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A Quick Lesson in Food Photography: Lighting

Pears, 3 Different Ways
It’s amazing what lighting can do for the feel of your food photography.
One way you can easily manipulate the mood of your subject is to change the source of your light. Let me show you some examples!

Side Lighting

In the first photo above, the light is coming from a window to right of these delicious pears. The lighting is fairly soft and even but there’s still some darker shadows to give depth.

 Front Lighting

In the second photo, the light is coming from a window in front of the pears. The pears are very soft and evenly lit and the background is quite dark.

 Back Lighting

In the last photo the light is coming from a window at the back of the pears. Everything is quite contrasty and the background is very light.
See how easy it is to change the look of your photos simply by switching up the source of the light? My current favorite is placing the light at the back of the subject – I love the contrast! Make sure to experiment and find the mood you like the best.
What do you think? Which mood from the photos above is YOUR favorite?
If you’re still very much a beginner at food photography, make sure to check out my post about How to Take Better Photos With Any Camera!
Let me know if you guys enjoy these mini photography lessons!

Tim Cray

Thursday 30th of January 2014

Fantastic foodie photographs and what a great idea it would be to make a book of favorite recipes...

Stock Photo


Monday 21st of October 2013

Great post! It is a reminder that I'm quite a lazy food photographer and need to experiment much, more more.

I'd love to see more photo tips like this.


Sunday 20th of October 2013

This is helpful (and pretty!). I have recently started to pay more attention to the direction of the light and find myself almost always going with side-lit. But I like you explained each one.


Friday 18th of October 2013

Always looking for tips, Thanks, your photos are great


Wednesday 16th of October 2013

I'm no photographer, but these are all beautiful. The last one is especially gorgeous to me. Keep them coming! Maybe one day I'll even get to apply these;)