Direction of Light for Food Photography

Photofocus (old site)

When photographing food, the direction of your light is very important. Certain angles of light will help shape the scene and can also be the difference between a successful image, and one that is just “meh”. In this article I will be sharing examples of three different types of light: back light, front light, and side light.

Back Light

Placing the light behind your subject is a common setup, and one I have used quite a bit. It is good to highlight and rim the food, and works well for images with leafy herb garnishes (such as mint or basil) as the light can shine through and light up through the leaf. Plus, it allows you to really flood the background with a lot of light, brightening up your photograph.

Side Light

Just like with back light, side light is another great choice, and is one of my favorite setups. It is especially…

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