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food photography equipment

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Any Canon or Nikon DSLR. Squeeze and spray bottles – For the perfect drizzle of chocolate or caramel, use a squeeze bottle. Look for espresso or demitasse spoons, condiment spoons, and salt spoons. This is a commercial photography trick I don’t use often, although I still keep some on hand just in case a subject is being particularly problematic. My house is always messy but my sense of humor makes up for it. Your email address will not be published. “You don’t want your propping to distract from your food,” explained New York Times contributor Andrew Scrivani in his essential class, Food Photography , emphasizing the importance of neutral props and props which don’t compete with the color or texture of your food. Toothpaste (the old fashioned white paste kind, not the blue gel!) Camera – The photographer makes the photo, not the camera (I’ve seen amazing work come out of an iPhone and horrible photos from thousand dollar cameras), so focus on your skills first and equipment second. Once you’ve taken the photo, now what do you do with it? They’re worth there weight in gold. Recently I stumbled across this marble contact paper which is nearly indistinguishable from real marble. The Food Photographers Toolbox is the ultimate list of tools and resources that I use every single time I take a photograph. I’m still learning every day (and really, do we ever stop?) I currently use this Manfrotto tripod with this geared head (great for precise adjustments) or this ball head (smooth and quick movements). Probably my most favorite ‘toy’ for shooting is my tripod arm. Every week I receive questions from food bloggers or aspiring YouTuber’s about the camera gear I use to shoot my weekly cooking videos. ;). One of the most important pieces of gear on my food photography equipment list as I use them for both photography and video. One reason is that it puts your images straight to your laptop or computer. Taking great food images requires a good bit of quality photographic equipment. Occasionally I’ll bring an image into Photoshop if I need to merge a few photos together or add text, but 98% of my editing work is done solely in Lightroom. Fake kitchen. I also recommend getting name brand batteries; I’ve tried the 3rd party brands because they are much more affordable, but the battery life is dismal. Sprinkles – I mean, sprinkles make everything better! I can admit scouring the internet in search of ‘the best tripod for shooting food’ or ‘what lens is best for food photography’. Handmade ceramics – I have a thing for handmade ceramics; they make the most unique props, with their organic shapes and gorgeous textures. Marble Pastry Board – My favorite, most versatile background is this marble pastry board from Sur La Table, though you can also find similar, less expensive options at Crate & Barrel, World Market and Amazon. The first thing I might say is that taking a good picture is partly the camera, but it is also the person behind it. Unfortunately, this equipment can be somewhat expensive. Ideal food photography props need to walk the line between neutral and nondescript, and personality-based and playful. A quick release ball head tripod means you’ll be able to swing & swivel your camera (within reason) to your hearts content. What set up would you recommend around the 1k-1.5k range? Lenses – Most of my food photos are shot with a Canon 100mm F/2.8L macro lens. Godox 32x48in Softbox - For Bowens S-Mount Elinchrom 20x50in Stripbox - For Elinchrom Mount Flake salt – The perfect finisher for almost any dish. I do completely agree with you about the need to spend good money on a tripod. Light is the key to creating beautiful still life photos. I noticed that a lot of your pictures are shot from up above and I’m struggling to be creative with taking pictures of our sparkling cider bottle from up above. I’d hear of foodies shooting with zoom lenses & think, ugh, who could do that!? White or clear sticky adhesive is perfect, as it will temporarily hold an object where it’s supposed to be, without being overly obvious in the final photo. When it comes to food photography, a few useful tools and stylish props can make all the difference. Not worth it. Thanks again for an informative article! Great article! Gray card – If you struggle with white balance, think about getting a gray card or color correction card. The big things to consider when investing in your tripod are first, how much gear do you need it to hold up? Little spoons – Wee spoons! Linens – I have a love hate relationship with linens. I started my blog, Eat Your Beets, as an excuse to get my husband to give up gluten. To start off, I recommend a tripod, a camera body that supports detachable lenses, and a … Thank you for supporting Click it Up a Notch. So maybe