How to Use Artificial Light in Food Photography

How to Photograph Food with Artificial Light! Over the past few years, food photography has become a more and more famous art genre. Many people desire to learn how to shoot appealing food photographs but are unsure where to begin. The fundamentals of using artificial light in food photography will be covered in this essay. We’ll discuss things like picking the proper light, setting it up, and regulating its intensity. We’ll also give you some pointers on how to stage a picture shoot that looks polished.

In food photography, artificial light is a typical instrument. It can supplement natural light or completely replace it to create the desired effect or look. The best artificial light for the task must be chosen because of its numerous varieties.

How to Use Artificial Light in Food Photography

Your food photos will seem stunning and professional with artificial light. Here are some pointers for enhancing your photographs using artificial light:

1. Positioning the Light

Positioning the Light

You must consider the light’s direction concerning the food while arranging the light for food photography. The light source can be positioned above or to the side of the meal but not immediately in front of or behind it. The food will have an odd shadow on one side whether the light is coming from in front of or behind it. The light source should be positioned above or to one side of the food to create the most realistic-looking shot possible.

2. Adjusting the Brightness

Adjusting the Brightness

You may change the brightness of your food photographs in a few different ways. Utilizing your camera’s exposure correction is one option. Thanks to this, you can change the steps of 1/3 or 1/2 stops. Utilizing filters is another method of adjusting brightness. A solid or graduated neutral-density filter is an option. You can use a graduated ND filter to balance out the brightness in your image because it has a dark band that extends from top to bottom. Your lens will get less light if you use a solid ND filter, which is fully dark.

3. Using a Reflector

Artificial light is required to achieve the desired image when photographing food inside. There are several ways to accomplish this, and one of the most well-liked ways is employing a reflector. Simply put, a reflector is a piece of plastic or metal that shines light onto the food. It can be put on top of or behind the dish to reflect light onto the food from different angles. In addition to giving the image greater depth and perspective, this can make the food appear more vibrant and appealing.

4. Taking Advantage of Shadows

Utilizing shadows is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to give your food photography depth and substance. Shadows help an otherwise flat image appear to have texture and provide interest. They can also draw attention to or away from the picture’s main subject.

You may do a few things to add shadows to your food photography. The use of artificial lighting is one. Your light source should be positioned to cast a shadow on the food. To produce shadows, you can also utilize accessories like a cardboard box or a piece of fabric. Place the object close to the light source, then move it about until the desired effect is obtained.

5. Choosing the Right Color Temperature

It’s crucial to consider what you will photograph when deciding on the color temperature for your food photography. You should utilize a warmer light to bring out the colors of a dessert you photograph. When shooting, you should utilize a more relaxed light to highlight the salad’s greens. It’s also crucial to think about the background of your picture. You should utilize a warmer light to make the food stand out against a dark background. Use a more excellent light if the background of the food is light to prevent the food from seeming overly bright.


In conclusion, employing artificial light when photographing food is a terrific approach to get the desired effect. It is a fantastic technique to make your food look its best and can be used to produce a range of various effects. So, the next time you photograph your food, experiment with artificial light to see what you can develop.

Note: Interested to know How to Make a Light Box for Food Photography?