(1 to 100 of 105 replies)

Show Your Setup

JToddM PRO 2:39pm, 23 June 2008
I've always been fascinated with how people get the shots that they do and am always grateful when I see a shot of the setup. I thought I'd see if others would be interested in showing what they go through for a shot.

Here's one that I did recently. There are details about what I used on the photo page.

The Shot and the Setup
(1 to 100 of 105 replies)
Rodeographer PRO 9 years ago
Thank you for sharing.
Tom Robbrecht [deleted] 9 years ago
Ok, I'll play along.
Here's some bread pudding.
Recipe on the photo page.

Setup :

JToddM PRO 9 years ago
Thanks, Tom. That's a great looking shot!
It´s a great topic but only wo photographers have the gut to show ther "secrets". This weekend i will try to do some photo and post my setup here for avaliation.

JToddM PRO 9 years ago
Looking forward to your shot, Carlos.
Joeri van Veen PRO 9 years ago
Home made macaron:

20080727_IMG_8017 Setup
JToddM PRO 9 years ago
Cool! Great to see a setup with the big strobe.
Joeri van Veen PRO 9 years ago
Thanks JToddM, I try to use it as "sun" or as "a window". I'm learning at the moment :-) I love the fact that the light is soo soft compared to the old SB26's I used. Though they certainly work well when you know what you're doing, of course; I find this big strobe is more "natural" and gives more "freedom".
AlexCampagna 9 years ago
My first try at food photography:

Setup shot:
Setup shot for "Yummy!"
MatthewA [deleted] 9 years ago
I've got tons of stuff showing my set ups, let me dig it up and I'll post here! Cool thread!
CY Phang PRO 9 years ago
Yeah Matt, we want to see the guru's!
bobby__emm PRO 9 years ago
paty was doing some practicing for an eastern european mcdonalds commercial here (she sometimes works as a food stylist).
i'm not a pro but i do have a few cool toys. she's doing some recipie testing for an upcoming cookbook in the next few weeks and i'll try and pop off a few pix.
*estudia.14* 9 years ago
it's really nice to see other's studio setting with cool stuff that i don't think i'll ever have them.
JToddM PRO 9 years ago
I'm excited to see some more postings to this thread. Thanks everyone!
JRSlaterPhoto [deleted] 9 years ago
I have to admit I don't have any food shots but these set up shots have helped and encouraged me to give this a try.
Simone's Kitchen PRO 9 years ago
This is a great thread! I just hardly ever take photos of my setup but will do so from now on! This is a great learning tool!
~Danish 9 years ago
Pancake with Strawberryjam

Pancake Setup


carrot cupcakes

Swet! 9 years ago
I've only attempted shooting food a couple of times, but I'll play the game...

Milk & Cookies
Cookies Set Up
JToddM PRO 9 years ago
Great shots, everyone! Keep 'em coming.
the camera is a toy. Posted 9 years ago. Edited by the camera is a toy. (member) 9 years ago
I recently took pictures of some delicious fruit as well! Results, and then setup below. I used my Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 USM at 250mm (give or take) for most of the shots. I've got lots of space, and I like this lens far better than my nifty fifty. :)

Shots: (more in my set)


Setup: (click for details. more details on my DIY "home studio" in this set)
fruity setup

fruity setup
*estudia.14* Posted 9 years ago. Edited by *estudia.14* (member) 9 years ago
Here is my setup to photograph the products at work. I am lucky to sit in the corner with big windows, plenty of sunlight.

Studio Setting

and this is one of the photos:

Cookie Dip in Choc
Steve Buchanan 9 years ago
My setup at a client's restaurant

the resulting photo
MatthewA [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by MatthewA (member) 9 years ago
Sorry this took me so long!

Here's my set up:
Sharing The Squash Set Up

And here's the final image:

Roasted Acorn Squash

Notes about the photo: Because I had enough light coming through the garage door and wanted a very high contrast image I didn't fill or reflect a thing. Just arranged and shot!
SezzySue 9 years ago
omg guys this is awesome, exactly what I needed to see. I just started a food class and my first assignment is this weekend.
Tom Robbrecht [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Tom Robbrecht (member) 9 years ago
My wife made apple cake this morning. Yummy !
Apple Cake
Recipe and setup info on the photo page.

