If you are interested in food photography, you might want to see

what equipment I use to take my pictures,

so I've created a list of my gear, just for You.


My students and the members of my Instagram community requested to have access to a collection where I list the gear I use, so as requested, I did the inventory and created this page for everyone who is interested in the equipment that makes the photos in the blog posts, my portfolio and of course, on my social media platforms.

Gear - Photo by © Reka Csulak Three Pod Studio
Guidance

I suggest you to start with

the equipment you already own or spend only on an entry-level camera. Learn photography foundations, master your gear, be confident about the settings, and introduce editing in your workflow. If you are surely stuck with your new passion and you need some reasonable upgrades that you will surely benefit from, trying to provide better services to your clients, then you are probably ready for an upgrade.

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Disclaimer

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because I use them and believe that you would enjoy using them too. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below!


CAMERA & LENS


I guess you would buy your first DSLR camera with a kit lens. But do not forget: there is another option too: <em>buy the camera body and the desired lens individually. This way you invest almost the same amount of money and you don't have to wait for the opportunity to get the lens you desire.


My choice was the small but smart Canon EOS 200D camera body and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. And yes, it's really that small, so easy to deal with when I'm shooting from hand too.


As I needed versatile shots for different jobs, I got myself a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 lens for macro photography, and for wide-angle shots a Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 lens too.


I think it's the best idea to invest in proper batteries for your camera since there is nothing more painful than a few hundred bucks of extra cost in case of cheap battery damages to your beloved camera.


Recently, I got my hands on a full frame camera, the Canon Mark 6D IV and a Canon 35mm f/2 lens.

TETHERING


I use the official Canon EOS Utility 3 software for tethered captures while keeping my camera on the tripod I can modify my scene in real-time which provides repeatability, which is crucial. My camera can connect to my laptop wireless, but I've found it slows down the processing at motion captures when I have to take multiple images in a short period of time, so I've invested in a TetherPro cable. By the time I trusted more in cable solutions for tethering vs. wireless options even though my cameras can connect the computer through WiFi, but the RAW files are transferring slowly, so you will appreciate the speed of cables designed for tethering.


My new favourite tool is a heavy-duty laptop stand, which makes my life much easier by the opportunity to move my laptop around while tethering.


Normally it is me who is pouring, sprinkling, holding, cutting, doing whatever actions on my pictures, so I have a remote switch with a 5m extension cable, I can plug it directly in the camera. You can set a timer as well, but it's very time-consuming in some cases to wait 10 seconds repeatedly between two shoots. After getting the full frame camera, I also got a wireless remote switch alternative.

TRIPOD AND C-STAND


After traded up some old devices, I had to spend a gift card on something practical, so I got a Manfrotto Action Tripod. I love it so much but unfortunately, it's not one with the overhead shot option.


After I clearly understood what functions I need in addition to my tripod above, I selected my new top range Manfrotto 190 XPRO 3D tripod kit, which comes with a 190XPRO 3 section tripod that has a 90-degree column and an XPRO 3D head which makes it possible to adjust the camera's final position and angle along with its 3-way precision system.


I also like to use a heavy-duty c-stand with a sandbag for overhead shots and occasionally to hold diffusers, large backdrops, or lighting equipment in my studio.

ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS


My workflow happens day or night, and by shooting commercial work that requires consistency, I cannot rely on natural light only. I tried a cheap led panel first, but its battery life was ridiculously low. Sometimes I spent hours styling and shooting different projects so I've exchanged for a super cheap continuous light + softbox combo that can be plugged into a socket and won't let you down as easily as the ones with a battery.


Since I'm focusing on actions very often when I'm shooting food, I needed some upgrades. This is how it happened that I've introduced off-camera flash to my workflow. I use this Godox V850II flash with this trigger. The first months as a flash user I pulled my hair out -thanks to following others advice on getting a cheap portable flash-, as it is super difficult to be effective in styling without a trained brain that can predict where the highlights and shadows will fall, so I suggest to consider getting a light source that comes with a modelling light (you can find gear that is on the lower budget level). To end this misery and for advanced scenes with multiple light sources, I got myself a pair of Godox SK400II studio strobe with modelling light function.

DIFFUSER & REFLECTORS


I have a 5-in-1 reflector set that contains a diffuser too. For food photography, I mostly use the diffuser plus the white and black reflectors. Silver is rarely in use, the gold is not too handy when you shoot food since it's negatively affecting the white balance, but it could be great for specific portraits, or a more artistic approach.


If you do not want to buy a set like this, you can reflect the light with some cheap white and black foam boards, or use white EPS, and a simple white fabric sheet could do as a diffuser as well.


When I've upgraded to flash, I've got an octabox with Bowens mount, which came with a double diffuser and a honeycomb grid.

For product photography, I have two, 30 x 140 cm stripboxes that help me create nice highlights on bottles in addition to the original features of a softbox.

I also got myself a large, 80 x 120 cm softbox with double diffuser layers and a honeycomb grid.


Even though I have many modifiers, sometimes I still keep it simple and shoot with a strobe and the diffuser from the reflector set.

BACKDROPS & PROPS


I love to create my own wooden backdrops and some props by up-cycling unwanted items, using the treasures I find at flea markets or simply transforming something unusual into a prop.


I use sawhorses to hold my shooting my base surfaces, a T-stand to hold paper backdrops and smaller boards and I have a wall mount for large portrait backdrops and seamless rolls - if I have to bring this somewhere, I also have a portable studio backdrop system.

PHOTO EDITING


I mostly use Adobe Lightroom Classic CC software for editing my images, combined with additional processing in Adobe Photoshop for commercial work. On mobile, I use the Lightroom CC and the Photoshop app.

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