee cup photography. There are no rights and no wrongs! What should guide you, in reality is the goal of the coffee photoshoot.  Do you need to showcase the brewing method? Would you desire to also focus in the scene around? Try, try and try! If you have never performed a coffee photoshoot, have all your tools ready and know what is needed to do with each of them. Change aperture and see how the background behaves, modify composition until you find the answer.



Sprinkle something

A nice effect to experiment is sprinkling sugar or other powder over the coffee. Some technical details will be important in coffee cup photography as they are in general food photography. For instance, according to how you adjust the aperture, shutter speed and focus, the image will bring a different effect. If you use natural light, you might be limited at some point, as the exposure could be affected by a fast shutter speed. You might want to change ISO to adjust exposure, but I particularly like to use it as low as possible because even with post production noise reduction, the quality will not be the same.  So, the sprinkled sugar effect can draw a line in the frame, like falling rain, with slow shutter speeds or to be captured in close detail by a very fast shutter speed. Adjust your camera to get the best from it!


Use the camera settings to get the best effect

Use the camera settings to get the best effect


Repeat the shoot to get more images

Repeat the shoot to get more images


A great place to store your Coffee pictures (and much more) is SlickPic! SlickPic is a photo host and photo sharing service where you can upload everything. It’s safer than other social media websites and helps you to organize the work done. SlickPic also brings thousands of features, including online editing!

By |2017-03-08T00:50:09+00:00March 7th, 2017|Categories: How-to Tips|2 Comments

About the Author:

Lusia Schetinger lives in Brazil and works with Culinary. One of her passions besides food is photography. So she decided to dive into this field! Luisa is at an early stage of her career, but already brings international cooking experience and have clients around the World. She loves to explore the infinite angles that photography can show.


  1. Shelby Henley March 7, 2017 at 11:44 PM - Reply

    What is the best coffee for food photography in general?

  2. mm
    Luisa Schetinger March 8, 2017 at 10:03 AM - Reply

    Hi, there is the best option. Each photoshoot will have a particular approach and allow some kinds of coffee. One of the most seem in pictures around internet is the espresso, but it doesn’t mean the other styles would not be good for your needs, for example.

Leave A Comment