Artificial Lighting Tips for Food Photography

Food photography isn’t what it used to be and photographers are now using their skills to entice and drive people to restaurants. Although most people consider this field of photography easy to master, it takes skills to be able to capture every detail of what is on the plate.

Artificial lighting is the main secret if you wish to have the best quality photos of your favorite dish. There are various food photo tips you need to master as a photographer but this post will take a specific look at some of the artificial lighting tips you need to consider to bring out the taste and the aroma of the meal in a photo.

Shoot on a white surface

You can easily evaluate and adjust your white balance by shooting your plate on a white surface. This surface is quite effective as it will immediately alert you when there is an unusual color tone in the photograph. So you will be able to makebalance adjustments on your camera which means you wont have to change anything during the editing.


Understand your manual camera settings

This is a tip most people consider annoying as it requires them to work. But it will not only better your lighting but also make you an all-round better


When using artificial lights, it is crucial that you know how to tell your camera what you need it to do. So learn and practice aperture and shutter speed, white balance, auto and manual focus and ISO.

This ensures that you make the most of your lighting set up for food photography.

Switch off the overhead kitchen lights

One mistake most photographers make is using the kitchen lights during the shoot. As bright as those lights may seem, they will only cast an unnatural tone throughout the whole photograph. That’s why most of the photos taken in the kitchen have a yellowish tone.



Kitchen lights are normally anchored on the ceiling. So they will splash light directly onto the object as opposed to highlighting the object from the sides. You can consider some stand-alone lighting units. They will work better than overhead kitchen lights.

Close the curtains and turn off the lights

Working with only one source of light is a sure way to get that picture your viewers will love. Therefore, as you consider shooting with your artificial lights, it is advisable to close all the curtains and only have your lighting unit. The technique allows you to have full control of the color tones, light angles and the overall look of the photo.

Know how to use the light

It is not just about plugging in your lighting unit. The whole process is all about knowing how to use the light. Other things you also need to master include the reflector, background, the diffuser and other relevant tools that help you control and manipulate the light. So you need to considerthese things as a harmonious set up and not just a turn-on-the-light-and-go process.