I do know a thing or two…. Microgreens – If you can find a source for microgreens near you, make the most of it! Not really, but kind of. It keeps your camera perfectly still, which results in crystal clear photos. The sprinkle mixes from Sweetapolita are especially fun. Henry's - Canada’s digital camera store. A photo that perfectly captures the essence of a dish can make or break a food business’s social media marketing strategy, blog post, or product photo —and that can mean the difference between massive sales and massive loss. I really enjoyed the article! One of the nice things about food photography is you don’t have to sell your little brother into slavery and mortgage your house to get professional results. My tripod is a Benro with a Manfrotto ball head grip. There may be affiliate links in this post. While the food should be the focus of your shot, well-chosen props can help add to the story you are trying to tell. Another “no-brainer.”. Always shoot your food … If you aren’t using a full frame camera, I’d recommend something with a lower focal length (50 or 65mm), as the 100mm is going to feel like a superzoom. Have a basic clear UV filter on my lenses (be sure you get the right size for your lens). Now add up all the weight of those items & make sure your tripod will be able to handle your weight load. Glycerine – A spritz of 1 part vegetable glycerin mixed with 4 parts water on a glass mimics the perfect dew drops of a frosty glass, or brushed directly on fruit or meat for a glossy finish. Without a remote trigger your only option would be the camera timer and that’s much less forgiving. The 50mm f/1.2 is a serious macro lens and gives you that very shallow depth of field that makes food look delicious (it also happens to be a very trendy way to photograph food these days). Warning: both of these lenses are expensive, but if you are serious it’s a great investment. *This post contains affiliate links. Have an extra battery at all times, and be sure it’s charged (whenever I take a dead battery out of my camera, I always put it directly into the charger so I don’t forget). Very interesting! The section about the tripod is very helpful. http://instagram.com/p/xH5PxFh0eW/?modal=true Hope that helps! Great article Tricia! I’m not sure if this is food safe, so be sure you just use this for the photos and not actual eating. I also always crumple it up into a ball and then smooth it out, so it has … Obviously if you’re just getting started you can get away with a whole lot less (I’d argue that just a camera and your subject are all that are truly essential) but the deeper you go into the world of food photography, the more you’ll want to explore. I ultimately decided the extra $1,200 for the 5D Mark IV just wasn’t worth it to me (you gain some extra focal points and 4K video… but lose the rotating screen, something I use regularly). Do you have any tips or tricks? Vintage tools and utensils – I’m always scoping out flea markets and estate sales for rusty old kitchen tools and utensils, beautifully aged silver flatware and well-used cookie sheets and baking pans. I like Maldon sea salt, which has large, diamond-shaped flakes that show up beautifully in photos. :) I’ll add that to my list of topics to cover! Enjoyed reading this and found it helpful! For process shots I mainly use my Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II, which gives me more flexibility in framing with wider angles (this is also my go-to travel lens). It’s also nice to able to digitally remove a crumb or two if something is out of place in your frame. Great tips. Artificial light is still a mystery I’ve yet to solve. this is about food photography but i will use this to photograph bees. A tripod is 100% necessary if you want to take food photography seriously. Tom. My Food Photography Gear List A list of the equipment that's in my food photography bag for a typical photo shoot, including camera, lenses, lighting and other accessories. Contact Paper – The one downside to my marble board is the size. I personally think most editing systems can be useful, some more beneficial than others. The minimum height is something you should also consider. Yeah, I totally shot with a jinky, old tripod that made me want to rip my hair out. As you know the D800 is about 1kg, the lens will be around 200g. Caveat: I am by no means a professional food photographer, however I’ve certainly learned a lot (and come a long ways) over the nearly 13 years (!!) Measuring cups/spoons – I have my everyday set of measuring cups and spoons that I actually use in the kitchen, and then a few nice sets just for photos, including one stainless steel, one copper, and one aqua blue enamel. Serving utensils – Cake/pie servers are one of my favorite photo props; my favorites are a set of vintage ones I found at the flea market, although you can find nice basic ones online and some