SETTING UP YOUR FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY OR PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY SCENE
Author: Ferenc Beleznay
Welcome to the land of food photography! In this guide we will be going over where to set up, what tools will you be needing and how to work your way through a photoshoot to get started photographing your beautiful subjects in natural light!
2. It’s time to choose our backdrops! For the hard Drop A Wall 23x23 base we can just lay them flat or use Drop A Wall L- brackets to make a set from two surfaces. Place your setup towards the front of the board so you can leave room for your depth of field from the camera's viewpoint.
Optional step: use a gray card. You can find these at most photography stores and web shops, and they should be a specific 18% gray. This specific tone of gray in the photography world is a standard across all boards, and is used in post production softwares such as Lightroom or Photoshop to make sure your image has true colors.
3. Pick your angle! If you’re doing flat lays, shoot right from the top. If you have backgrounds attached together, you can explore your scenery more by choosing a 45 degree or straight on angle. A tripod helps for photos, but if you are trying to do video or stop motion it’s a must.
4. Fine tune your lighting! You can do a couple of things to control your lighting. First let’s start with the windows. Depending on the day you can have direct sunlight, overcast light or even light bouncing in from other buildings. You can take advantage of this and feel inspired by these lighting scenarios and create some beautiful images. But if you’re looking for consistency you can diffuse the light to be able to get a similar result over and over again. You can do this with white sheer curtains that let a good amount of light through, or a diffuser from a photography store. In the example below I’ve used a C-stand and pop up diffuser.
5. Fill in the light! Now we are working with some nice directional light coming in from the left, and we can leave it here if this is the aesthetic we are going for! But if you would like to achieve a brighter, airy look you can do this by adding this optional step. On the opposite side of the light source, we can place a white card or reflector to fill in more light. The white card will just fill in the shadows while the reflector will give it more of a brighter shine.
Now you are ready to create some magic, have fun!