Food Photography Essentials

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Food Photography Essentials! Must-haves to take great food photos and videos! #foodphotography #photography #nikon #gear #foodblogger

I get lots of questions about the photography gear that I use to take my photos and video! So here is a list of things that I absolutely love and use every time I shoot!


We use two cameras when we shoot videos. I will discuss them both below, however I must start by saying that I recommend using a full-frame (FX) camera. I shot with a Nikon DX camera for the first 1.5 years of blogging. The first shoot I did with my husbands’ Nikon D750 (FX) blew me away. The cost difference is minimal when considering that your camera is an investment for the long haul.

We are a Nikon family because we bought one when we had Bethany and wanted to be able to use all our lenses with our newer models.

Nikon D850

This is the camera I use for all my shooting. It is, quite literally, the nicest thing I own. I did not begin with this camera, I bought it after my blog had generated enough revenue to cover the cost. However, this camera changed everything for me. I am in love with it and I am so grateful that I get to shoot with it!

Nikon D750

This is my husband’s camera, and the first FX I shot with {before deciding to purchase the D850}. I use this for all my overhead video shots. It is an excellent camera and one I would definitely recommend purchasing if you are not quite ready for the D850.


I shoot with two lenses:

Nikon 105 mm Macro Lens

I bought this lens at the same time as my D850 and it was a photography game-changer. Seriously the photo quality is unreal, and the ability to get extremely up-close shots is amazing. If you already have an FX camera and are looking to up your photography game, THIS is how to do it. I use this for all my up-close video shots. {We call them the “money shots”} as well as almost all of my food photos.

50 mm lens

I used this lens exclusively before purchasing the 105 mm. Now I use it when I’m taking overhead, flat-lay shots with lots of components. I use this lens for all my overhead video shots {attached to the D750}

Tripods + Accessories

I use two tripods to shoot with!

Manfrotto 3-section tripod with Horizontal Column

I use this one to take overhead video shots. It’s very sturdy and I love that the boom arm is built in.

Manfrotto Light Grip Joystick Tripod Ball Head 

THIS WAS A GAME CHANGER! To be honest, I stink at using tripods. I avoid it at all costs. But when I’m making videos it’s absolutely necessary. This ball head makes adjusting the camera so so so SO easy. It’s also super quick and simple to remove and re-attach the camera. I love this thing so much!

Counter Weight

The last thing I want is for my entire camera setup to fall into the food I’m shooting. So I bought this counter weight and really love it because it attaches directly to the tripod so it doesn’t swing or move it at all.


Erickson Woodworks Boards 

I currently have two of these boards and am trying to decide which one I want to order next! I love them! I use them as both photography backgrounds and flat surfaces to shoot on!

Marble Slab

I actually have two, one large slab that a local food blogger gave to me when she was re-doing her kitchen, and this pastry slab from Crate & Barrel! I shoot most of my videos on the smaller one from Crate & Barrel!


Gray Double-Sided Pop-Out Muslin Backdrop

I recently purchased this large backdrop {and this stand to hold it} and I really love it! I love how large it is and how easy it is to set up! I use it not only as a backdrop, but also to help cut out reflections in my shots. For example, my Vitamix is reflective and I shoot with it all the time. It drove me crazy having to edit out the reflection of my kitchen, the window, etc. etc. in post-production. Well, setting this up to block out the backgrounds has eliminated all of that and made my life {and my photos} so much better! 😉



Foam Core Boards 

I use these every.single.time. I shoot. I have both white, to reflect the light, and black to block it out. I will describe how I use them in more detail soon, but it’s such a simple item and makes a huge difference in the light in my photos!

Glass Prep Bowls

When shooting videos, having all your ingredients set and ready to go before the camera starts rolling is so important. I love using these!

Small Dishes/Utensils

I use “mini” dishes, utensils, cups, etc. in almost every food photography shoot I do. You will have to determine your style, but I prefer more neutral, earthy pieces like hand thrown pottery or some of the more basic lines from Crate and Barrel {like this Mercer white line}

I love going to antique shops and buying old, unpolished silverware because it is not shiny {i.e. it’s not reflective so there is no photoshopping myself out of the spoons}!


So far my favorite, and the most-used linens in my collection are the kitchen cloths from Fog Linen. I also love these from Crate & Barrel!


I use the Adobe Suite to edit. For photos I mainly use Lightroom {and always shoot in raw}, and use Photoshop to touch up and spot-correct my images. I use Adobe Premier Pro to edit videos!

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I just got my blog up and running and could use all the tips I can get! You’re the best! here I have tried some food photography