Adventures in Cooking

What Camera and Lenses To Use For Food Photography

I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III Full-Frame DSLR Camera and recommending getting just the body without the kit lens (the kit lens is the lens that comes with the camera and is always kind of crappy) and then buying quality lenses to go with it.

Lens-wise, I use a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 for most of my wide overhead shots and really wide shots of big tablescapes. I like using my Canon EF 50mm f/1.2  for tighter overheads and any beautiful side-angle shots (if the price point is an issue for you I also highly recommend the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 instead which is more economical and still a really solid lens). For really stunning close-ups and the most insanely gorgeous bookeh ever, I recommend the Canon EF 85mm f1.2. This is my favorite lens of all the lenses I own, it takes the *most* beautiful photos and makes food look incredible. If you’re interested in portrait photography, it also takes incredible pictures of people and animals. For a zoom lens (aka one with a variable focal length), I have and love the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8. It’s great for traveling so you only have to carry one lens with you, and is also awesome for event photography where changing out lenses might be difficult. I also like using it for overheads to get really, really wide and fit the whole tabletop as well as the edge of the table where it drops off in frame.

As far as my tripod goes, I use the Manfrotto Aluminum Tripod with XPRO Ball Head. It has an extendable center arm that allows you to use it for overheads, the ball mount allows you to shoot from any angle, and it also lets you shoot from both portrait and landscape orientation. Plus, since it’s aluminum, it’s very lightweight yet sturdy.

For photo editing, I use Adobe Lightroom and edit using my First We Eat Lightroom Presets, which you can grab here. I use my 27-inch Apple iMac for photo editing—it has a retina display and also has 8 GB of RAM which helps keep the computer running quickly even when I’m editing giant raw files on the computer. To keep the computer running quickly, I export onto this 6 TB external hard drive to store my images, and then just make sure the external is plugged in whenever I want to edit those images in Lightroom.


If you want to learn more, I’d love to teach you! You can check out my online courses, and join my workshop mailing list to get a head’s up when registration opens for my next in-person workshop.


You can also check out my presets for creating beautiful images in a snap, too! AND you can also grab my free Blog Post Shot List guide  (there are some real helpful ones in there!) Hope to work with you soon!!