Photographing and Styling Food Photography

Photographing Hand Crafted Chocolates with LED Lights // Marsatta Chocolates Torrance California

Marsatta Chocolates, Hand-Crafted Bean to Bar

Chocolate Maker Jeffray Gardner and his team craft delicious, bean to bar, artisan chocolates in Torrance, California. These are melt in your mouth, have to have another chocolate, chocolates. They are incredible! Sea salt with caramel chocolate is my favorite, so far. Jeffray selects his cacao beans from all over the world, and whenever possible gets the beans directly from farmers.  Last year, when I held my solo photography show in Redondo Beach, Marsatta staffed the show and shared their amazing chocolate. Their chocolates were very popular! Marsatta has a new storefront location in Torrance, California and I was delighted to help them tell their story with professional photography.

Using Photography to Tell the Marsatta Chocolate Story

Jeffray’s chocolates are beautiful, as well as tasty. To fully appreciate how well these chocolates are crafted, it is imperative to have professional photography to help tell the story. A professional photographer will use the best lighting and perspectives to show case your product. When I agreed to do the shoot, I immediately knew I’d want a macro lens to show the details in the chocolate. For these shots, I used Tamron's 90 mm macro, as well as wider lenses like the Tamron 35 mm and the 15-30.

Lighting Chocolates with LED Lights: Constant Light vs. Flash

Getting the right light in food photography is critical; chocolates are no different. Natural light is great, but sometimes there isn’t enough natural light to do the job. Without the right amount and color of light, the dark chocolates would look lifeless instead of yummy. I was definitely going for yummy. Showing the texture and color were all part of the elements of telling the Marsatta story.  In this case, I decided to use LED lighting instead of flash because I wanted to be able to see the light before I photographed it. I wanted to reduce the shadows and to be sure that each chocolate was perfectly lit. To do this, I used the Manfrotto Lykos LED’s and an overhead light stand. The LED was focused straight down. I supplemented the Lykos with the small and portable Lumie lights which I hand held at varying angles. I love the Lumie’s because they are so small and powerful and they are great for food shoots. You can mount the Lumie’s on a mini-tripod or handhold them. I use the Lumie’s quite a bit, they are great for close ups and tight spaces. Here’s a link to photographs of a Steinway I photographed where I put the Lumie’s inside the piano.

Tripods in Food Photography

Whenever possible, I'd recommend using a tripod for food photography. Almost anytime I am taking marco shots, I use a tripod to keep the images sharp. Turn off the vibration compensation on your lens when it is on a tripod, or the stabilization can cause a small shake when the camera is on the tripod, which could make your images less sharp. Food photography has to be sharp.

Order Marsatta Chocolates Online

If you can't get to their store in Torrance, California. You can order Marsatta's amazing chocolates online here.

Hire Me to Help Tell Your Story with Photography

Do you live or work in the South Bay cities of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes,  Redondo Beach, San Pedro or Torrance? I’d love to help tell the story of your business with photography. I'm an award-winning and museum displayed photographer. Your business needs professional photography to show case what you do. Contact me: for a no-pressure chat to see if my services are right for you. 


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