Food photography with a Mini Spot Lite


Food Photography

Robertas Daskevicius is a freelance food photographer, specialised in food and still life illustrations for magazines, cookbooks, advertisement projects and also TV shows.

Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, Robertas’ work has let him to travel across the world, leading projects in European capitals, America’s largest cities and foreign islands of french Polynesia. Today, Robertas gives insights into his latest photoshoot for a burger restaurant.

Tell us about your latest project!

This project was carried out as an advertisement for the restaurant Drama Burger, based in Vilnius (Lithuania) and Tampa (Florida), in collaboration with the advertisement agency “New!”. The idea was to obtain a dramatic shot, revealing the speciality of the restaurant’s newly introduced Pastrami brisket and its mysterious preparation process.

Why did you choose the Mini Spot Lite?

In food photography, I am always seeking for the perfect lighting to make the food look as tasty as possible. In previous photoshoots, I used to use window blinds to obtain the dramatic light I needed. However, for this project, I used my Mini Spot Lite which revealed a complete new dimension by creating an impressive light with darkness visual in a very simple and easy manner. There was no need to include additional light stands or accessories to cover the light.

What lighting gear did you use?

For this shot I used one ELC Pro HD 1000 with a frosted glass dome and one Ranger Quadra. The ELC Pro HD1000 with Mini Spot Lite was used to create the window frame effect. As a backlight, I also used the Ranger Quadra with the Standard Reflector 21cm. I positioned my Mini Spot Lite about 3 meters away from the object.

Is lighting power important in food photography?

Power is very important, but it is equally important if not more, to have the possibility to adjust the power to your needs (minimise and maximise it when needed). In food photography, I like having a back light in my image, one that is hardly noticeable and resembles more to a natural reflection from a wall for instance. To do this, I use my Quadra in channel B or my ELB HD1000 as both units allow to get such light effect. I sometimes use accessories such as a frosted dome, softbox of a diffusion flag, in order to obtain a very soft light, one that resembles the natural light of a cloudy day.

“Power is very important, but it is equally important to have the possibility to adjust the power to your needs.”

What challenges do you encounter in food photography?

The main challenge about food photography is to control the light, act fast and react immediately before the food gets cold or starts melting. Also, I find it challenging to find a suitable background for the food, so that the image looks both stylish and trendy.

What interest you most about food photography?

I like tasting different cuisines, getting to know thousands of new tastes and meeting people who are crazy about food to the same extent that I am crazy about photography!

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