Lighting Tips for Better Food Photography

Today, I’m going to share some lighting tips for shooting better food photography while shooting at home. We all have those friends who insist on the camera eating first and by the time they’re done, the food is cold… I know because I am that friend!

Food photographs are one of the hardest but most common social media posts. Unlike flatlays that you can move around and rearrange, food is usually at a restaurant, meaning that you can’t just pick up the table and move closer to a window for your shot! The two most important things to capture are color and texture; who wants a blue salad or green oranges?! Typically we resort to using our iPhone flash but we can make our photo better if we use an external light! I use the Profoto Plus, a strobe that can sink to your phone and give you studio lighting at your fingertips!

Here are my 4 essential tips for when there’s not enough lighting or the lighting isn’t ideal:
1. For the best quality light source, bring your light as close as possible to the food
2. For the best texture and color, hold the light at a 45 degree angle
3. Fill in the shadows with a reflector – paper, napkin, menu… anything white!
4. Spread the light as much as you can! Bouncing the light will allow it to fill in the large areas better

Check out how I explain it all in this video.

For more on lighting and flash, you can check out my educational courses, “All About Light” and “All About Flash”!

Armed with these tips, you can now be that friend who has quick, great food photos and still enjoys hot food with your friends!

SHARE THIS STORY