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Dark & Moody Food Photography Tips

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My Overhead Setup for Food Photography

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I’m a food photography guru who turned my weekend hobby into a career-changing business. I’m also a cat lover, a motorcycle rider and don’t think bay leaves serve any purpose whatsoever.

Hey, I'm Regan.

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My Current Gear For Food Photography

I get a lot of questions about my current gear for food photography, so I decided to dedicate a post that shares it all. Enjoy, my friends!

This post contains affiliate links. Read the affiliate disclosure.

Current Photography Gear

My Current Gear For Food Photography

I’ll keep this post updated as I add new favorites to the list. You can also check out my Amazon Store that lists most of my equipment as well.

This post was last updated in March 2021.

Cameras

Nikon D750

I currently own and shoot with the Nikon D750. This camera is a power horse and my current go-to camera that I use for all my shoots. Before I bought it, I was deciding between getting the Nikon D750 or the Nikon D810. I rented both camera bodies and didn’t really see a difference in my images, so budget was the deciding factor for me at the time.

A great tip I have is to always rent before you buy especially since photography equipment can cost a pretty penny. Camera gear isn’t cheap, so it makes sense to test the equipment to be sure it’s exactly what you want. I rent from lensrentals.com, because they have a wide variety of gear and make the whole renting process very easy and affordable.

Nikon D850

The D850 is pretty badass. I rent this camera A LOT for client shoots when large-format printing is requested. The price is what has kept me from buying it, because I typically invest in awesome lenses over camera bodies.

New – Fujifilm XT3

I’ve added a mirrorless camera into my lineup! I bought it for myself at the beginning of 2021 and love the size and functionality of it! I think this camera and I are going to get along really well. I’ll share a post all about it in the near future.

READ MORE ABOUT: The Best Camera For Food Photography

See what gear I use as a professional food photographer ranging from cameras and lenses to lighting equipment and travel bags. Read more.

Lenses

50mm 1.8

This is a solid prime lens for a fraction of the cost of most lenses. It’s incredibly versatile for straight on, angled and overhead/flat lay shots in food photography.

NIKON 35mm 1.4

The 35mm 1.4 is a beautiful prime lens with stunning sharpness and quality.

NIKON 105mm 2.8

This prime macro lens is a MUST-HAVE in my camera bag, because it allows me to capture those gooey, drippy, mouth-watering detail shots that we all know and love in food and drink photography.

NIKON 14-24mm 2.8

This is a zoom lens that I take with me on location to restaurant and hospitality shoots. I don’t really use it to shoot food, but I love to use it when I want to capture stunning interior spaces and landscapes to help tell the food or hospitality story.

NIKON 24-70mm 2.8

The 24-70mm 2.8 is probably the lens I use the most. I call it my convenient lens because the zoom allows me to get up close or pull way back without having to adjust my setup or tripod. And, while prime lenses are all the rave, the sharpness of this zoom lens is gorgeous.

New – ZEISS TOUIT 32mm 1.8

This is the lens I bought to go with my Fujifilm XT3. It’s a great little lens with incredible sharpness.

READ MORE ABOUT: My Favorite Lenses for Food Photography

photography tips

Lighting

Strobes

I have two powerful strobes in my home studio along with different modifiers to help me direct and shape the light.

PAUL C. BUFF STROBES (MODEL x1600)

UMBRELLAS

SOFT BOXES

GRIDS

GELS

SNOOT

Continuous Lights

I use my strobes most often, but I also have continuous lights that work great for video and stills.

GENARAY MONOBRIGHT DAYLIGHT LED

SOFT BOX FOR GENARAY

GODOX SL SERIES SLB60W

DIFFUSOR AND GRIDS FOR GODOX

SOFTBOX WITH GRID

LARGE DIFFUSORS

Speed Lights

My transition from natural light to studio lights started with a speed light and a small soft box. They helped me practice artificial lighting before diving into the bigger, more powerful lights.

NIKON SPEED LIGHT WITH TRIGGER

SPEED LIGHT SOFT BOX KIT

Light Modifiers & Accessories

POCKET WIZARDS PLUS X

Pocket Wizards let my camera and lights talk to each other without a sync cable. You might need these adaptors to connect the pocket wizard cables to your strobes depending on the port of your lights.

