You can produce the most amazing food or dishes but you can only sell it online with state-of-the art food photography. I love to share a few tips about food photography and how to make it better with simple means. In this post I will discuss food lighting. Lighting is what makes or breaks a photo.
Find your spot
It is key to find a good spot to photograph your food. A north facing window on a bright day is ideal. If you don’t have a north-facing window, find another window without any direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can also go outside and find a good spot in the shade. On dull days any window will do. Set your table up next to the window to get as much light as possible. Make sure that all artificial light is turned off as it can really interfere with the natural lighting.
Look for even lighting
The light should be ‘even’. This means that it has a low contrast (the shadows should not be too dark and the highlights should not be too bright). The following image is a good example of even lighting.
You can use a reflective panel at the opposite side of the light source to bounce the light back. This could be any panel with a white surface, cardboard, a white perspex sheet, etc.
A big no-no!
A final note is to always avoid using the flash on your camera or phone or any other artificial light (if you have no experience with it). It is better to wait for better light than to use the flash. A flash gives a very unnatural light and can make the food look very unsavoury. “Less is more” is a principle that is certainly applicable here…