In this article, we are going to look at creating 3 EPIC food images with natural & artificial Light food photography with photographer @kerabeareats. Food photography is an art that captures the beauty and soul of food when done right. Now if you’re wondering about how to perfectly capture food, there are 3 distinct looks you can try, using both natural and artificial lighting.
Creating three distinct looks might sound almost too good to be true, but it is possible. You can always choose to take advantage of the existing lighting. But it’s important to create a good layout of the plate itself before you get your camera out and start clicking pictures.
Make sure that the plate is not overcrowded, as piling up your plate can make it appear messy. Focus on the ingredients. Mix things up by adding a decorative table napkin, or a jazzy table cloth to your frame.
The size and colour of your plate should complement your food and its portion. Choose matte over glossy to avoid shiny surfaces.
Natural light is often the best when it comes to food photography, but you can always recreate the effect by using lights and strobes. The use of flashes can greatly up your game since you get to direct the right amount of light in the right direction and capture the best possible picture. With the right flash, you can shoot at any time of the day, and get highly vibrant colours.
You can also get the plate of food to pop from the background. If you correctly angle the flash, you can get random effects or a dramatic photo that makes people want to have a bite out of the heavenly dish you are letting them see.
How to Use Any Style of Light Source for Food Photography
Many photographers prefer to use only natural light for their food photography, but this is not a hard and fast rule and sometimes it is just not possible. Sometimes, you might want to click a beautiful picture indoors with strobe lighting. Other times, you might want a high contrast picture that creates a dramatic flair. Thus, it’s best to have knowledge of other alternatives for a light source.
Shooting Food Photography With Natural Light
It helps if you initially observe natural light, and maybe get a feel for it by photographing an object beforehand to understand the direction and quality of light. Shooting at a 45-degree angle to the plate ensures that you capture the whole body of the food, and not just whatever is at the brim of the plate. Make sure to use a tripod if you want to capture any movements with the food, without a blur, whether you’re mixing, or stirring things up a bit.
Of course, you also have to decide whether to go portrait or landscape with your orientation. Portraits can be great especially if you want to highlight the proportions of the plate of food.
Using a Strobe Diffuser to Capture Food Photography Indoors
Now, if you’re unable to use some of that beautiful natural light, don’t worry. There’s always the option of using a strobe diffuser and a flash kit like the Profoto A1X kit, in order to introduce the best artificial lighting for your food photography.
Taking a photo using diffused light is done with the help of a strobe profiler. Pointing the strobe at a white surface, like a ceiling, allows the light to bounce off, creating an after effect. This allows for an even distribution of the light, creating a balanced look for your photograph.
Pointing the strobe towards the food is also an option. Although this might cause a different impact with the shadows. It is definitely worth a shot to put the strobe spotlight on your food. What’s more, it allows you to play with the angles, and amp up the shadows and drama, instead of just distributing the light evenly.
How to Prevent Light Spilling With an Umbrella
The third look is also achieved with the help of diffused light, however including an umbrella-like the Profoto Shallow Silver Umbrella. This should create our third look, which is a very high contrast look. This will bounce the light inside the umbrella, while the edges of the umbrella would prevent any light from spilling out in all directions.
Make it a point to turn off as many lights as possible, and place the umbrella so that you only highlight the contents of the table.
Styling Your Food Photography Props
Take a quick photo on your smartphone to make sure that the layout and lighting is right. Make sure that your light is falling on the food at a perfect angle, no matter what the source of the light is. Moreover, it is always advisable to get a feel of the direction and brightness of the light involved.
Switching off all overhead lights, for example, might help avoid a few unnecessary shadows while you’re shooting.
You can use a flashlight for artificial lighting, too. Make sure all the lights are off and use your flashlight to stream the light from one direction. This will allow you to capture an image with illusions of depth. This can be further accentuated by taking a photo from above, or using a step ladder if you have to.
For those of you who’d love to know the ins and outs of the world of food photography, there’s a workshop in store, hosted by Kera Wong. This workshop will cover the intricacies involved in perfecting food photography, so be sure to check it out.
We highly encourage you to try one of the above food photography techniques using natural and additional light. With these tips, you can easily take your food photography up a notch, and create amazing photos in your own kitchen. For additional information about the techniques and equipment required for food photography, come visit our store or call us. We will give you the best deal to elevate your photography.