really pretty ones at shops like West Elm and Anthropologie. To do this, we store the data as outlined in our privacy policy. Check out your local art store or a store like Paper Source. Erickson Surfaces is another company doing great work, although I find their backdrops much thicker and heavier. Cake stands – Is there such thing as too many cake stands? Here are the best tips and tricks I can offer about food photography and equipment. In my opinion, it isn’t the gear that creates your amazing image, it’s the foodie behind the camera, but that doesn’t mean some good gear can’t hurt, right! Thanks again for this article and your instagram feeds, I love it! Clamps – Useful for propping up backdrops and foam core, although I’ve yet to find a really good solution to this and usually end up hacking something together with chairs and planters to hold things up. I have a whole pouch of itty bitty condiment spoons from my grandmother that I simply treasure. And a bare bones metal vegetable peeler like this one is a great prop in and of itself (I try to avoid fancy/grippy/branded type tools, as practical as they may be; plain, old-fashioned tools really look best in photos). (If you haven’t visit any of those sites – please do!) I go over the equipment used in … Let me help you with this FREE webclass. Generally, I use either a 50mm or 100mm lens when photographing in front of the food. But you may find at some point that you want more options that you can switch out as needed, and it’s them that having a nice assortment of backdrops will come in handy. Shoot In Natural Light. http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-MK394-H-Photo-Movie-Aluminum-Release/dp/B004MKNJBQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1422932346&sr=1-1&keywords=manfrotto+mk394-H. Do you have an Idea or any suggestions for me? I do all my editing in Lightroom 5. Sticky tack – Sometimes a prop just won’t stay where you want it. Now I shoot almost exclusively with my Tamron 28-74 f/2.8. After years of shooting with a cheap, $30 tripod (that I eventually stopped using because it was seriously, such a pain & not worth the headache). I recently started taking ceramics classes myself so I can make my own, which if anything has made me appreciate handmade ceramics even more. ), (Please note there are affiliate links in this post.). The things I listed where the things that really stuck out to me as deal breakers & helped me pair down what would be the best fit for me. I’ve been doing this. Nov 24, 2015 - Explore Georgia Barr's board "Street Food photography" on Pinterest. I have a system where I save copies of all my final edited photos and cropped web versions, and then transfer the original RAW photos (with obvious rejects or duplicates deleted) onto an external hard drive for safekeeping. Love & Olive Oil® is a registered trademark of Purr Design, LLC. Thanks for the tip. Meanwhile, in part 2, I covered the basic “must have” equipment that can be found in pretty much every photography studio in the world. Remote Trigger – Sometimes you can’t stand right by your camera (especially when it’s on a tripod) and that’s when a remote trigger comes in handy. Maybe a round object keeps rolling so the label is facing down, or a fork won’t stay propped at just the right angle on a plate. I use this most often when I’m shooting something on a colorful background without any pure white objects to reference. Laptop. Woodville – Beautiful faux painted backgrounds direct from Russia! Lenses – Most of my food photos are shot with a Canon 100mm F/2.8L macro lens. I’ve got the basic white, natural brown, and also some fun newsprint parchment that makes for a really fun accent in photos. This hand-curated list of food photography equipment features all items that have helped me create images that I’m proud to share. Straws – Paper, metal, silicone, bamboo and even glass: drinking straws come in all sorts of materials these days! Bounce Card. The boards themselves are lightweight and the finishes are beautiful. Do I need to take any other weights into account before purchasing a tripod if I’m going to buy a side arm and counterweight? You'll see it in my photos under glasses, on top of and under plates, lining ice cream trays andbaking dishes, and used in place of napkins. They’re also helpful for lightly melting the edges of ice cream (just gently blow where you want to soften the ice crystals) as well as quickly clearing out errant crumbs. Want to take food photos like the ones you saw in my Flickr and my food blog, buurps.com? Parchment paper – Another great way to add some texture, just layer or crinkle up some parchment! You’d want one that will have a smaller minimum height. If you’re prone to sticker shock, maybe wait to look up prices of tripods right now! Hey Rachel! The biggest things you’ll want to be editing when shooting food will be fixing your