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So it’s Friday- which means it’s time for another Food Photography Friday! So yes a foodless Friday. This post is for all my fellow food bloggers and food photographers out there. So no sugar and sprinkles today.
You’re still with me right?
Um, hello? (where’s a sad face emoji when you need one?)
If you’re not into food photography tips- how about these crazy delicious Salty Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Cookies and Cups cookbook? OH. EM. Gee. Make these. Buy the book. Then make all the recipes!! Shelly over at Cookies and Cups knows what she’s doing as evident by these cookies.
Ok, but like I said we’re talking food photography today. And as you might know I love my Lowel Ego artificial light. I also love my Studio Pro lights as a cheaper alternative that comes in a pack of 2.
And recently I signed up and took a course through Udemy, Artificial Lighting Food Photography Course taught by no other Lindsey Ostrom from Pinch of Yum. Um, love her. I recently shared a review of her food photography book, Tasty Food Photography as well. If you want to learn food photography or maybe even brush up on your skills then definitely get a copy of her Tasty Food Photography book-Click here to view more details . Lots of pictures for us visual learners! So I figured why not learn more from her and take this Artificial Lighting Food Photography Course.
I learned so much in this class (and it was only $40!) Woo hoo! And through this course and my own practice I learned that there were some mistakes I was making. So I figured I’d share with you the mistakes I was making, because I’m guessing I am not the only one!
So if you have tried using an artificial light for your food photography before and have been disappointed with the results or have been wanting to try using one, then make sure to read this so you can avoid the mistakes I’ve made!
Mistake #1: You are Too Close To Your Subject (or too far away)
Artificial Lights are INTENSE. So be aware that your light may be too close to your subject (aka your food) and could be creating a harsh light onto your subject. Or you may be too far away, not shining enough light on your subject. Depending on which artificial light you use, some lights are stronger than others. So experiment with moving the light at different distances and a few practice shots to see which you like best.
Mistake #2: You did not diffuse your artificial light.
Just like natural light, your artificial light can be harsh on its own. The lightbulbs in my Lowel Ego Light are 5500K, which is meant to represent natural sunlight. So just like you wouldn’t want to put your food in direct sunlight, you wouldn’t want to put your food in direct artificial light.
To diffuse my light, I like to use an old white t-shirt that I simply fit over my Lowel Ego light. I also have a great tutorial on how to make your own free standing diffuser that would work with other types of artificial lights- especially if you are using a halogen work lamp (which can be super hot!). You could also use these collapsible diffusers that I also use once in awhile, but be aware you would need to hold it in front of your light.
Mistake #3: You use your overhead lights.
When using your artificial light, be sure to turn off all other lights! You do not want your harsh flourescent lights competing with your artificial light. As I mentioned in mistake #2, your artificial light bulbs is meant to simulate natural light, so just like when shooting in natural light you do not want those ugly orange hues coming from your overhead kitchen lights.
I like to take my photos at night so I know that I have absolutely no other light coming in. If this isn’t an option and you want more flexibility, then I recommend investing in some darkening blackout curtains that should block out pretty much all of your light.
Mistake #4: You set up your artificial light incorrectly.
It takes practice using an artificial light. Figuring out what distance to set it at, where to place the food, and where you should stand, and where your light should go. It can be quite tricky! So I created for you an artificial light set up guide that should give you a few options on how to set up your light for your food photography.
My big no no is using two lights facing each other. I find using two lights can completely cancel out all the shadows on your food. And for us to get that natural light look in our food, we want some shadows! So however you decide to set it up (with either backlight or sidelight), be sure to either use one light or two lights coming in generally the same direction. But do not have them competing for each other and cancel out the shadows!
Download my free artificial lighting set up guide here! It will give you four different set ups that will get you on your way to rocking your food photos with an artificial light!
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