How to Light Your Food Photos Like Michael Ray: Interview with Michael Ray

Interview with Michael Ray foodportfolio.comIn this interview, we talk with one of the first food photographer who started sharing information about food photography on the web. We learn about artificial lighting for food photography from Michael Ray, person behind a famous food photography website.

Let’s Welcome Michael Ray

Michael Ray is a long time food photographer and is the person behind a very successful site I am confident that every single person who has ever searched for food photography information has came across this site. Mike is based in Pittsburgh and spends majority of time photographing food for advertising clients.

His clients include McDonalds, TGI Fridays, Heinz, Subway, Chilis, Sara Lee and many many more. To see the complete list of clients, click here.

Press play to listen to Michael Ray’s interview

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What’s in this interview

  • Food Photography for advertising
  • Photographing food with a team
  • How Mike lights his food photos
  • Mike’s photography gear
  • Many reader questions and
  • How the following two images were shot


The “Icecream” Pie

Mike talked about this image in the interview and told the story behind this image and how this was shot.

Chocolate Mint Pie

Chicken Soup Photo

Below is the chicken soup image taken with a view camera. Notice how the entire rim is in focus. This is not possible with a normal camera unless you use a tilt shift lens .

chicken soup

Thank you Mike

Thank you for your time Mike.

You can read Mike’s food portfolio blog by clicking here. It has lot of great information on taking food photos.

Please give me some feedback about this interview and anything you would like to see more. Don’t forget tomorrow is the last day for winning a free food photography class, a Think Tank bag and much more. Click here for details.

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  1. nice one, thanks for sharing , and where do you held your foodphotography class?


  2. At my studio in Pittsburgh.

  3. I had fun. Thank you!

  4. Hi Michael,

    I’m from the Philippines, with 2 restaurants operating now for almost 29 years. I’m just an enthusiast in photography. But I’ve seen a lot of pros’s work by running through the internet.

    Right now, your photography and lighting techniques on food and other small subjects (not landscapes), stands above the rest. Your craft and technique is simply staggering, and I believe it’s really art (not arty). It’s like seeing Dave Black’s work but with a completely different subject matter!

    I also admire your generous heart: You give a lot of info, passion and enthusiasm. You can really practice and then, teach photography!

    I’m one of your benefactors!

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