horizons, white balance (if you haven’t nailed it in camera) & exposure. Next time you’re on there, tag me so I can check out your feed. Great info. Sheet pans – My photo area is in a separate room from my kitchen, so rather than go back and forth with a dozen ingredients and dishes, I’ll set it all up on a sheet pan and carry it all at once. Setting up a shoot where you have a tight focus on the top of the bottle. Great when you want a bold, solid color or a fun pattern! Essentially, a bounce flash allows you to point a flash at an angle, so the light softens before landing on your food image. I just upgraded my tripod and agree 100% that it’s worth the money to protect the investment of our camera and lens. I fell in love. Lighting – I shoot 95% of my images in natural light. I mostly use Canon gear for 35mm cameras but also have a Nikon because of the my Food Photography Club. I can admit scouring the internet in search of ‘the best tripod for shooting food’ or ‘what lens is best for food photography’. I also have a circular polarizer that I mainly use it for travel when shooting water and other surfaces with lots of glare. Places like World Market have some beautiful options! So in the 2nd and 3rd installments I’m going to specifically look at all the essential photography equipment that you’ll need to fill your studio space with. Dulling spray – Reflections are tricky. Simple to attach to your tripod mount, it allows for arial shots at any height. If you’re working with some extra shiny flatware, give it a spritz of dulling spray to give the shiny metal a more matte finish. The following list can help get you started in food photography: Beginning food photographers are often curious what other foodies are using for food photography equipment. I also have a vintage Ateco Cast Iron cake stand with a spinning tip (pretty and practical!) will polish silver flatware to a clean sheen without removing all of the beautiful patina (straight up silver cleaner makes things too shiny, in my opinion). Great article! Tweezers – A couple pairs of kitchen tweezers (in varying lengths/shapes) are extremely useful for placing delicate garnishes (like individual sprinkles and sprigs of cilantro), repositioning wonky noodles and the like. I love it because of these features: the ball head that rotates 360 degrees; the extendable arm works for overhead shots; the swivel system makes it easy to switch angles quickly. It’s all about the light! If you buy one of these, I recommend going to a store in person so you can pick out the exact board you want (marble can vary a lot and you want to be sure you like the veining and coloring of your specific board). good article. I found this article because I’m one of those food bloggers that’s sick of bending over trying to take the perfect overhead shot with my D800 Nikon! Learn the EXACT techniques that I use everyday to photograph my kids. However, the fixed 28mm wide angle lens makes the iPhone less versatile than a tradition camera or dSLR. I have a half dozen or so white and black foam core boards that I use to control my light. Rahael, A wireless remote can be such a handy thing for shooting on a tripod. That said, I do have a set of continuous LED lights with stands and filtering umbrellas, and have used these mainly when I need photos in my kitchen and there’s not enough natural light. Hi Trisha! (More about us...), ©2007-2020 All Rights Reserved. You can also put your camera and do that overhead shot easily, especially if you need to take your camera to a higher level which a tripod cannot do. Then the rest of the frame will be in the background but still part of the story. It didn’t work. Black boards are helpful to add more dynamic shadows and directional light on days when the light is particularly flat. For a very long time I shot with a prime lens only, my Nikon 35mm f/1.8. I would also like to record small videos. Until I upgraded to a new camera & didn’t want to use my crop sensor prime lens on my full frame camera. Always learning. Basically, a gray card is a neutral gray card that can be used to sample white balance in post processing (use the white balance eyedropper tool and click directly on the gray card – you can then copy those settings to the image without the card in it). Back or side lighting will also achieve this as well. This is very sturdy and useful for food photography. Businesses like restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, grocery stores and more thrive on the strength of their food photography. Citric Acid – Helpful for keeping fruit and vegetables (like apples or avocados) from prematurely browning. I'm here to help you with that. Once I realized I was pretty good at food photography I decided to help other’s turn that same passion into reality by writing my ebook, Eat Pretty Things. And I’ve also previously done a general piece covering my food photography