Restaurant and Food Photography

During this photo-shoot for the recently refurbished Oaks hotel in Darwin I used a consistent lighting setup to give the photos a uniform style. Whether photographing the staff, table settings or food I utilized the ambient light and a single Elinchrom flash.

Because the restaurant was open to the street there was a reasonable amount of natural light entering the space, which created an interesting mix of flash, artificial and natural light. In all the shots I set the exposure of my camera to correctly meter the subject. Because of the artificial light (the interior lights) the colours were to warm with little contrast.

To add depth and colour to the images I placed a flash behind the subject with the power turned down to add a highlight, create flares and cast the shadows forward. It pays to photograph with variations to the angle of the light to gain the correct amount of light falling on the subject and lens. Too much and the subject is lost in the glare of the flash, too little and the effect will be lost.

It is a simple and effective trick to add a theatrical element to food and restaurant photographs. The flash will brighten up the colours and add flare and drama to the images.

Food & restaurant photography Darwin tips

  • Put the camera on a tri-pod

  • Set the camera exposure to the ambient light of the room or subject

  • Put a flash behind the subject

  • Turn the flash to its lowest setting

  • Find the right shot looking for the correct amount of backlight