Setup :
Apple Cake setup
Notes on settings on the photo page.
Nirdesha Munasinghe 9 years ago
My setup

My Cheap setup :)

A - Cardboard folder with white paper pasted on one wide to work as a reflector
B - Tripod
C - White curtain on window to defuse light
D - Desk lamp covered with a piece of clothe to defuse light

Doc-G PRO 9 years ago
My setup for this pic:

Lamb Kofta by Doc-G

is here:

Kofta Setup pic by Doc-G
Arun_Manohar [deleted] 9 years ago
can we more of these please. ;-)
JToddM PRO 9 years ago
Thanks everyone for all of the great contributions to this topic. I hadn't been by in a couple of weeks and was excited to seem some more images!
Tafari 9 years ago
Wow, what great set-ups. Now I do not feel alone.
Flugga 9 years ago
This have been a great thread. I love to see other people's set-ups, I don't feel so pathetic working out of my basement.
MatthewA [deleted] 9 years ago
Hey, never feel bad about where you shoot. I shot a great deal of my stuff in my messy garage!
JToddM PRO 9 years ago
I agree with Matt. I think that a lot of people would be shocked if they saw where a lot of pictures are shot. I recently watched a video showing a number of portrait artists studios. I was really surprised at how messy thing were in a lot of them just out of the frame.
Mark Verner PRO 9 years ago
Great set-ups! These all give me great ideas on how to set-up my shots. Thanks!
J o y s h a 9 years ago
This might be OT from this thread but... For those who use light coming from the window and strobes, how do you set your white balance? Will the gray card do alone?
Mac V. 9 years ago
I have no garage as i live in a shoebox on the 24th floor in Hong Kong so i need to remodel the living room when i shoot:

Raspberry Martini
Raspberry Martini (2)
CY Phang PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by CY Phang (member) 9 years ago
Here's mine:

Cherries and nuts_IMG_9724-tungsten copy

and the setup:

Cherries and nuts_IMG_9731-setup_tungsten copy

For other photos in the same series, visit my photostream
Arun_Manohar [deleted] 9 years ago
I really appreciate the big guys coming forward and showing the setups. :) It really helps.- thanks guys.
JToddM PRO 9 years ago
Great stuff, everyone. Thanks for keeping this thread going!
danilew 9 years ago
this is a great thread - excellent work! I'm glad I found this group so that I learn and grow.
Queen Kaughan 8 years ago
All of these images are amazing. Clearly I am no pro, but your group has inspired me to start playing with my food. So here is my first real attempt at food photography, and my set up. (Next time I will be sure to cut the brownie in a square!

Cake for Breakfast HNFF2
Future Food Stylist

My daughter the future food stylist, was very patient with my bathtub set up, and was more than happy to help with "clean up".
Natural light from window above tub, and just out of frame is the back of my bathroom door being used as a reflector.
Paul Esposito PRO 8 years ago
This is my favorite set-up, only because it was so quick and easy using only one speedlight and a closed widow blind.


I shot it on Christmas and had to crop out half the cake because it had already been eaten. A later version of the image had to be Photoshoped to clean up some of the frosting.

albertlo325 8 years ago
nice work !!
deia_bersot 8 years ago
I´m new in the group and I just love it! Very nice works here, and that´s so cool to see the setup of others potographers.
Thanks and Congrats!!
I'm still working on mastering lighting for food and I have to say, this thread is AWESOME. One of the best I've ever come across on Flickr in almost 4 years!
Jorge Takeshita PRO 8 years ago
My setup (click to see equipment detail)
Paella Strobist Info

Making it
Making Paella

Paella Detail

Ready to be served
Daniel Cormier Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Daniel Cormier (member) 8 years ago

