With lockdown in place and most restaurants closed, sending a photographer to shoot new menu ideas is not so much of a thing right now. If you’re an operator and want to capture your experiments, a blogger who’s turned to reviewing deliveries and relishes the chance to spend more time on a shoot or just fancy upping your food photography game, our head of photography Joe Howard has a few pro tips on what can make a difference in terms of gear:


“As a food photographer, there are a few pieces of equipment that I would say are essential when creating content for restaurant social media. With every client comes a different set of challenges and environments. One day you will be shooting outside with suppliers and the next you are shooting cocktails in a basement bar. I wanted to make a list of equipment that I couldn’t live without and what situations you may need them for.

Flash / Speedlight

Having a flash in your arsenal is a must, perfect and essential when you want to freeze movement. Perhaps garnishing a steak with salt or even a splash when shooting cocktails. For a lot of photographers using a flash is quite intimidating but once you get the hang of it and understand how to control the light, it is incredibly valuable. An important thing to consider is where you want the light to be, it’s rare that you will use your flash directly as it will likely blow everything out. You want to use other surfaces to bounce the light, this spreads the light whilst also softening it.

100mm Macro Lens   

I’ve only just purchased a 100mm Macro lens and it has completely changed my work, for the better. A macro is great for more than super detailed close-up images, the 100mm focal length also gives incredible compression and creamy bokeh. I often use this for portraits or cocktail shots as the depth of field even at f.4 is immense.

Shutter release remote and a tripod

As I mentioned before, making content for a restaurant social media agency you are always working in different environments. Quite often you will be shooting interiors for a new restaurant and having a shutter release cable combined with a tripod makes your life a lot easier. The basic idea behind this is to fire the shutter without touching the camera. The reason you want to avoid touching the camera is so you can shoot at a much slower shutter speed. Having a remote means you will avoid a blurry image. Obviously, this needs to be combined with a tripod. For interiors, you usually need to take up to three photos, one exposing for the highlights, one for the midtones and then the shadows. You then merge all three photos into an HDR image, to give you an even exposure overall. If you didn’t do this on a tripod, the camera will have moved, meaning the photos won’t match up.”


So there you have it – tactical ways to splash some cash and get your food shooting game on point. For more inspiration, follow Joe’s Instagram here


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