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Lighting for food photography

This has to be the simplest, fastest and cheapest lighting setup I know; yet it works a treat for most editorial food photography assignments , as well as for many commercial location shooting. We did this picture with the students, last saturday, as part of my Sydney Food Photography Workshop for bloggers and beginners; the purpose was to show them what they can easily achieve, at home, with just one speed light – we used a single Nikon SB900 for this setup.

organic produce  ©Dario Milano

organic produce ©Dario Milano

Many people are stuck with the idea that only natural light is suitable for editorial food photography, but good natural light is hard to find and it’s very unpredictable; so, as much as I enjoy working with it, I like the idea that I can rely on my own lighting for work assignments, including some editorial stuff.

What’s important, for a photographer, is understanding light, and knowing how to shape it; it doesn’t matter whether it’s window light or flash or tungsten.

The same principles apply to all light sources.

So if you are just starting out as a food photographer, learn how to light, listen to me; and even if you are on a shoestring budget, all you need is one, maybe two speed lights, and a bunch of reflectors, to pull out beautiful images in basically any environment.

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Dario Milano is a professional food photographer and food stylist, based in Sydney and servicing predominantly advertising and commercial clients, restaurants and the food packaging industry.

He also teaches regular food photography and food styling workshop in Sydney, as well as in Melbourne and Brisbane.

To get in contact, email dario@dariomilanophotography.com

 

 

 

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2 Comments

Kristine Stone

May 28, 2015

Great article! I could not agree more. I’ve moved away and been working on mastering flash photography. I love trying to make my lighting look like window light!

rumela

Dec 12, 2013

Brilliant shot!