ッ Andrei 8 years ago
Hi this is my first post in this group. I just joined today and thought I'd share this with you guys. I tried to light up the laptop's screen. The lamp I added for the original shot.
Laptop Computer Cake by ッ Andrei

laptop cake set up by ッ Andrei
salfrico [deleted] 8 years ago
An SB-800 reflected in a 36" umbrella at 1/4 power and a standing 6' reflector to the on the other side to provide fill light, with a small white card to highlight the cake. Shot with a Nikon D300 using the CLS to control the SB-800

annems1 PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by annems1 (member) 8 years ago
I am sooo impressed by the willingness to show how to!!
I shoot using available light and perhaps off camera hand held flash, sometimes a basic halogen lamp, and kitchen tungsten style down lighting. Nothing fancy - but I am loving the effects of the white/black backgrounds people are using and am encouraged to try something different!
Thank you all. . . .
Jorge Takeshita PRO 8 years ago
Today's Dinner

Gyoza Setup
Jorge Takeshita PRO 8 years ago
Today's Dinner

Risoto Setup
johnche PRO 8 years ago
love this thread!
Nirdesha Munasinghe 8 years ago
@J o y s h a:

That's a good question how to set the white balance while using both strobes and natural light.

I don't think a gray card alone will do if the color temperature of the sun's light is different to the color temperature of the strobe. Simply, if you have two light sources with two different color temperatures in your setup, you will not be able to set an appropriate white blanace at all.

What I do is, depending on the time of the day, I select the CFL light source with a color temperature to match the color temperature of the sun's light at the time. True, it's hard to guess it but with a little know how of the sun's kelvin values at different times of the day and your light source's kelvin value, you can get it a 99% acurate WB most of the time. Since I shoot RAW I can adjust the rest later.
Nirdesha Munasinghe Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Nirdesha Munasinghe (member) 8 years ago
Here's something I did recently at home with natural light from the window of my room, a single CFL bulb and lots of reflectors:

My mini studio setup

The Photo:
Eggy Weekend
Nirdesha Munasinghe 8 years ago
Another one of the series:

All Smily
coog31 8 years ago
what an absolutely incredible thread/topic!!! thank you EVERYONE for posting!! Im so glad Im a member of the group and I believe this is truly what flickr is all about!! Now its time to set-up my own studio, just like you guys!!! ;-)
cherriza 8 years ago
this is great! I love seeing what everyone does. I'm overthinking mine.
JToddM PRO 8 years ago
Would love to see some more shots added to this thread!
д§mд 8 years ago
absolutely loving the ideas :)
Courtney Lynn Robertson PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Courtney Lynn Robertson (member) 8 years ago
To the person who says that only "brave" photographers will shows their "secrets".....the one thing I learned at photography school was that there are no secrets. lol
uh oh... i just realized I might never get the photos I really want for my food blog! I started a cooking blog not too long ago (www.thelittlekitchenthatcould.blogspot.com ) and thought I would just start with the little canon I have and hopefully upgrade the pictures later... however, I don't think I will ever have all this wonderful equipment... does anyone have any tips on getting decent shots without all of the extra lights and boards??
Altaf KW 8 years ago
Jose Cruz photography 8 years ago
here's mine
Paella Mixta ( valenciana ) by Jose Cruz photography

The set up by Jose Cruz photography
sunshinemomsblog 8 years ago
Thank you so much! I was looking for exactly this kind of tutorial!
al_alex 8 years ago
Really cool... now i see how it's done, i thougt that profesionally looking photos could be made just with a camera and no other facilities.
I definetely need to move to a spacious apartment :)
The photo:

and the set-up:
Lighting set-up
Vicco Gallo PRO 8 years ago
Hi everyone,
now I can also make a contribution. I tried to shoot a plate with nachos, some with guacamole, some with chili.

This is the result:
Nachos by Vicco Gallo

This the setup:
Nachos - Setup shot by Vicco Gallo

Canon 500D with two speedlights and reflector (cmp. setup shot).
Lens: 18-56 zoom, aperture open, maximum tele. One speedlight is directed towards a golden reflector, the other (lowest setting) towards the background. The two speedlights are connected to the camera via cheap radio transmitters.

