Food Photography Tips with Lucas Zarebinski

My name is Lucas Zarebinski. I was raised in Poland and came to Michigan when I was twenty. After getting an associate degree in photography, I moved to California. I started assisting photographers and getting more hands-on experience with the photography world. I eventually landed an assisting job at a renowned food studio in Los Angeles, and that is where my interest in food photography began.

I don't think there is a technique to food photography per say—it's more about how you see objects. I think my composition and lighting choices make for refreshing and dynamic photos. It's really how I see food in my imaginary world—perfectly shaped, crispy, and full of color. My method would be choosing the absolute best looking object, deciding on a powerful angle, and enhancing it with dramatic lighting.

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I would suggest good-looking food, since this will be your subject. I realize how many people are getting caught up in equipment choices and forget to shift their attention towards the subject matter of their photographs. I think you are able to get a good photo even with a phone camera—it's all about composition/subject/lighting. Look out for a good setting, pay attention to the atmosphere, and most of all, practice, practice, practice. Put your camera on the tripod and let the photo find you.

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If you're looking to get into food photography, pay close attention to the world around you—start with photographing foods that you have a special connection with, things you really like to eat. Definitely have your technical aspects figured out (camera/exposure/etc.) and focus on finding delicious looking things to eat or drink. You can try looking at food magazines/blogs and study the photos—what makes them so tasty looking? What can I do to improve my food photos? Play around with it—change locations, try different lighting conditions or different table settings. The more time and heart you put into it, the more chances you have of ending up with a great shot. Or sometimes you might just get lucky...in any case, keep at it.

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