My food photography setup

My food photography setup

Sharing my simple and affordable setup for food photography that’s great for small spaces.

My food photography setup

Over the years, my food photography on this blog has certainly evolved. Sometimes, it’s stayed stagnant, sometimes, I’ve even taken a step back – but now, I feel like I finally found my style (and my favorite camera lens) and I’m excited to improve upon that.

I receive many, many messages about my at-home photography setup (it’s so simple!), that I figured I’d write a post about it, in the hopes that it helps many of you aspiring food photographers find an affordable, compact, and convenient way to take photos at home.

First off, by now means am I a talented food photographer. At best, I’m an average food photographer! I have SO much to learn, but frankly, my priorities are elsewhere in my business and to me, as long as the food looks good and it’s a clean photo, I’m happy. And I hope you are too!

If you do want advice from a professional photographer, I can’t recommend Sarah Fennel’s Food Photography School enough (and use code INSPIRALIZED for $50 off the course!) I recently took this course, upgraded my lens, and I have noticed such a difference in the clarity, lighting, composition, and quality of my photos since – with just a few changes to my old ways!

My photo setup

I take all of my food photos in my living room – actually, in Luca’s play area. #mombosslife. – Usually, I take take photos directly on Luca’s playmat area, because it’s closer to the main light source. I keep my lens up on a bookshelf, close to my photo area for easy access.

I have a foldable table that I’ve adhered marble contact paper to, to give the illusion of a marble countertop (and I think it works!) I take all of my photos on this table – they’re great for Instagram shots of my lunch, too – I just walk over to the table and immediately have a well-lit, marble background. The best thing about the table is that it folds up so I can hide it behind our couch or under our coffee table. It’s lightweight and the marble contact paper wipes well, so you won’t stain the surface – and if you do, you can just add another piece of contact paper on top of it (or peel the old one off!)

Here’s an example of what the marble contact paper looks like in photos:

My food photography setup

Right where I take photos, I have my TV console, which is full of all of my food photography props! I have everything in here: bowls, plates, serving wear, linens, utensils, little bowls, and so forth. I like having it right there so I can grab anything I need and have an easy cleanup.

Here’s what that looks like:

My food photography setup

And that’s it – super simple, basic, and VERY affordable. I also have a piece of foamboard that I use to bounce light, but 8/10, I don’t use it – it’s really only necessary for those REALLY focusing on food photography professionally.

My favorite products for food photography

My photography setup

Here are the basics that I use – and some of my styling favorites!

  1. Photography table
  2. Marble contact paper for background
  3. Camera – Canon 5D Mark III
  4. Camera lens – 100mm
  5. Camera lens – 24-70mm
  6. Gold flatware set
  7. Stoneware plate
  8. Linen napkins
  9. Simple low bowl

I hope you found this post helpful – or at the very least, interesting! I love sharing behind-the-scenes!

Photos by Erin Dwyer.


New to spiralizing? Grab your FREE eBook with our 20 Most Popular Blog Recipes!

Have a spiralizer and not sure where to start?How about making our fool-proof, most popularly made recipes from the blog? In this printable PDF eCookbook you’ll find photos and full recipes of our readers’ favorites to get you started!

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Want to share a photo of what you’ve made? Be sure to click the 'Choose file' button below to add your photos!

The maximum upload file size: 300 MB. You can upload: image.


