Food Photography, Lighting & Styling

For this live photography workshop Karl is joined by top Russian food photographer Anna Pustynnikova for an in-depth lesson in food photography and styling.

Anna shares her top secrets for food styling as well as demonstrates how, using just basic equipment, you can achieve amazing food photographs. Building on this, Karl then demonstrates a number of alternative lighting setups as they work, live, towards achieving a mouthwatering image of beef pastrami.

This photography workshop (Replay) forms part of our series food photography tutorials.

Table top with styled food

Food Photography Lighting, Styling & Techniques

In this live photography workshop we cover the following:

  • Food photography: How to photograph food using multiple lights
  • Useful equipment for food photography & styling
  • Selecting props & backgrounds
  • Lighting modifiers for food photography
  • Useful tips for food photography
  • Photographing food according to a brief
  • Simple post production techniques for food photography

We caught up with Anna ahead of her appearance on the show to ask her a few questions about how she got started, some of her favorite pieces of kit and her take on the current trends in food photography. Read the Q&A with Anna Pustynnikova in our blog.



  1. just watching this live shoot and wondering about the spices in the pots, not sure it was covered but are the spices in the pots fixed/glued in place, if so how and what are they glue in with

  2. Hi Karl,
    is it possible to make a video summing up Food photography basics, tips and main equipment needed… just like the informative style u did in your ”introduction to photography’ video

  3. Hi Karl! I recall seeing a video when you shot a kiwi fruit (mentioned fruit just in case your accused of murder hahahah) and i cant find it here. Many thanks 🙂 . Andrew

  4. Amazing. Thank you Anna and Karl.

    would it be possible to make a tutorial on shooting banded or food packages (ie. ready made dishes, or pizzaz…etc. ) it would be quite interesting to see how you would combine food styling and package photography and how would Anna style for a brand.

    Again Many thanks for the amazing information.

  5. Hello,

    Just watching this now for the first time. A question is it is not too late to ask. Is the 100mm lens using the macro feature or could one use any 100mm lens for this particular photo shoot?

    Best regards,
    David Brugman
    Oxford, UK

    1. Hi David, on this particular shot any 100mm lens could have been used. I do most of my product or food photography with either and 80 or 100mm lens and they are not macro lenses. I put a thin extension tube (no glass) in between the lens and body if I want to acheive macro results. Anna likes to use her 100mm macro lens as it can do both near and far but it is not the only choice.

  6. Hi Karl,

    In the photograph that appears on the live show page, there seems to be a shadow cast which mimics light shining through a tree/leaves – how would this effect be recreated?

    All the best,


    1. Hi Sarah, if you watch the live show you will see how it’s done, it’s also in one of the other food shoots. Cheers Karl.

  7. Any more news of when the other August food courses are due? Caught the live course was great, eager to see the others 🙂

  8. Fantastic. I am about to start on my HND Photography at college and have found I am really leaning towards shooting food. Your tutorials etc are going to be such a help, its not a subject that you find such in depth info on. Thank you Karl and Anya.

  9. this was very informative. i feel inspired to shoot some food, and then eat it after lol. anna is great!

    1. Thanks John, I’m very excited about the other shoots we filmed, some real gems of information in lighting and styling. We start editing next week and the first episodes will be appearing this month.

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