3 Macro Food Photography Tips for Sharp and Cutting Visuals

Have you ever looked at a photo of food and felt your tastebuds tingle? You can thank the food photographer who took the photo for that! While the subject of the photograph is tempting enough as it is, it takes a significant amount of time and effort to set the scene and get the perfect click.

If you want your food photography to stand out, you need to get the right equipment for it. Here are a few tips on achieving sharp and cutting visuals during macro food photography.

Use Overhead Lighting

Overhead lighting allows you to get high-quality photos of food items and captures the surrounding details beautifully. Whether you want to photograph elaborate food spreads or a single item, you can use overhead lighting kits for stunning visuals.

One way to go about this is by using the PIXAPRO DAYLiTE60D MKII Food Overhead Photography Lighting Kit. This kit is a great tool for beginners who want to try their hand at food photography. It contains continuous lighting equipment that’s easy to operate and light on the pocket.


DAYLiTE60D MKII Food Overhead Photography Lighting Kit and LED100B MKIII Bi-Colour Flat Lay Overhead Food Photography Lighting Kit

The LED COB light has a CRI of 95+, a user-friendly interface, and a built-in cooling fan. It can be attached to the 240 cm air-cushioned stands included in the kit and angled at the right height. The kit also contains a 130cm parabolic umbrella that helps soften and diffuse the light during shoots. Paired with the classic 5-in-1 collapsible reflector, it helps in achieving the desired lighting needed for highlighting a food product or a culinary process.

For flat-lay shots, we also recommend the PIXAPRO Bi-Colour Flat Lay Overhead Food Photography Lighting Kit. It comes with an LED100B MKIII Pro Bi-colour LED light that allows you to adjust the colour temperature for your shots and create a more dramatic effect. If you want to give your food images a warm glow or a cooler tone to emulate a specific time of the day, this lighting is the perfect way to do that.

Also included in the lighting kit is a 90cm softbox that allows you to get even lighting for your shots. It can be paired with the 2in1 boom stand that’s also a part of the lighting kit and be positioned accordingly. This particular lighting kit is especially recommended for photographers who want to recreate natural lighting without actually having to be in natural lighting. 



GLOWPAD Food And Beverage Photography Complete Lighting Kit

Then there’s the GLOWPAD Food and Beverage Photography Complete Lighting Kit by PIXAPRO. This overhead lighting kit is designed to help photographers capture sharp and stunning visuals of food and beverages for social media platforms and websites. For instance, if you’re shooting product images for a brand’s website or taking images of a restaurant’s bestselling dishes for their Instagram page, this kit is the perfect tool for you.

The lighting kit comprises 3 GLOWPAD LED panels, 4 air-cushioned light stands, and a foldable 90x90cm scrim panel. Together, these tools help create diffused lighting and eliminate any ambient lighting. The result is clear and cutting visuals that look gorgeous on the online platforms they’re posted on.

Incorporate Modifiers

Modifiers are popularly used in professional photography for one reason: they help you control the lighting and create the desired effects you need. For something as impactful as food photography that can have viewers salivating within seconds, modifiers are must-have tools for photographers.

Take the Helios 14.5x14.5cm Dual-Colour Special Effects Gel Set, for instance. It comprises 5 gel sheets, each of which is dual coloured and helps produce a radial-gradient effect. They give you the opportunity to get more creative than you would’ve with standard gel sheets and can really make your images stand out.

The Helios Standard Reflector with a built-in gel holder is another impressive option for colour balancing. This modifying equipment includes a hinged gel-holder to make mounting coloured gels easier and more convenient. Instead of having to use tape to attach the gel sheets onto the reflector, you can use the gel holder to get the job done perfectly.


Helios 14.5x14.5cm Dual-Colour Special Effects Gel Set and Helios Standard Reflector With Built-In Magnetic Gel Holder (S-Type)

You can also opt for more traditional modifiers for your food photography sessions, such as the ML-SF3030 30x30cm Godox-Fitting Softbox. It produces even and diffused lighting and maximises lighting efficiency through the silver-coloured lining that acts as a reflective surface. The dual layers of diffusion offered by this softbox allow photographers to reproduce moody lighting for smaller food products and emphasize on their details.

The PIXAPRO Octagonal Easy-open Umbrella Softbox with 4cm Grid is another popular softbox used in food photography. It allows you to emulate natural lighting by creating a round catch light. The softbox also minimises shadows and softens the lighting through its double layers of diffusing materials.     

Take Shots via a Smartphone

Who says you can’t use a smartphone to take stunning and professional shots? With the advanced smartphone technologies currently available, you can definitely use a phone with a high-resolution camera and capture gorgeous photographs.

To make this easier, we suggest you use the GLOWPAD350S Smartphone Overhead Food and Beverage Photography Kit for the job.  This kit has been especially designed for overhead smartphone photography and allows you to conduct food photography seamlessly. The kit comes with a GLOWPAD that has been fitted with LED lights. This allows for colour accuracy.

Moreover, the kit also includes two 240cm light stands, a boom stand for smartphones, and dual-textured boards that can be used for the background. Once you’ve arranged your food items on the surface that you’ll be photographing them from, simply insert your smartphone on the boom stand and get started!

GLOWPAD350S Smartphone Overhead Food And Beverage Photography Kit With Dual Sided Background Board

Make food photography fun by investing in the best lighting and photography equipment available at our store. EssentialPhoto provides a range of lighting tools, props, kits, and other photography gear that can help you take visually stunning food photographs.

Call our team at 0121 552 3113 or reach out via email to get in touch!