Fresh Fruit Food Photography

Keep your food photos looking fresh with these ‘berry’ useful techniques.

In this series of food photography classes, Karl teamed up with food photographer Anna Pustynnikova. Together they demonstrate essential preparation, styling and lighting techniques for eye-catching food photography.

Simplicity is key in this seemingly chaotic scene. Anna uses an assortment of fresh berries to create a beautiful, eye-catching image using just one studio light. She explains the preparation and styling required for this shot while Karl demonstrates a number of alternative lighting techniques that could be used to enhance the shot.

In this class:

  • Product Photography: Food Photography
  • How to store and prepare fresh berries for food photography
  • Useful equipment for food styling
  • Testing and selecting suitable backdrops and props
  • Using color to enhance an image
  • Suggested lighting modifiers for food photography
  • Depth of field selection
  • Alternative lighting setups
  • Emulating natural light using studio lights

If you enjoyed this class, watch the replay of Anna’s LIVE food photography workshop.


  1. Hi Karl! Do you change color profiles to anything specific / camera specific before you start your editing / tethered shooting into Lightroom / capture one? Or are you leaving it up to the program to decide e.g (Adobe colour)

    1. Hi, no I run with an Adobe RGB profile in my 35mm cameras and the generic one on the X2D or H6, this is then tethered into either Phocus or Capture One and then shot as RAW files. The images are then tweaked in the raw software and exported as 16bit PSD or tiffs with the Adobe RGB profile and then continued with on Photoshop and then supplied to the client in RGB with the adobe RGB profile.

  2. @ 1:31:20 — does double diffusing like that (softbox + scrim) make the light softer or do you just lose intensity? I understand the gradation by using a scrim. Just curious if double diffusing makes the light softer, even if the size of the source doesn’t change? If the size of the source doesn’t change, then I assume it only loses light and spill? Also, what is your thoughts on a “book light”? Thanks Karl!

    1. Hi Ty, light only gets softer with an increase in size due to the angle of incidence of the light relative to the subject. So the scrim has no softening affect unless in made the light source bigger, all it is doing is the gradation. Yes it loses intensity because it has to go through another layer but this can be compensated by turning the power of the light up, however you will also get more bounce around your studio as the light is no longer enclosed, as such shadows become lighter. Remember when we talk about hard or soft light we are talking about how the shadows look, are they sharp shadows (very small light source) or are there almost no shadows at all (huge light source) and then of course everything in between and the ability to mix the two at the same time.

      1. piotrczechowski

        Hi Karl. Love your photos and style of those videos . I’m trying to understand why scrim can’t be treated as a light source? Let me explain my thinking.

        1. When I use bare bulb I know how big is light source. It’s the size of bulb.
        2. When I use reflector P70 with flash then size of light source is the size of P70 diameter – I get this too.
        3. When I use 150cm octa size of light source would be 150cm with or without diffusion. Sure enough.
        4. So why scrim size can’t be treated as light source of scrim size? Is it because of light fall on its surface? Only “hot spot” in center with equal intesivity on its area is treated as a light source?
        5. Another question. When I bounce light to celling/vflat then size of light source is the size of “spot” on the celling that throws to subject, right?

        1. Hi, thank you for your comments.
          Yes to point 4, the entire scrim isn’t lit, it’s usually a central hot spot and then it gradates away so whatever area that is then that’s the size of the light source. For your point 5, yes exactly.

  3. I forgot to mention in my earlier comment that flat cutting boards and used for fish, meats, and cheeses while grooved cutting boards are used for fruits that may have lots of juice, such as watermelon or pineapple.

  4. Another excellent video tutorial. I’ve learned so much from all of them so far. I knew nothing about food styling or food photography before I started watching these. By the way, the name of that “line” in the cutting board is called a “groove” in American English. Maybe there’s another name for it in British English.

  5. How did you create base surface with the unique texture which looks kind of stone .
    And from where and how I can make or get those surface to make my product very natural moody kind of.

  6. Hi Karl,

    Any alternative for lighting equipment that are affordable but still good brand, when you just starting your photography journey, I don’t have that budget to spend on the lighting.

    Could you please give me your advice on the brand bellow, if there is any equipment I still can get, they are not the expensive or the cheapest ..

    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Lili, consider Elinchrom or Godox (at essential photo I think Godox is rebranded Pixapro) Other economical brands are Bowens.

  7. It is all good and informative but I have one comment , too much talking about the obvious … long videos tend to make one lose focus, perhaps you need to re-edit and present more to the point shorter videos.
    36 mins in and we are still choosing the board !

    1. i think thats how Karl educate people, by break down every detail and tell us pros and cons about everything. For me who want to go deeper about food photography these videos really help me at some point because i’m going through same dilemmas just like karl & anna. i spent hours and sometimes just pick props randomly because i dont know why one props works better than another. in this video i found out that karl & anna paying attention to the lines, contrast to the food ,and how highlight and shadow would affect on images because of their texture. it all helps to determine why some props works better than other on some image.

  8. Karl,
    Nice video. I’m planning to start a youtube channel on food video. My plan is to have a c stand setup for overhead shooting.
    1)Can I know the lighting equipment (hexagon shape ) that is used in this video? I will need the complete details, like light, stand and diffusor details and other cheap alternatives and how to make light soft without reflection.

    2)Is cannon 35mm f2.8 efs stm lens is good for overhead food video shooting?

    Also, do you have any tutorial on Food video compared to photography?

    1. Hi Jaai,
      1. please see the equipment list on the page on the right, lower down.
      2. It would depend on the height you are shooting from*
      3. Sorry no
      I would also like to add that it appears from your comments that you are looking for a solution to a particular problem or scenario. Unfortunately though good photography doesn’t really work on having ‘one setup’ as every situation has differences, such as shape, reflections, distance etc. I would thoroughly recommend you watch this chapter to get a better understanding of some of the key principles

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