***This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I’ll make a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Thanks so much for supporting this site!
I’m by no means an expert when it comes to photography or food photography, but these are my recommended beginner food photography must-haves! I’ve been doing it for over a year, and I’ve gone from my plates looking like absolute crap to now having them get thousands of clicks on Pinterest and my blog in just a month, affiliate sales, and many people emailing me asking me how the heck I pulled that off.
Well, I’ll tell you! When I started my blog, I was taking a ton of photos with a point and shoot and my phone. The quality just wasn’t there, and I’m treating my blog like a business, so I decided to invest in myself and my site. The items I’ve outlined below are what I’ve used for (almost) every photo I’ve taken in the past six months. Thus leading me to my five beginner food photography must-haves!
CANON REBEL T7i
The Canon Rebel T7i is my pick.
Since I’m relatively new to photography in general but have more than a passing interest, I opted to get the Canon Rebel T7i (you can find it right here). It’s a kick-ass introductory-midrange DSLR, and I’ve been able to get some excellent shots with it. I highly recommend it; it’s lightweight and extremely user-friendly. Also, I wouldn’t recommend getting this camera with the kit lens. I would buy only the camera body and choose a 50 mm lens. Which brings us to the next investment for beginner food photographers…
“NIFTY FIFTY” LENS
My pick is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens.
Often called the “nifty fifty,” it certainly lives up to the hype, superior to the kit lens. I have a kit lens, and I haven’t touched it once since getting this one! I like that I’m able to use this lens for almost anything. I can achieve a sharp in-focus flat lay, a closeup with bokeh, and I can use it without a tripod by adjusting the aperture. If this terminology isn’t making any sense to you at all, I promise it will once you get this camera, lens and start playing around a bit. You can get this lens right here.
I use these backdrops in almost all of my photos and genuinely love them!
Waterproof flat lay backdrops are a great thing to have for beginner food photographers. I’ve spilled all kinds of things all over these backdrops, and they always wipe clean. They’re also kind of necessary for creating that perfect IG feed that many people want to achieve. You can see how they look here and here.
If there’s one food photography tip that I think we can all agree on–it’s TURN THOSE KITCHEN OVERHEAD LIGHTS OFF! They’ll make your photos look yellow and unappealing. Natural light is the prefered method, for many, but I think incorporating some artificial lighting into your repertoire is important (read: necessary). This is the light that I use pretty consistently and it’s perfect.
WILL WRITE FOR FOOD
This isn’t a book about food photography, per se. It’s a book on the business side of food writing, and I assume that if you want to take food photos, this information will be very valuable to you in the long run. Additionally, the more you learn about the business side of food blogging/writing/pitching, the better your photography will be by default. This book covers in depth, and without a lot of fluff, how to pitch magazines, food blogs, get your recipes and photos out there for people to enjoy, and get paid for the work that you’re doing in various areas of food writing.