I am really excited to bring you today’s roundup post: 5 food blogs have agreed to share behind-the-scenes photos of their food-photography setups from recent recipe shoots. All of the bloggers featured have explained a little about their thinking and how they styled/organised the shot, and for each recipe there’s a process shot (so you can see where they positioned the camera relative to the food, their props, and background) and a finished photograph for you to check out.
Take a look at their setups and see what you can use in your own work. I’m sure you’ll learn so, so much from watching these clever bloggers in action.
Southwestern Salad with Avocado Dressing from You Are My Sonshine
Stephanie said: My house does not get very good natural light, so I always have to use my folding light box to get my shots. I chose a black backdrop with white dishes so it wouldn’t take away from the bright colors in the salad. It’s not noticeable in the photo, but I have a desk lamp on the right side to add a bit of directional light. I upgraded to an iPhone 8Plus this year, and have been using that to take all my photos since it takes photos almost as well as my DSLR. I like to take about 10-15 of each dish from all different angles to find the best photo.
Lemon Lavender Dressing from White Coat Pink Apron
Diana said: For this setup, I chose somewhere in my house with good light. I set up the background with some of the ingredients of the dressing so it would give the viewer an idea of what was in it. I experimented with different angles, but overall, this angle looked best. In order to capture this angle, I had to put my whole setup on the floor.
Choreg (Armenian Easter Bread) from White Coat Pink Apron
For the next photo, I also chose a room with good light. It happens to be the kids’ playroom, which was otherwise a mess! Since I was shooting photos of a bunch of rolls on a sheet pan, I thought it would look best from overhead—something about looking down on symmetrically-placed almost identical rolls just looks the most appealing from this angle. I realize the camera isn’t facing downward here, but I just turned it after I took this photo of the setup.
Lemon vanilla french toast with strawberries from Occasionally Eggs
Alexandra told me this about her setup: she used two wood-firing kiln shelves on the floor in front of the glass door to the non-functional deck to catch the natural light; the side light was coming from the SE on a cloudy day. She shoots with a Nikon D7000 & 50mm 1.4 lens, and for this shot ISO 1000, aperture 3.5. The picture was minimally edited in Lightroom. She styled the shot with yogurt, strawberries, coconut, and maple syrup for shine. The camera was balanced on a cookbook and on a self-timer, and she started pouring the maple syrup after the first photo and took five.
Asparagus Potatoes Puree from Easy Baby Meals
Deepika said: Since the theme for this shot was ‘Spring’, a diffused natural light is used to shoot this shot with soft shadows. A shallow depth of field is used to capture the intricate details and I use a Pentax K-5 II s.
Crispy Cod with Prosciutto and Brussels Sprouts
Get the recipe here>>
Cris and Alyssa told me: Our setup is very simple. We are lucky to have a corner with windows at Alyssa’s house and putting the whiteboard helps a lot. We like to lay down all of our plates, napkins and other things that may come in handy during the shoot on the dining room table. That has made our process a lot more efficient since we look at the food and can decide very quickly what to use. We typically shoot three recipes in one go and use a Canon 6D, 24-105mm f/4 and 100mm f/1.8 Canon lenses for the food shoots.
As you can see, food photographers use a huge variety of cameras, phones, lights and props to get their desired shots – which means there’s no reason you can’t give it a go yourself at home.
Thank you to everyone who took part, for sharing your food-photography setups and the process that goes into creating these beautiful pictures.
Over to you!
Ready to turn your food photography up a notch? Take my free 5-day email course and do just that!
Do you use a DSLR or your phone for your shots?