Lighting Food Photographs At Home

May 18, 2015


IMG_7201IMG_7208Lighting my photographs is such a fun challenge. Here are some really simple methods I use to light my home food photographs. 

First, I love contrast. I often use a simple white background. I use white tabletops, slabs of marble (pastry slabs), or sometimes just white foam board. For a more moody look, use a dark background like my dining table.

In these photos, I brought the plate/items over to my dining table by a window. I am facing the food and the window is at my right. This window side lighting creates a nice, bright, and interesting light on the food. This way you get some shadows. I love to do food photographs in the morning by a bright window. 

I don’t have a very bright home so I need to boost my ISO up to 1250, bump down my shutter speed to 200 and open my aperture to 2.8 sometimes to get the look I want. 

The waffles were shot on a sunny morning and the cookies were shot on a cloudy morning. 

What tips/websites/Instagram accounts help you in food styling and photography? 


  • Jessica

    Your photos are beautiful.

    And wow those waffles look amazing.

  • so pretty! i’m always afraid to put my iso too high but these turned out so great. i need to experiment more with food photography – i’m usually too hungry to take the time ha.

    • Totally, Jackie! High ISO used to freak me out too. Go for it! Some cameras are really great at high ISO. I also use LIGHTROOM to edit so I can boost up the exposure a bit there too. Thank you!!! YES, make one to eat and one to photograph HA!

  • This is actually really helpful!
    I don’t have a lot of white surfaces in our flat except for the girls’ bedrooms, so I think I’ll get that white coffee table from IKEA for my photos.

    The next issue is that my aperture only goes to 3.5 max, more often 4ish, when I have the camera set on A. Gosh darn it, I need to take a photography course specific to Nikon I think. But these are great tips!

    • A white table from IKEA would be awesome, Elisa! You know I just use a ton of those foam boards or a presentation board from Staples. I also use LIGHTROOM to edit so I can boost up the exposure a bit there too. Canon or Nikon, you can learn to shoot manual very quickly. It just takes some practice. Look up “manual mode cheat sheet” on Pinterest. Find one that makes sense to you. Print it out and practice with it. Bruises and Bandaids is a great blog for learning how to shoot manual. She shows TONS of examples with exact settings and lighting/time situations. I am going to check in on your progress! Thank you!