Of the many misconceptions about photography, a common one is people thinking that only expensive cameras can produce better results. Expensive cameras may be built better and have extra features, but there usually is not such a bit difference when it comes to image quality. That is to say that regardless of what kind of camera you’re using, you have the potential to create some amazing photographs. To dispel the myth, food photographer Joanie Simon uses an entry level camera and takes some dramatic food photos:
Simon uses a $200 camera with its kit lens that she bought used. To maintain a low budget, she uses natural light coming in from the window. She does however use a reflector on the window to diffuse the light. This produces a soft light that creates softer shadows. And to add some mood to the image, she also uses a black foam core. It helps to limit the spread of light when needed.
After studying the way Simon works, you can tell that it’s more about studying how the subject is interacting with the light than it is about gear. Don’t worry much about the limitation of your gear. Instead, invest a bit of time in understanding what’s happening in your scene. Pay attention to how the food is laid, see if there’s any stray light around, and how shadows can add to the mood in the image.
And yes, edits play an important role too. Invest some of your time to learn how to edit your photos for improved impact. Incorporate all of these tips in your photography process and nobody will be able to tell that you’re working on a budget.
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