Everyone is a food photographer these days. At least, that’s what it seems like when I look at Instagram. But a professional food photographer does a bit more than just aim their iPhones at their plates at dinner. Food photography is an art that can involve intricate lighting setups and a sometimes temperamental subject.

We discuss the basics of food photography in the macro portion of Photography 101, if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here or sign up for our SLR Premium to get access to the entire SLR Lounge library.


In the following video below, Jay P. Morgan at The Slanted Lens shows you his favorite light setup for food photography as well as a parallax move using a Syrp Genie camera slider for filming food. He begins with setting his light on the top back behind the subject. If you light food straight on, your image will look flat. What makes food photography interesting are the shadows that fall on the delectable delights before you, highlighting certain areas to make them appealing. Jay P. finishes his look by adding some side lights and a reflector to complete his look. In the video, he explains why he sets it up this way. Here is his final light set-up:


Because he is filming the subject for a client, Jay P. uses a slider to create camera movement, so the second half of the 9-minute video shows a few techniques you can use for motion. The first is a standard linear movement from left to right; the second is the parallax move which is Jay P.’s favorite. With the parallax technique, the subject is always in the center of the frame while the camera is moving from right to left and the lens is moving left to right giving you a look that’s almost like a carousel. He demonstrates how to do both of these on a Syrp Genie and Genie Mini and gives you examples of when to use both slider techniques.

It’s a great little video that will probably make you really hungry.