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How to Capture a ‘Dramatic’ Food Photo Using Cheap Gear


Food photographer Joanie Simon of The Bite Shot has put together a helpful tutorial that shows you how to capture “dramatic food photography” using an extremely cheap DSLR. Specifically, she picked up a used Canon Rebel T2i with a kit lens for just $200.

Simon typically uses full-frame cameras and lots of artificial light to craft each one of her images, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get into food photography using entry-level gear. That’s where this video—which is poised to turn into a series—comes in.

In addition to the $200 camera kit (and a memory card), Simon is using a 5-in-one reflector to diffuse some window light, and some black foam board to flag the light and create that “dramatic” look that she’s after. And … that’s it. In all, even if you need to pick up a 5-in-1 reflector and foam core for yourself, you’re looking at a price tag of less than $300 all in.

Once she’s introduced the gear, the rest of Simon’s video focuses on how she plays with her lighting and the arrangement of her subject to achieve the look and lines she’s looking for. The final image, after some post processing and a crop, came out like this:

SOOC RAW file on the left | Final, edited image on the right.

Admittedly, kale isn’t the most exciting subject and a close-crop like this isn’t the most exciting frame, but this is still a great step-by-step walkthrough of the kind of food photography you can easily get into while you’re stuck at home. And if you’re reading this, changes are you already own all of the gear that you’ll need.

If you’re a beginner to food photography or you’re just looking for a new way to stretch your creative muscles during this time of social distancing and self-isolation, definitely check out the full video up top.

(via DIY Photography)