gear. Lightroom – Adobe Lightroom is the gold standard in photo editing. No, it’s not waterproof and you’ll probably leave grease stains and smudges, but for $6/a pop you can get a bunch. I’m assuming you won’t be lugging this thing up Mt Kilimanjaro, right? Thanks for the motivation. Foam Core – Bounce baby bounce. are enormous, and will most certainly start to slow down your computer as they pile up. You could also try laying the bottle on it’s side. That sounds like an awesome idea to collect your families recipes. I only link to products I trust and recommend. I’ll put my marble or my faux marble on my rolling cart, prop up the subway tile board behind it, and voila! Once I got a quality tripod my life changed! You can see the images on a screen as opposed to in your viewfinder, you’re not dealing with any cards & your images are automatically backed up onto your computer. And these smaller squeeze bottles are perfect for piping intricate details (they’re compatible with any standard size piping tip). Check out this picture where I laid the bottle on it’s side & used a glue dot to affix it to the table. Have helped me create images that I can move the cart around as needed to an... Around f/3.2 & rarely need to spend good money on a colorful background without pure! ( which is nearly indistinguishable from real marble the difference nice to able to your... Allows for arial shots at any height of itty bitty condiment spoons, and would also recommend a... Camera timer and that ’ s traveled the globe t learned what to do the maths regarding and. Boards that I didn ’ t bother you if it ’ s a less expensive option with (. Ask for your article, it allows for arial shots at any height shoot any more open that.! Caramel, use a Manfrotto tripod & love it or two if is. Visit any of those items & make sure your tripod has you are shooting in RAW aren... Cart – when you ’ ve taken the photo, now what do you have idea! Tools and tricks to make that food look downright drool-worthy marble contact paper in other patterns and including. Website to help you compare cameras: camera, computer, tripod a... Important factor is what kind of head your tripod as you ’ re by yourself and trying to the. Some more beneficial than others & comparing tripods as well video cameras might try using single light-speed with... Toothpaste ( the back half of my favorite ceramic artists are Suite one,. Focus of your shot to handle your weight load at what it if. One that will last bit more expensive to your tripod are first, how gear. Great food photography props I use, parchment paper – the perfect for. Standard in photo editing of water usually perks it right up up some beautiful handmade bowls in my and! You were using a pan head, it ’ s also nice to able to move freely standard photo..., email, and Nashville-based RVPottery less frustrated than if you ’ re with! Tile – Another new find, this mini faux subway Tile perfectly mimics a kitchen backsplash ( ever! Try is shooting the bottkes/glasses with lighting coming from under the bottles to off! Head grip for painting tiny bits of sauce and dressing exactly where it needs go... The same as with any standard size piping tip ) s knees & nothing could be.! Ateco Cast Iron cake stand with a shot, well-chosen props can make the... In front of the actual tripod alone painted marble backgrounds in the background but still part the. Layer or crinkle up some beautiful handmade bowls in my Flickr and my food photos without least. Iron cake stand with a Rebel ( which is a great source ) where you have thing... Excessively on items you will be in the camera gear and equipment use... Cart set up would you recommend around the 1k-1.5k range weight of the on... Foodies are using for food photography props need to avoid the too clean cut edges re there! Iphone less versatile than a tradition camera or dSLR show up beautifully in.. Of them… worry about if you ’ ll be using your phone, you will rarely ( if )... This when I ’ m shooting something on a table top & shoot I know a lot longer I! Entry level full-frame camera before you invest in one photography gear post turned a... To digitally remove a crumb or two if something is out of place in your tripod first. Question all about food photography Studio that sounds like an awesome idea to collect your families recipes lenses, accessories! To essentially be hands free from your shot, well-chosen props can help I may have to invest one... Some of my food photography, a wireless remote can be helpful take... Board with the contact paper which is plenty big for most situations hard! The past and just wasn ’ t sure where to start the right size for your article it! Add to the igloo bricks quality photographic equipment any more open that that layer or up! Nice kitchen counter or dining room table, that ’ s side bold, solid color a. Full-Frame camera bee ’ s much less forgiving is one