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Mobile Food Photography

Lesson 1 of 5

Intro to Mobile Food Photography

Andrew Scrivani

Mobile Food Photography

Andrew Scrivani

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Lesson Info

1. Intro to Mobile Food Photography


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2 New Gear and Software Duration:10:38

Lesson Info

Intro to Mobile Food Photography

I'm Andrew Scheer, Bonnie and I'm so happy to be back at CREATIVELIVE. And today we're going to be talking to you about mobile food photography. Basically, this is our biggest tool today. There are some other things here that I'm going to show. You were gonna go over quite a few things today. One of them is new gear. Ah, One of the news pieces of gear I have is the IPhone 11 pro, which has this nifty three lens, um, kind of configuration on it right now. I'm going to talk to you a little bit about that and the differences between that and the phone you may have. Right now, I'm going to talk to you about some of this lens gear. That is attachments. Aftermarket attachments from a company called Olo Clip. Their their gear has been something I've been tooling around with lately and trying to get into some mobile macro stuff to mimic what I do on a DSLR. And then this funny little friend here is ah is a little mobile led light and I'm gonna show you Ah, that cheat that I think everybody is ...

looking for, which is shooting in that dark restaurant. Now you might want to check with your server or the restaurant before you start whipping that thing out. But if you're in a restaurant in a situation where they're happy to let you use a light, it's not that intrusive. And it will absolutely change the way you use your phone. Ah, we're gonna talk to you a little bit about editing and processing, particularly on the onboard software that we have in the IPhone, which is one of my favorite ways to edit photos to put on social media and also light room because light room now on your phone and on your desktop will interface with one another and give you a lot more access to different features that you may not have on some of the other software options, particularly ones like manual controls of the camera and something like a raw file, which they call a D N G in adobe language. Ah, we're also going to talk about some common mistakes and things that common questions that will be, uh, kind of coming up when you talk about using your mobile phone to sort of substitute for your DSLR or your muralist system or a different camera system. Now, of course, the technology is something that has grown exponentially over the last few years, and the phones that we have access to and some of the mobile gear really helps when you're traveling or when you're out in the field and when you just need to supplement some of the other tools that you might have. Or if you're not a DSLR shooter, this gives you a little bit of insight into the analog between those two things and gives you the opportunity to make professional quality images without having either of that kind of a system or the knowledge necessary off how to operate one of them. So I think that we're in a really good position in technology right now, where social media has become sort of one of our primary ways of expressing ourselves with with visuals. And I think that we're going to talk about quite a few things today when it comes to that. So what I mentioned earlier was that I did a comparison shoot in my studio before I got here to Creativelive to show you really detailed photos of the kinds of things that this system that I'm working with does in comparison to my DSLR set up, and I think you're gonna be really surprised with the results I'm gonna show you. Ah, what I've done in this is in ah, Adobe light room. And I've put these in here so that I can show you what this side by side looks like. So, as you can see, I have a photo on the left and a photo on the right And the photo on the left is my DSLR set up with a 50 millimeter macro lens. Um, and one on the right is the IPhone 11 pro with the olo clip lens. That is the equivalent of that. And you could see that from a perspective of general overview, you can see that they're very, very similar. As you could see, the depth of field for the DSLR photo is a little softer. The focus points are a little bit narrower, and the fall off is greater, which of course, then effects the lighting subtly so that you could see that my shadows or a little richer and, you know, that's sort of the stock and trade of ah, a macro lenses that that drop off is really the drama that creates with that. But when I move over here, you could see that I'm not losing that much, considering the difference between a multiple $1000 DSLR system and lens and a phone with a aftermarket lens on it. That's portable like a fitted in my pocket and work on it. This is a pretty good result. Um, I think I have even more focus in here. It's really clean. My drop off isn't as big, but here's the other thing. I didn't push either of these particularly hard in Post, so I've really, if I really, really wanted to make that IPhone photo look even Mawr like the other one like the DSLR photo, I could probably push the shadows a little bit harder. I could probably push the contrast a little bit harder. You run the risk of it. Are you losing your color tone? So what I tried to do is make visas comparable as possible with comparable light color comparable contrast. But you could see that the one on the right has a slightly more green tint to it. The one on the left is slightly warmer, so they are definitely a little bit different, but close enough again. This time I have the IPhone photo on the left and a DSLR photo on the right, and you could tell that some of the things that I spoke about in the prior picture that the field tonality and shadowing are a little bit richer and a little bit darker when it comes to the DSLR photo. But I think we got pretty close with the IPhone photo and again, if you wanted to push them a little bit harder in post, you can probably make that photo even closer. But that is an amazing result when you think about it from coming from a professional camera being operated by a professional photographer and you get a result like that with the phone photo mobile photo. I mean, I can't I can't say that it gets that much better than that. Same thing here backed off just a little bit. But you can really tell the depth of field at the bottom of the frame, particularly down here on the left. You can see how soft this gets here, and this is the the IPhone photo on the right. You could see have a little bit more focus depth here. Um, depending on the aftermarket, um, software you might be using to shoot through. You might be able to control that a little better because there are some software packages in or indifferent APS that allow you to have a bigger drop off from for depth of field. Particularly even in this IPhone. If you went into portrait mode, that might give you a little bit more drop off, so there's definitely the opportunity to make it even closer. But I think in a general sense, these two images kind of again demonstrate the closeness that we have. I have one other photo that demonstrates again the the general benefits and kind of changes that you may not like in, uh, moving from a DSLR to a ah, to a phone. The limitations that might be is when you start to talk about that drop off. In this particular orientation, you start to pick up the background a lot more, both with light and with depth of field. So this is one of those adjustments you might want to make in how you think about the angles that you shoot that The strengths of the camera are definitely from the top version or the 3/4 version of shooting, but the straight on kind of dynamic right at the right at the subject, not as not as ah comparable. And you might want to think about that. You know, when you're adjusting your angles and you are planning out your shoot.

Class Description


  • Understand differences and similarities of shooting with a mobile phone versus DSLR
  • Utilize techniques for image processing within a mobile workflow in Adobe Lightroom
  • Optimize your photos with new gear and software on a small budget
  • Deal with low indoor light by using inexpensive lighting equipment


In this course, award-winning food photographer Andrew Scrivani will show you how to create and tailor your own lighting setup using only your mobile phone and a select few pieces of gear — on any budget. Whether you’re a beginning photographer looking to understand mobile food photography or a professional photographer eager to expand your services, this course will give you a candid, comprehensive playbook for using your mobile phone to take and process photographs within a mobile workflow.


  • Beginners wanting a better understanding of mobile food photography
  • Professionals wanting to expand their repertoire
  • Bloggers who write about food but need high-quality images to go with their written content


iPhone 11 Pro
Olloclip Lenses



Andrew is a very talented food photographer. The title of his recent book says it all... The way he shows the impacts of different lighting, different "camera" (iPhone 11) directions or orientations relative to a light source, different types of lenses and ways to process captured images in this quickie roughly 45 min. class is very practical to get someone started with mobile food photography. He's also got a likable, pleasant personality - which plays a big factor for me when viewing online (or, any) classes. He's not over-hyped or condescending and his voice is a pleasant tone & well-paced (which is important to me because I've watched some CL classes with people who are the antithesis of that and had to stop watching the content). I've bought a few of Andrew's CL classes for ongoing reference. And, after getting introduced to his work, via CL, I now follow him on Instagram.

a Creativelive Student

Nice short little course with simple and straightforward instructions.

Michael Buse

Well presented, in formative, but I'm old school and I want my camera. I am always up for well-crafted food porn.