Tip No 1: All You Need is Light

Hi, welcome to the very first lesson of this year-long food photography tutorial. These tutorials are aimed at anyone with an interest in the obvious: food and photography so it doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, a foodie Instagrammer, a chef, or a pro photographer.

Before we begin, let me just say that these posts will consist of practical tips and reminders to challenge your practice and creativity more than a step by step/how to guide; there are millions of those in the web so why would I bother creating something that’s already done? Anyway, I hope you find these posts helpful… here we go!

Light is all you need to take pictures, we all know that, right? But in the same way that we have good food and bad food, there is good light and bad light. Not everyone knows that but funny enough those who know good light tend to make pictures of bad food but that’s another subject.

Let’s concentrate in good light for the purpose of this lesson. What is good light you may ask? Well, thinking as a photographer, good light is an overcast day, soft, smooth, diffused, velvety, subtle light that spreads evenly through your window and into the glorious food that you’re about to photograph. That’s half true!

Food Photography Lesson 1 - Natural Light

Diffused light on an overcast day

If you think as a FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER, harsh, sunny, super-contrasted light can be good light too! See, good food photographer make the best shots with whatever light they have. Food photographers don’t get picky… period!

Food photography lesson 1 - Natural light

Harsh light fora dramatic effect

The best light is the one that you encounter then and there on the spot so the best thing you can do is master light and learn to work with it to your advantage. You will only learn this by taking thousands of pictures and by looking at what you’re coming up with.

The worse that can happen is that you get your exposures wrong; Use the DELETE button and try again with different settings. Experiment and play around until you start to get familiar with light.

Food Photography Lesson 1 - natural light

The way you use light will open up a new dimension on your photography. That’s why I only work with natural light and on locations, not in studios. Every time I encounter different light in the same locations so it’s down to me to make the best out of it.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, night time is not good for food photography, if you have to take a shot at night, make sure you have an LED lamp or a flash that you can bounce off the ceiling. I’ll post a tutorial on artificial light sometime soon.

Got any questions or suggestions? or want to find out about my Food Photography Workshops, then drop me a line HERE.

Until next time.


Copyright Notice: All photographs are subject to copyright and protected by UK and international law. Total or partial copy and/or reproduction is strictly forbidden. If you wish to use these photographs for personal, editorial or commercial purposes, please get in touch. ©Xavier D. Buendia / XDBPhotography


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