Getting Started With Professional Food Photography

Food Photography or better known as “Point camera at Food” has been a long growing part of our culture. In this age of endless selfies it shows no sign of slowing down as we fight the urge to show everyone what we will be eating tonight. Practically everyone has a phone today but if you are interested in doing better than Joe Blow’s food mugshots you need the right equipment.

The Best Food Photography Equipment

  • Camera
  • Light source
  • Reflectors
  • Table setting
  • Various utensils
  • Food?

Okay so first things first, you need a good camera. An iPhone camera is definitely good but a DSLR or Mirrorless camera is better. It would be much better if your camera has a way to trigger off camera strobes like a hotshoe connection. Which brings us to the next point…
Light source. A good light source would perk up any picture but specially so with food. Bring out the detail in your subject or set the mood with the correct light. You can use natural light (i.e. Sunlight) if you work outdoors in the morning or you can use artificial light like Strobe Flashes or Continuous Lights. The latter would require you to “soften” your light by using a lightbox or diffuser (which is outside the scope of this article but we will cover it in the future)
Next get some reflectors. You can buy big round reflectors or you can make your own with cardboard and foil. The cardboard route is actually nicer since you can make smaller reflectors that you can use to finesse your light.
Now that you have your camera and lights ready all you need is the subject. So bring out last night’s dinner from the fridge, plop it on top of a messy desk and take a picture right? well, no. You do have to mind the setup by making sure you set the mood you are going for with your table settings. Here is where professional food styling comes in but if you are a normal hobbyist like me you just need to figure it out what looks good to you. Check out the amazing food pictures people have already put on the internet to find inspiration.
And if you are anything like me, the food would be gone soon after taking pictures, so happy shooting (and eating) 🙂

Filed under: Photography