Lighting is one of the most important skills in professional food photography.
Here you can find some tips on how to create certain lighting styles and also see the difference
between flash lighting and the modern daylight trend.

On location, you also have to deal with a mix of different colour temperatures: Tungsten, daylight, and flash.
Flash lighting is used most of the time to catch moving food within a millisecond and to control the lighting direction,
which is important to bring out the textures of the food and to control the contrast within the food. The current trend of the use of
daylight evolved mainly to show a natural feel, but is not as controllable as flash lighting. Depending on the project,
I use either natural light or various different types of professional flash equipment to create particular lighting styles.

This light shows your product in a very natural way, the current trend.


To get the best daylight light conditions for food photography, I recommend using a professional photographic studio
optimized for daylight work. This will give you more stable lighting conditions throughout the day
(less lighting changes caused by sun and clouds outdoors).


Taking images outdoors is affected by the sun, sky and the clouds, causing different colour temperatures,
brightness and contrast. Direct sunlight is much harder/contrasty than the soft light from a cloudy sky, which acts like a diffuser.
On some days, eg if it's windy with some clouds and sun, the lighting will keep changing throught the day.
This might require each image to be adjusted in the digital postproduction, if you need consistancy for all pictures
throughout your feature. Also the amount of daylight hours during the winter period is smaller than in the summer,
which might force you to change from daylight to other artificial lighting.

I have done many outdoor shoots, and the best places to use for photography are shady areas,
which have less contrast than a direct sunlight area.
If you want to give your photo a really sunny feel, eg a BBQ, a dappled/shady situation is a good choice.

All these images have been shot in the studio with artificial flash Llight, giving you full control over the light. This
dappled effect, blue shadows and warm sunlight makes it like the real outdoor lighting and you never have to
worry about changing light situations. It is perfect for shooting your Easter or Summer features early in the spring.

I have used this lighting style for many years for various clients in the magazine and book publishing market:
Woman's Weekly, Bella, TakeABreak, ASDA, Tesco and more.

This is my favorite lighting style. It looks 99% like real daylight, containing blue shadows and soft light.
It is very controllable and also constant, so you do not have to rely on changing daylight or daylight hours.
Perfect for packaging !