Do I have to use the tripod? No, you don’ t have to. Everyone knows what works for them. However, when you ask me: “Do you use a tripod?” YES, always for my food photography! I personally always use the tripod for my food images. I’m already afraid that I can’t even shoot handheld images. I know that it’s always an extra effort to set up your tripod but I feel like it’s worth the extra effort. I think that the tripod is not only for night photography but also for food photography.
I have Manfrotto 190X 3 Section Aluminum Tripod (MT190XPRO3 3 Section). Before I had some other unknown one that just fell apart since I used it all the time. In addition, I have one light travel MeFoto tripod but that one is really bad. It just fells apart every time I try to use it and is so uncomfortable that it’s even hard to describe it. When I should use that tripod for my food photography I would already have broken my camera and myself.
The Manfrotto tripod, on the other hand, is just perfect. It has quick power locks that help me to move quickly and block or unblock each leg section. For food photography, the best part is that it already had that extending arm which is perfect for overhead shots. Compare to other tripods I have used it’s stable and does the job for me. Once I had my first Manfrotto tripod I finally understand why all the photographers recommend this brand.
Five Reasons Why I Use a Tripod:
Lower ISO and shutter speed give me better quality. If I would like to use a shutter speed that is lower than around 1/50th of a second, then a steady tripod is my best friend. Unless I shoot moving objects my ISO is always 100 or even lower. My shutter speed is usually around 1/10 or even lower. Because of that tripod is the only solution for me. Also, when I use a polarising filter, then the shutter speed is even lower (read my post about polarising filter here). In my opinion, a tripod is the only way I can get some sharp images.
When I have the camera in my hand I obviously move around more and quicker. However, when I have the tripod I always start thinking about framing right away. So, it’s a little bit longer process and it gives me the perfect time to think through my composition. Usually, I place the tripod in one spot and after that, I start styling. I feel like tripod helps me to be more creative. I can slow down and think through my shots.
Since I usually work alone, then the only hands I have are obviously my own hands. When I would like to get some human element on the images, then a tripod is obviously my solution. All the images where I use my hands for styling aren’t possible without a tripod.
- Action Shots
As I mentioned before I work alone and because of that, the tripod for action shots is my only solution here as well. In addition, I get a lot of movement with action shots and because of that, I don’t need any extra movement with handheld shots.
- Close-Up Shots
All the small close-up shots might require a steady camera. Even small movements can ruin the shot. That’s why it’s quite essential to use the tripod here as well.
If you would like to get better quality for your food photography, then I recommend using a tripod. Even when you feel like tripod doesn’t allow you to find the best angle, then think again. I like to think that tripod helps me to be more creative because I can think through my framing and keep an eye on details. When I would like to search better angles, then I usually remove the camera from the tripod and move around. When I find my perfect angle, then I just move the tripod there.
Do you use a tripod for your food photography?