Allison says:
Love your behind the scenes! People I describe my BTS to are always shocked when I tell them that - 9 times out of 10 - I shoot on my finished recipes and flatlays for both my blog and Instagram on my BED, ha! My bedroom happens to have the the best light source for me! I have a flatboard I use and cover it up with fabric. Trade secrets, right? ;-) Also, thanks for posting your lenses. I love mine, but have been the market for 24-70mm for a while. :-)
Michelle says:
That marble contact paper is genius! Thanks for sharing that tip!
Alyssa Praechter says:
Thanks so much for these great tips and links to products you use!! I truly found this enjoyable and definitely helpful because I'm first starting to get into food photography. Looking forward to more behind the scenes posts!
Julia says:
Thank you so much for sharing your set up. I take most of my pics outside but needed something to put them on. I ordered the table from your links and it is perfect. Especially since it folds up. I can hide it right beside my front door then carry it out when I need it!
Maarit says:
Thank You so much for sharing the behind the scenes - excellent tips and great ideas!!
Miguel says:
I’m afraid to suggest any pricey toys for your decidedly spartan setup, but I couldn’t live without my 50mm/F1.4 Canon prime lens (plastic or glass variants—plastic being cheaper at about $100) and my tripod. What a quantum leap my pics took when I could shoot tethered to a laptop without the shakes and with a huge 14 inch viewfinder to proof things before shooting! Huge time savings in post-processing too. I think you’ll consider these investments as invaluable almost immediately. And Santa’s coming soon...!
Anna says:
That tabletop is genius! I’ve been searching for the perfect one so I don’t have to keep climbing on top of furniture for top-down shots! Great post! (It was page 1 in google search too, woo!)
Philen says:
Simple, helpful tips that I needed, to help me breakthrough a mental block. Thank you ?

Latest on Inspiralized

Subscribe to Inspiralized

Subscribe to one or all of our newsletters for amazing
recipes, inspirational content + our free starter guide

making a batch of this VEGAN PUMPKIN SNACKING LOAF today 🍞! I love to have a few mini loafs in the freezer to easily defrost for breakfasts or snacks for the kids, but also for myself - slathered with nut butter and a little sprinkle of hemp seeds 🥜 or some honey, butter and cinnamon for the kids 🍯🧈  ⁣

grab the recipe on the blog! happy monday! 🙌🏼⁣

#Vegan #veganfood #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #bestofvegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #veg #vegetarianfood #plantbased

went for a nice long walk outside with the kids (we haven’t been able to do that for a while, because it’s just been so freezing and/or snowing) 🥶 and then we decided to pick up some to-go sandwiches and while we waited, the kids had some banana bread and juice 🍊🍌🍞 luca said, “mama I want to stay here alllll day!” which made me feel sad, because we haven’t felt comfortable dining indoors yet, and I’m sure he misses the people watching at restaurants on the weekends 😔 it’s okay, I’m just filing this under “things we get to look forward to when it’s safe again” 💋 #jerseycity ...

a year and 5 days ago, I started @invisalign to correct my cross bite and fix some crowding on my lower teeth. 👄🦷 a few weeks into treatment, my dentist gave me some extra aligners (the clear trays that you wear that miraculously shift your teeth) “just in case” the Corona virus came to the US and the office has to shutdown. well, a LOT has happened in this past year (my teeth and bite have corrected and Corona certainly made its way here!) and today was the final appointment to perfect my teeth and bite with some veneers (which I haven’t quite gotten used to yet, but all of the stories you shared and kind compliments you gave in my DMs has made me feel A LOT better.) 😬⁣

in two weeks, I get my overnight retainers, which I’ll wear forever (but only to sleep.) aside from that, I’m done with #invisalign and it feels SO good. I cannot believe how drastically it has changed my face, and when I watch myself talk in a video or look at a photo of myself, I no longer cringe at my lisp or how crooked my face looks. it wasn’t something I was self-conscious of every day, but it’s definitely something that I noticed when looking at photos and it secretly bothered me. it’s silly, but it did! ⁣

now I can proudly say that I love my smile, and I feel more confident than ever. it’s a shame I’ll have to wear a mask and cover up this expensive smile 😂😂😂😂 but hopefully in 2022, I’ll be able to fully whip it out. right?!! 🤞🏼💉 ⁣

I’m going to write a blog post all about the process, share a ton of before and afters, but I wanted to ask.... are there any questions you have specifically that you’d like me to include/address? leave a comment below and let me know! and in the meantime, you can check out my Invisalign highlight for the whole journey!