If you are interested: On my flickr website there are some other attempts, together with the setups I have tried.

All the best,
Vicco Gallo PRO 8 years ago
Creme brulee a Lou Manna

Ok, the creme and the shot is from me, but the idea and the arrangement is stolen from the book : Digital Food Photography from Lou Manna (p. 185)! For details regarding the setup: cmp. the setup shot.

Creme brulee a Lou Manna by Vicco Gallo

Two speedlights, one going through umbrella, the second illuminating the background, DIY reflector made from tinfoil. Camera: Canon 500D, 28-56 zoom.

Creme brulee a Lou Manna - Setup shot by Vicco Gallo

On my flickr website, I have some other setups documented - if you are interested ... Comments and suggestions for improvements are very welcome!


Blue skies,
Zakiya's Creations 8 years ago
L. Sanders PRO 8 years ago
Thanks to all who contributed. These shots are really helpful for the technically challenged. Hmmmm.... suddenly, Im very hungry!!
Not sure if it counts, but I created a behind-the-scenes video of one of our food shoots for a client. Our setups are always pretty simple - almost always back-light natural light, some scrims, some white foamcore, almost NEVER strobes. You'd be amazed with what you can do with natural light alone. But that's my style.

Here a link to my blog with the video. Enjoy!
JToddM PRO 8 years ago
Great video Derek. Thanks!
Joel Finnigen 8 years ago
I just joined this group and i mean just... like a few minutes ago. This topic has proven to be enlightening and very informative for me as I have only been taking photos of food with only my on-camera flash in restaurants (can you imagine my date's embarrassment? lol my girlfriend is very tolerant!) and at home. Thanks for sharing your setups.
pichado photography 8 years ago
I just joined this group as well, literally only a few minutes ago.

As a full-time photographer, I am always looking for different gigs to cover, be it fashion, weddings, events, musicians, etc... but I have yet to try food photography.

I know I have almost all the gear that 'could' be used (but is not necessary) in order to obtain a great image, but I do not have the portfolio. As I don't know how to cook either, I've been thinking about trying to cater to some local, family-owned restaurants, and doing a pro bono gig or two for them. This is to help them with visuals for their website, menus, etc., and to gain some experience dealing with an entirely different clientele demographic.

I know, I know, you're probably sneering at my avatar wondering 'Who is this punk, willing to go out and work for FREE!?'

I know, because that's a very typical (and quite understandable) response from pro's to 'amateurs' when working for free with potentially paying customers - I've been there, done that.

I have a favorite Italian restaurant - I would love to work with them (or in this case, 'for them') for a shoot or two, to get both my feet wet, and to help a struggling company in any way I can (aside from eating all their food). They've given me many a free meal from time to time, and it's utterly delicious.

Just thinking it'd be a nice way to 'give back' in this trying economy, when sometimes it feels like everyone else is trying to take what they can from it...

Anyway - long comment short - I just wanted to say that the shots in the group, and especially this discussion, have inspired me to go out and approach the restaurant with my proposal today.

~Danish 8 years ago
Redcurrant - JohannisbeerenSetup:Setup Redcurrant - Johannisbeeren
fraserkwakfotografie [deleted] 8 years ago
Hi, I'm brandnew in this group.
I love the pics and I'm learning by wathing them!

HarisAwang 8 years ago
The setup:
Hot September Setup by HarisAwang

The result:
Hot September by HarisAwang

Thanks for viewing and I appreciate a few comments and critiques.

kiwinky 8 years ago
I use:
1) The nearest window / sun / clouds
2) A fast lens.
3) A healthy appetite.

GDJ.Photography 7 years ago
Thanks for sharing your setups.

Inspired by this I have recently got 3 foam boards / foam core. Will be placing them on a table next to a window.

The only problem is I do not have a table that has a equivalent height of the table, it will be low, is it fine.

3 boards - background, right and base. Left would be lit from the window light.