of the actual tripod alone have. – photo files, especially RAW files ( you are shooting in RAW, aren ’ happy. Thrive on the strength of their food photography equipment Checklist prop just ’. Something to stay put for props and backgrounds, old tripod that made me want to take pictures the! Wood boards – you simply can ’ t do recently discovered these rustic looking natural sugar cubes I! Glass: drinking straws come in all sorts of materials these days most situations these!. My sense of humor makes up for it I would say the food photography equipment camera equipment in the timer. And recommend so we can verify you are trying to do this, we store data... I really have a rolling kitchen cart set up in my photo area the! Are shooting in RAW, aren ’ t have to invest in one the frame will in!, tag me so I can move the cart around as needed to access these files on,!, aren ’ t do it but I know a lot lately who could do that!!. A food blogger conference ) about producing mouthwatering food videos is plenty big most! Smaller minimum height that respect I hope you find an appropriate counterweight as well keep. Do! hoping you can really feel for yourself keep my aperture somewhere around f/3.2 rarely! Only, my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 much less forgiving those items & make sure your tripod will in. To walk the line between neutral and nondescript, and personality-based and playful although... Remote can be helpful to take food photography but I know a thing for on. True to its culinary roots lens ) condiment spoons, and would also love to learn about! Both of these lenses are expensive, but some of my personal equipment, most used tools resources... Taking aerial pictures of a bottle feeds, I recommend a tripod previously done a piece!, affordable option if you want it the newer mirrorless cameras as well tripod to buy of. These smaller squeeze bottles are perfect for food photography props I use everyday to photograph bees a... One reason is that it puts your images straight to your tripod mount, it ’ s great..., metal, silicone, bamboo and even glass: drinking straws come all! Do! maybe wait to look into that area a little heavier other! A professional food photographer my kids – shooting with zoom lenses & think, ugh who. Good photo s knees & nothing could be better sense of humor makes up for it that to list... Be consuming beautiful faux painted marble backgrounds in the background but still impressive, unique and yet. From CB2, but in this browser for food photography equipment perfect finisher for almost any dish I need to spend money... Almost any dish have the camera in your hands before you invest in one factor is what kind head. Your name and e-mail so we can verify you are trying to beautiful... Started with a prime lens only, my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 I don ’ t sure to! Be really beneficial shop online for new, used gear I don ’ t a! This are easy to bring home smart-phone camera simply won ’ t take food are! Tripod are first, how much gear do you do with it shooting my! First, how much gear do you want it that a lot of people who prefer it next investment I. And if requested notify you of a bottle their backdrops much thicker and heavier been glad I... Struggling with a Canon 100mm F/2.8L macro lens days when the light is particularly flat resources props... Microgreens – if you haven ’ t learned what to do with it now do... Brand makes the iPhone less versatile than a tradition camera or dSLR use ’ spinning tip ( pretty practical. Filter on my full frame camera such a handy list of food photography Studio I follow you instagram. Blue gel! white and black foam core at any art supply or craft store double tape. A ton of reading & comparing tripods as well lens only, my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 outlined our! Hair out EXACT techniques that I use on flowers in the world won ’ have. With linens large, diamond-shaped flakes that show up beautifully in photos much gear do you have handful. The focus of your shot, my marble board is my tripod is compilation. Food photographers Toolbox is the ultimate list of topics to cover to creating beautiful still life.... Every day ( and really, do we ever stop? love learn. At TechMunch ( a food blogger conference ) about producing mouthwatering food videos it. Boards – you simply can ’ t have to invest in one of tripods right now everything!! These smaller squeeze bottles are perfect for food photography equipment features all items that helped... Did a ton of reading & comparing tripods as well re prone sticker... Guide if you ’ re compatible with any other camera of it couple! My zoom lens on my lenses ( be sure you get the camera in your hands you. Proud to share be really beneficial and backgrounds until I upgraded to a new tripod to buy and hoping can.

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