If You follow me on instagram @ rainbowplantlife. You know that I’m really Passionate about food photography and I get requests all the time to do. Tutorials on food, styling and food photography and to share tips on how to Improve your food photography, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do today.
I’m Going to take you behind the scenes, just just right back here at the other part Of my apartment and I’ll show you how I’m going to style some cranberry pecan muffins No cranberries streusel, cranberry orange streusel, muffins I’ll, show you how I style them I’ll show you different scenes on how to set them up how to pair Different props together and the settings I’m using on my camera and Before I show you the actual setup, I want to talk about some basics.
Alright, first, I’m going to show you the equipment I’m using for my food Photography setup – and this is a very introductory DSLR camera – it is a Nikon D3300, this costs about $ 400 and it comes with a kit lens, but I don’t really Recommend that for food photography, I’m using a 35 millimeter 1.8/g lens and That’s going to run you less than $ 200. This is probably one of the most inexpensive Dslr setups you’ll get between $ 500 and $ 600.
I used this camera for the First, 12 to 16 months 18 months of doing food photography and it takes really Great photos, it’s just not like a professional high-end camera, but if You’re, just starting out, there’s really no need to spend thousands of dollars on A camera or lens you can definitely start small. That’s what I did. You can also get a Canon. Canon makes great introductory DSLR cameras that are Really affordable as well.
The Canon Rebel series is really popular with beginners In addition to my camera, I also have a tripod. This is a very inexpensive travel Tripod not necessarily recommended for food photography, because it’s not super Stable but I have been using it for the last year or two without breaking anything. And any of equipment I’m talking about will be in the description box below and This is the tripod I use when I want to take shots head on or at an angle or something like this, and then I also have a tripod with An overhead arm for when I want to take flat, lays or photos like overhead.
I Don’t know what this hand motion is, but you know what an overhead shot is this Is a much larger tripod, the legs aren’t even extended. It’s very sturdy and this Is an overhead arm that comes separately and that helps me? Take those overhead Shots so I don’t have to hurt my back and bend over and do it by myself. I just use The tripod for that now, let’s talk about lighting lighting Is the most important thing for good food photography if you are a beginner My advice is to always shoot in natural light.
If you’re a little more advanced, you can experiment with some artificial lighting, but for beginners my Recommendation is to always shoot in natural light and natural light is just The light that comes from nature, so the light that comes through one of your Windows or if you have a glass door or even a screen door, the biggest mistake I See on Instagram with food photos is the lighting, and it’s usually because the Person is using an overhead kitchen light or a lamp or an overhead light in Their living room or wherever they’re shooting and it give the food this Really orange unattractive quality because of the light bulb and the last Thing you want, is your food to look unappetizing, so my advice is to turn off All your lights in your house and experiment go find the best windows and Sources of light and doors in your house and try different times of day try Different seasons, because the best source of light will vary based on the Location of the sun, the angle of the sun, the time of year, the time of day so get Creative and don’t be afraid to experiment, and you might think that the More natural light the better and you might be tempted to go outside and shoot Right in the sunlight, that’s actually not a good idea because having direct Sunlight on your food is going to create harsh shadows and blown out highlights.
It’s going to make your food look just harsh and like not have that nice soft Glow that you want for food photography, so the best natural light is actually Indirect light, so it’s already indirect if it’s coming through your window, Because it’s blocked by the window, if you feel like you, don’t have enough Light coming through your windows or doors because you live in a dark space. Or it’s winter, not to worry.
I recently just moved into a new apartment, but Before that I lived in a really old building on the ground floor and it was Always dark, but I was still able to take some really good shots because one I Used a tripod always and two you can use like a reflector which is like a white Surface and you can hold it up to put against the dark shadows that will add Some light and you don’t need to buy anything specific, you can just get white Foam boards from your craft store and make your own or you can hang it up on a Clip or if you have a helper in the house, you can have them hold it, while You’re taking the photo, but if you have too much light coming in, maybe Because you have a huge window or it’s a really sunny that day and it’s the Middle of the day, you’re going to want to diffuse the light.
So it’s not as harsh And I’ll show you how I do that this is the window. I normally shoot my photos by it faces South South by Southwest, so it gets a lot of light in the afternoon. Honestly too much light, so I’m going to show you how I diffuse the light as you Can see without blocking any of the light from my window, the light is way. Too harsh for food photography there are blown out, highlights and uneven shadows.
And it gives the food a harsh and unattractive appearance. I just take These black foam boards that I bought at a craft store just for a few dollars and I put them up against my window and draw the shades to block out the light, but I’ll still have enough light coming in from the other window in my apartment today, I’m showing you three different Ways to style and present these cranberry orange streusel, muffins and The first method will be the most basic: it’s going to be an overhead flat, lay Of the muffins directly in the pan, the muffins are directly in the muffin pan.