All help welcome.
foodiesathome.com 7 years ago
Here's mine

Kitchen Setup by foodiesathome.com

Scallops Plated by foodiesathome.com
Here is a naturally lit studio shot. The natural light gives a great fresh tone to the photo. Here the Canon 5DmkII is tethered to the macbook for instant results. - The finished photo is posted in this group.

Studio Setup
broadcastmarc Posted 7 years ago. Edited by broadcastmarc (member) 7 years ago
Here is my setup....i use only natural daylight and sometimes a reflector.My camera is an pocketcamera Nikon coolpix P5000.

How it's made...

Ready for the oven
kitchenbeard PRO 7 years ago
I took this a few months ago setting up a shot.

FotoosVanRobin PRO 7 years ago
I don't want to spend more than a few minutes on making a photograph, so I have these two simple set-ups.

One for when there's still enough daylight:

My Window Sill Photo Studio

One for when there's no daylight, so that's used most during wintertime:

My Closet Photo Studio

Both more or less permanent as I make photographs of what we eat almost daily and I hate cold food. They're still beta-versions that could be improved, but I'm lazy and they work good enough for me.

I've seen some nice tips in this topic for reflector boards though. Thanks!

(for more info, go to my blog Kok Robin or click on the photos)
Will Hayles 7 years ago
Bakewell Tart by Will Hayles

My DIY Softbox rig by Will Hayles

I made this box in a couple of hours, the paper cost more than the wood, and I like having the lights on so I can compose without having to take loads of pictures. I do have a speedlight at the back for an extra brilliant background if I need it. Seems to be working really well so far, next step is to try it with a black cove and do low-key!
Sandy Phimester 7 years ago
First ever attempt at real food photography.

Here is our set up video.

Hug0 Rune [deleted] 7 years ago
There's comfort in knowing that I'm not alone in using tin foil as a reflector. Just joined this group and loving the openess of its contributors :)
girlieroses 7 years ago
this is such a great idea and learning opportunity, thanks for posting and thanks to everyone for sharing!
Mhel63 7 years ago
Very interesting :) It's funny to see how innovative people are (even on a bath tub?) when it comes to food photography...Guess, I also have to take a picture of my set up next time so that I can contribute here, too :) Never thought about that...
neenahkay 7 years ago
this thread is awesome! i'm a beginner in both the photography and food styling worlds, and looking at all of these setups is super inspirational and a huge help! thanks all for sharing! :D
Jour 2 / 365 - Rouleaux de printemps by Photographe - Sébastien Brodeur

Jour 2/365 - Making of... by Photographe - Sébastien Brodeur
Global Photographics 7 years ago
Hi all ...the photos I just added were from a client shoot, I cannot unfortunately show you my setup as I didnt take a photo ...silly me, however it was very similar to "FotoosVanRobin" with the plain white card paper and close to natural light, I also used a little flash fill.
surfnturf.4 7 years ago
Glühwein by surfnturf.4

setup for glühwein shoot
glühwein shoot setup by surfnturf.4

i want a studio!
crphotoboy 7 years ago
Parsley Root (1 of 1)

Parsley Root Set-up (1 of 1)
sped98 PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by sped98 (member) 6 years ago
My Basic setup... On a bed , pieces of cheap card , 2 cheap cheap lights and a pair of old boots.
Im happy with the results , Do i need to spend more ?

My very basic Food photo set up , complete with Boots

Valentine dessert for The Cumbria guide - Chocolate cream with Cumbrian snow

Valentine dessert for the Cumbria guide , Chocolate cream with Cumbrian snow
sped98 PRO 6 years ago
Here`s another simpler than simple set up on my living room floor.It was just to show off some nice Home made Xmas biscuits.

Set up for photo

Home made Xmas biscuits

Home made Xmas biscuits
What a fabulous and inspiring thread! Thank you to all of you who posted!
setup by Amante Domingo Photography

chips and salsa by Amante Domingo Photography

quick and dirty how i like it :)

the client doesnt always pick my faves..
Fir.. 6 years ago
Taken using natural light from my kitchen window and two greeting cards as reflector :)

Flickr_strawberry_set-up copy
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