Fewer cables are always a good thing on set, but can be difficult to avoid. I also have Gaff Tape to hold wires and cables down securely.

WHITE FOAM BOARD

BLACK FOAM BOARD

DISC REFLECTORS

LARGE DIFFUSORS

Related Post: Artificial Lighting for Food Photography

photography tips

Tripods

MANFROTTO TRIPOD WITH BALL HEAD

I use the Manfrotto with a ball head in my home studio and on location. I have the Photek Tipod Extension Arm that allows my camera to reach further across the table for overhead shots. It’s sturdy, but travels well and works great in smaller spaces.

MANFROTTO PAN-TILT HEAD

I also have the Manfrotto 410 Geared Head which allows for more controlled, smooth, accurate adjustments to the camera’s position on the tripod. It’s another option to replace the ball head and really depends on what and how you’re shooting. It’s a little more pricey, but the precision makes it worth it.

OBEN CT-3561

Along with the Manfrotto, I also have the Oben CT-3561 , which is super lightweight for easy travel. It’s popular, so if it’s not available, this one is similar. It’s a great tripod for a smaller space, but not quite as sturdy as the Manfrotto listed above. A cool feature is that the legs flip upside down and allow you to shoot overhead shots without needing an extension arm.

OVERHEAD SHOTS

Personally, I don’t like dealing with tripod legs or extension arms for overhead shots, so I use this overhead setup in my home studio. It also allows me to use my tripods for angled and straight on shots. I like being ready for both types of shots at the same time on set.

Related Post: My Overhead Setup For Food Photography

Other Studio Accessories

BACKUP BATTERIES

SD CARDS

TETHER CABLES

TETHER BLOCK

REMOTE SHUTTER

SUPER CLAMPS

SMALL CLAMPS

LARGE CLAMPS

COMPUTER CART (with Wheels)

TIP: Check out more equipment in my Amazon Store.

See what gear I use as a professional food photographer ranging from cameras and lenses to lighting equipment and travel bags. Read more.

Travel Camera Bags

VANGUARD CAMERA BACKPACK (55T)

I purchased the Vanguard Camera Backpack to haul my camera and lenses and I absolutely love it. It’s great for local travel and long distance travel.

The ALTA 55T is the largest size you can get that will still fit in the overhead bins on airplanes. I like to keep my camera and lenses with me, if I can. It fits all of my lenses, my camera body, my 13″ laptop along with several other compartments for extra batteries, chargers, cables, etc.

One of my favorite things about this is that it has four wheels to make it super easy to pull along with you. And, the best part… IT SWIVELS! You can also wear the Vanguard as a backpack, if you want, but why bother with that when it has wheels? It’s much easier to just pull it along like a typical carryon.

Camera Backpack Recommendations

ONA CAMPS BAY CAMERA AND LAPTOP BACKPACK

VANGUARD ALTA SKY 45D CAMERA BACKPACK

Travel Bag for Lighting Equipment

NEEWER PROFESSIONAL CAMERA TROLLEY CASE

I use the Neewer Professional Camera Trolley Case for my studio lights. It’s very secure, rolls easily with the wheels and also comes with a lock for the zippers for extra security. I have traveled to both Colorado and Florida for different shoots using this case and it held up really well.

It fits both of my studio lights, light stands and modifiers and still has extra room for additional items.

Travel Case for 27″ Monitor

ARCO LCD TRAVEL CASE

If I need to bring my larger iMac with me on location rather than my laptop, I use this travel case to transport it securely.

Happy shooting!

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click or make a purchase through my site, I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I actually use and support. 

All images ©Regan Baroni 2020.

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Food Photography

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Gear Recos

Dark & Moody Food Photography Tips

03

My Overhead Setup for Food Photography

02

How To Improve Your Photography Website

01

Popular POSTS

I’m a food photography guru who turned my weekend hobby into a career-changing business. I’m also a cat lover, a moto rider and truly don’t think bay leaves serve any purpose whatsoever.

Hey, I'm Regan.

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FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

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Regan Baroni Photography, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regan Baroni Photography, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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