That I baked them in and it’s sitting on top of a food photography board to help Style, the scene I have some fresh cranberries as well as sugared Cranberries to give a festive flair for this shot, I want a direct overhead shot. Of the muffins in the pan, but instead of having all 12 muffins just sitting there, I want to get a little playful and add some creativity, so I’m going to start by Taking one muffin out of the pan and to replace it I’ll, add some cranberries in The muffin tin, when I’m styling a dish I like to use as props the actual Ingredients in the dish to remind the viewer of what the dish is all about and I think I’ll turn this muffin over on its side, so you can see the different Textures of the muffin and I’ll replace one more muffin, but this time I’ll use Sugared cranberries instead of the plain ones I could take the photo, as is now But I want the colors and textures to pop a bit more, so I made a glaze to Drizzle on top well, actually I made the glaze because it’s delicious and it’s Part of the recipe, but it’s also great for photos and, lastly, I’ll add some Orange zest, on top again to emphasize the ingredients in this recipe and I’m Using my tripod with the overhead arm, as well as a wireless remote which enables Me to take a photo without touching the camera, so there won’t be any camera.
Shake since this is an overhead flat shot, there’s no difference in depth of Field, so I want everything to be in a relatively equal focus to do that. I Shoot at a narrow, aperture or in other words at a high f-stop since the shutter speed, is really low. Only one third of a second there’s no way I could take this photo at this Aperture and ISO of 100, without using a tripod now I want to get a more close-up shot.
Of the muffins in the pan, so I’m going to lower my tripod legs, so the camera is Closer to the food to get the sharpest focus, sometimes I shoot using manual Focus and I zoom in on the live view, so I can really closely see in clear detail. If the muffins are in focus, autofocus does work really well on most Dslr cameras, depending on your lens, so I often use that just because it’s a lot Quicker for the second scene, I want to convey a More explicit holiday feel in the first scene there were some subtle hints, Of the holidays, from the sugared cranberries and from the recipe itself, But in the second scene I’m really going for a true festive feel so I’m going to Show you how I’m going to layer in some props to give it that holiday flair for the second scene, I’m using the same Food photography board, but because I want it to be more festive, I’m going to Layer in some holiday props one layer at a time, it’s always best to start with Just one or two props and work your way up, instead of starting with a bunch of Props that way, it’s easier to remove elements.
If you have too much going on But it’s a little harder to remove a bunch of props if you already have them. There and are determined to use them, because I like to show the elements of The recipe as props I’m going to add some fresh cranberries to this marble. Cutting board to give this photo a homemade rustic. Look, I’m crushing the Cranberries, so you get a sense of what my kitchen actually looks like when I Use cranberries, then, to add a festive flair.
I’m layering in some pine leaf. Branches, when you add props, be sure to observe the scene from the angle that You’re photographing it from so you get a sense of what it actually looks like Like here, I notice the branch was too much so now I added a small piece: Instead, then, I’m adding some more sugared cranberries, because it reminds Me of a Christmas tree with ornaments, I’m continuing to layer in props to Frame the scene, the main focus is the round board with the muffins, so I’m Adding elements around that to frame it as a photo, in addition to adding the Cranberries, I’m adding some pieces of pecans since those are in the muffins as Well, this looks good to me now so now, it’s time to add icing the white color Of the icing really stands out against the rest of the darker colors in this Photo, which is why I’m using it like the first photo since this is an overhead Shot, I want everything to be in equal focus, so I’m Using a narrow aperture of f/8, the shutter speed is really low again, so the Tripod is essential if I were to bump up the ISO to say 800 or higher.
That would Serve the purpose of adding more light to the lens ( to be very simplistic about It ), which would then enable me to use a faster shutter speed and make the tripod Unnecessary but since I want minimal grain in my food photos, wherever Possible ISO 100 is the best option for the third and final scene. I want to Add a human element to the scene. I think it’s amazing when photographers Incorporate some sort of human element, whether it’s their hands or their bodies, Because it adds more dimension to the photo, it tells a story, and it just seems More inviting for the viewer for the final scene, I’m using a different Photography board this one is wooden, so we’ll have more of a rustic look, but I Still want the holiday vibe, so I’m using these cute string lights.
So the round Wooden board, on top of the wooden board, felt like too much wood, so I’m layering in A white linen towel to add some dimension and variety and for more Holiday flair. I have some pine branches with holly in a vase, unlike the first Two shots: I’m taking this last photo at a roughly 90 degree angle. Instead of Overhead, so I won’t need the overhead arm tripod with food photos that are taken.
Head-On, at a 90 degree angle or 45-degree angle, it’s usually best to Have a shallower depth of field that creates a more interesting photo when You have a blurred or slightly blurred background and a very focused foreground. So I want to make sure that the muffin in the very front looks perfect. And if You don’t get the perfect shot or have the right lighting on your first. Try. Just keep experimenting by changing your aperture or your shutter speed or ISO Until you get the shot and lighting that you want, as I mentioned, I want to add a human Element to this photo so I’m going to get in the photo myself and I’m putting On a cozy winter sweater to see how that looks, instead of my dress action photos are pretty popular with food, photography and If I want to capture the motion of pouring the glaze on the muffins without Any motion blur I have to increase my shutter speed to at least 1/60 or Higher I’m able to get in the photo myself by Using that remote timer first, I make sure that the muffins are in focus and The composition is set by looking in the camera live view, and then I go into the Scene, myself and when I’m ready, I hit the remote, but you might have to try This out a few times before, getting it right.
Well, that’s it for my food Photography and food styling tutorial. I really hope you found it useful and if You did please hit that thumbs up button, as well as the red subscribe button. I Didn’t get too much into specific details or technical aspects in this Article in the interest of time, but if that’s something you want to see or if You have questions, let me know in the comments below and if you have any other Suggestions for future articles, whether they’re about photography or not.
Let me Know as well, thank you so much for reading I’ll see you next week.
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