DIY Food Photography Setup

Lighting Before and After

I stumbled upon the blog Taylor Takes a Taste on Pinterest the other day while looking for food photography tips. This guy has some seriously good info on the topic (if you're interested). Being poor myself, I particularly appreciated the $15 Food Photography Lighting Setup. Enough so that I tried it myself. Here's a quick look:

So for a little background info, I shoot with a Canon Rebel XS. While this is a nice camera and takes great photos, poor lighting is not fixable.

When I take photos of food in my apartment, the lighting is terrible. Our dining area has these what seems like fluorescent spotlights that are almost so bright that I want to wear sunglasses (and 1/3 of them is burned out). It creates a similar (but surprisingly worse) lighting effect to what you would see if you tried to take portraits outside at noon: overhead, lots of shadows, too hot, etc., etc.. Take a look.

Side note: I built this setup after I finished eating dinner, so I had to do a demo with our little dining area centerpiece instead of a plate of food. You get the idea.

Knowing that I can't afford a professional lighting setup right now, I thought this was as good as it was going to get. Thank you thank you, Taylor Takes a Taste, for helping me out! His photo lighting setup is seriously so cheap and ridiculously easy to create. It's basically a work lamp (from Home Depot), a pvc pipe frame covered with parchment baking paper, and a foam board. Easy.

The photographed object goes in between the foam board and the parchment filter, with the lamp set up behind the parchment. It creates a soft, warm, natural light. Beautiful.

I turned off all the lights except for the lamp and took a test shot. My camera automatically decided to flash, but that doesn't go along with the natural lighting idea.

So I turned the flash off and look at this beautiful photo-- this is without any editing!

It's amazing how much of a difference investing $15 and a little extra time and effort can make on a photo.

What do you guys think of my new setup?? I'm so excited to provide y'all with more appetizing food photos in the future :)