I have been getting a lot of emails on how I take photos and where I get my dishes.  Readers are constantly asking what kind of camera I use, what lenses, and how do I get the perfect photos.  Well I must admit not all of the photos are perfect, but there is a method to the madness. I take time setting up the shots, adjusting the lighting and finding the perfect dish for the food.  Below is a little peek inside Savory Reviews.

The Camera

I do not use a crazy expensive camera, but I did splurge for a Digital SLR.  I use a Nikon D60.  It is a great beginner camera with a few extras.  I also use a standard 18-55mm 3.5-5.6f lens and a 35mm 1.8f lens.

The 18-55mm lens works great for work photos.  It has zoom and allows you to get the perfect shot while making the food.  The 35mm is a prime lens with a low aperture for those money shots.  The low aperture allows for you to focus in on food and then blur everything behind it.  It gives you those amazing shots that you have always wanted.

Lighting

Nothing beats natural lighting.  Turn off your flash and use as much natural lighting as possible.  Try to take your photos near a window and during the day.  If you are stuck taking your photos at night, try using natural light lightbulbs.  They are a bit more expensive, but don’t throw off the yellowish hue.  Most Digital SLR’s allow you to adjust for lighting conditions.  If you are in an area with florescent lights, switch to a florescent mode.  This will make up for the yellowish tinge.  This is the biggest step to getting great food pictures.

Natural LightPhoto with Natural Light

For some of the finish photos I utilize a light t.  It is a small 18″ cube that contains back drops and lighting.  I use it to get those perfect photos of the food with nothing around it.  The light box provides the perfect backdrop for the photos.  It has four color backgrounds, includes the lights and a tripod.  Everything that you need to get started.

Light BoxLight Tent Photo

Dishes

Food does a great job on its own, but the perfect dish can make your food shine.  I hate to pay a lot for plates so I do my shopping at Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Homegoods.  They have a fabulous selection of random plates, bowls and trays.  You can purchase a single dish and they are super cheap.  The most I have ever paid for a single dish was $4.  You can build up a nice collection of random dishes.  Nothing says dinner party like a collection or random dishes.

My small collection
my Cupboard is a little messy, but I have a great collection of plates. Different sizes and colors.

As for glasses I pick them up at the dollar store.  Even TJ Maxx usually makes you purchase a whole set of glasses.  I need the perfect photo not the perfect set of glasses for a party.  Dollar stores usually have every type of glass that you need.  The bonus, they are only a dollar.  I have picked up martini glasses, margarita glasses, rocks glasses, collins glasses, everything known to man.  Yes it is only a dollar.

Finally have fun.  The more fun you have the better your food will turn out, and in turn, the better your photos will turn out.

-Rex

As always, if you have any questions drop me a line at rex [at] savoryreviews (dot) com.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

2 Comments

  1. I second your opinion of the D60, it's what I shoot with too. Do you have to manually focus the 35mm? That's the downside of the D40 and D60, you have to pay about 300% more for autofocus AF-S lenses.

    I love your prop plate cabinet. It makes me not feel bad that I have not been able to get mine organized in any reasonable manner. It always looks like the final stages of a Jenga game.

    • Chris, I bought the dx model of the 35mm lens. They have it at Amazon for under $200. Agreed that the d40, d60 and d5000 have the one problem of requiring different lenses than the other Nikon Cameras. However, they take awesome photos.

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