Food Photography Setup

Food Photography Set Up

I think food photography can be quite challenging.  A few of my baking buddies have asked me about my food photography setup at my house. Then in my email this morning, I received the latest blog post  from Lilaloa and she is having a photography challenge for the month of March.  What a perfect time to share my photography setup?  My food photography setup has evolved over the past year. Slowly but surely I am starting to have my own style and way that I photograph my food. There are so many fun an innovative ways to arrange your food photography setup.  Let’s get started.

food photography setup

This is my lovely Wal-Mart garment hanging rack, that I picked up for $14.99. Some photography background stands can cost anywhere from $50.00 to $150.00.  I decided to go the cheaper route for now and it totally works for what I am taking photographs of my food.

food photography setup

Lisa, from The Bearfoot Baker brings out my inner McGuyver.  When I read her blog posts she helps me think outside of the box. I am very talented at thinking inside the box.  I will explain what these bungee cords will help with in just a second.

food photography setup

I love Ink and Elm. Their photo backdrops and floor drops make food photography set up really easy.  It helps you change the mood and setting of your pictures.  You can order their vinyls with something called a grommet.  A grommet is a ring inserted into a hole through thin material.  I was feeling very adventurous one day when I decided to order a backdrop with grommets than the normal floordrop.  When I received them I realized I did not have hooks to hang the back drop. I ran off to Wal-Mart and bought some bungee cords. The reason I chose bungee cords was so that I could lower the back drop if needed.

food photography setup

The picture above is my normal food photography setup. I am really fortunate to have floor to ceiling windows in our dinner room.  I simply put the garment rack behind my table, open the windows and choose which vinyl “table” I will be using that day.  One of the benefits of vinyl floor drops for your food photography setup is that they can be cleaned. You can wipe them down after you are finished or before the next time you decide to use them. One time I had posted a new picture and one of my dear friend Nicole asked me, “where did you get your dining room table?” Well, it was actually one of the vinyls. How fun is that?

The picture above shows you another option for a back drop. I love using fabric backdrops. I grab a 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby and then search through their fabrics. For backgrounds I have learned to stay away from busy patterns. You want your food to be the center of attention, not the background.  The great thing about fabric is that you can just lay it over the bar and now you have a beautiful backdrop.

food photography setup

The shot above is the grommeted back drop from Ink and Elm. It makes such a lovely back drop against the dark natural wood of my dining room table. Now that we have talked about my food photography setup, let me share with you a few tips on props. Food blogging or taking pictures of your beautiful creations can become costly, but it does not have to be. Each item above except the flowers came from Goodwill. Those gorgeous antique dessert serving plates I got for $6 for the whole set. I have used them in quite a few shots. The fun lemon plates and vintage ball mason jar as well. It is always worth popping into to your local thrift shop to see what they have in stock.

Things to look for at Goodwill:

  • tablecloths
  • table runners
  • vintage plates
  • silverware
  • old china
  • mason jars

Here are a few of my favorite pictures using my food photography set up.

Custom Cookies

Can you see how the different backdrops change the feel of the pictures? I used the black ruffle fabric from Hobby Lobby and the Old White Wood Planks floordrop from Ink and Elm.

St. Patty's Day Donuts

“Oh Henry” floordrop from Ink and Elm. This transforms the picture from a cooler color look like the Parisian set to warm tones.  Plus, I thought, “Oh Henry and St. Patrick’s Day donuts went together perfectly.  I own 4 different floor drops which allows me to own four different tables! It helps keep my photography fun and fresh by changing the backgrounds.

Custom Cookies

If you would like my resources on food photography, here are just a few links:

Alright, now for my submission to Lilaloa’s March Challenge.  I was so bummed that I was unable to finish my cookies that went with my sketch for last months challenge.  Let me share a secret with  you. I am scared of shooting photos outside. I have become so accustomed to my indoor shooting spot that I don’t like to shoot anywhere else. I know just how to set my white balance and I know just the right aperture setting. Take me outside and I feel a little lost. But I braved the outdoors for this challenge.

food photography setup

One of the nice parts about being outside is all the natural light. Even though I get plenty of light by the dinner room table I have to shoot at a much lower f-stop than if I am outdoors.  Normally, by the window my f-stop is set between 2.8 and 3.2. While I was outside I had taken shots between 5.6 and 7.0.  That is a big difference.  One of the things I noticed about shooting outdoors is that my straight out of camera shot came out sharper. I am going to have to look into why that would happen.  Well I am off to begin investigating. What do you struggle with when shooting food? What are tips or tricks you have learned along the way? I look forward to hearing about your journey.









Gratitude: A 30 Day Photo Challenge

It is an odd afternoon in Phoenix. It’s freezing with some rain and hail mixed in.  Snuggled under a bundle of blankets I was reading through my Facebook page this morning responding to some of the kind posts people have left (grateful for the ecouragement this Monday morning).  A particular post from a blogger I like, The Brown Eyed Baker, caught my eye:  Gratitude: A 30 Day Photo Challenge. Now this sounds fun.  So many things began to run through my mind of what I am thankful for today. But you have to love the snowball effect of the internet. I saw it on The Brown Eyed Baker, but she saw it on Positively Present’s page and now I am joining in. Would you like to join in too? Stop over to Positively Present’s link listed above to print out a PDF of the different days pictures.

Now I know what some of you are already thinking. Oh, it’s already the 7th, it’s too late! It’s not too late! I just started this morning. There are some different ways you can share your pictures as well. I will be uploading my pictures to Flickr under 30 Day Photo Challenge if you would like to follow the posts. If you are on Flickr, just join Positively Present’s group and upload your pictures. I also love The Brown Eyed Baker’s idea of posting to Twitter and adding the hashtag #30daysofgratitude.

So here is Day 1:  Favorite Food. My favorite food is a new one. Brown sugar cookies with royal icing. Many people love sugar cookies. I have never really been a fan. But over the last 6 months I have been tweaking sugar cookie recipes to find one I love. At last, I have found one. Extra brown sugar gives the cookie a light caramel taste and the royal icing when flavored just right make the perfect pair.  The added bonus is that one of my 3″ cookies is just about 80 calories! Yeah! Check out my photo’s for Day 1-6.

Come on, it’s November, join the holiday spirit. What better way to spend the next couple of weeks than hunting for things to take pictures of that you are thankful for? This 30 Day Photo Challenge is for everyone because today most all have cameras, whether you are uploading from a phone, a point and shoot or those who are lucky enough to have a fancy camera.

I can’t wait to see your gratitude displayed in photo’s.