Ivan Solis Expands his Visual Scope by Adding Studio Lighting-Based Work to his Portfolio

“Studio lighting is more popular than ever. You can replicate the light in any location and not be bound to a certain space or studio. I have been seeing this type of lighting in magazines and products geared toward a younger crowd.”

Ivan Solis food photograhy

Per Ivan Solis’ bio, he was raised by a father who “had a deep passion for the culinary arts” and, as a result, has long seen food “as an art.” In order to attract more clients, the Southern California-reared photographer recently added to his portfolio by shooting food with studio lighting.

“Wanting to use strobes had been a desire of mine for a while. My first love will always be natural light, but I like having the dependable, consistent lighting that comes with using strobes.”

Ivan Solis food photograhy

Ivan’s first foray into studio lighting-based shoots came about “as a necessity,” but he made it a point to return to his original love of natural lighting as soon as possible.

“I would shoot in my living room but there wasn’t sufficient natural light to work with, so I used strobes. Once I was able to work in a space with natural light, I switched over to primarily natural lighting.”

As we know by now, versatility is the name of whatever game you play. So, Ivan decided to make another run at studio-lit imagery and hone his abilities within this aspect of the craft.

“After much trial and error, I finally found a two-light setup that produced the results I desired.”

Ivan Solis food photograhy

“The look I was going for was bright, airy afternoon.”

And Ivan nailed said look, as evidenced by the public reaction. A shot that stands out in particular — and one which Ivan considers his favorite — is of some scrumptious white bean soup.

My favorite shot is the white bean soup. I love how the shadows give the white beans such a beautiful texture. Another benefit of this look is the gorgeous shadows that glass casts over the image.

White bean soup, Ivan Solis food photograhy

“I have gotten such a positive response posting my new work on social media and my engagement has grown as well. I am hoping that this new skillset will open new doors to clients who would have otherwise looked elsewhere.”

Part of adding another arrow to the quiver is figuring out which brand of arrow works best, meaning Ivan had to track down the perfect strobes for the job. He landed on Profoto equipment, which gives him the opportunity to be as hands-on as possible during the process of image creation.

“When choosing which strobes to use, I knew the best choice for me would be Profoto. I love the balanced color temperature output when shooting; other light kits tend to shoot a bit warmer. I also love how powerful these lights are — they allow me greater control of shadows.”

Ivan Solis food photograhy

While venturing into a new realm within photography can be daunting, Ivan’s transition to studio lighting was made easier by the fact that these final images embody the kind of work he already does.

“I believe this lighting complements my body of work because it stays true to my aesthetic: bright, happy, and clean images.”

Ivan Solis food photograhy

Check out more of Ivan’s work at ivanimages.com. This article was originally published at wonderfulmachine.com


Food Photography Lighting Techniques

Throughout the food photography lighting techniques segment, we aim to cover anything from general tips to inspirational examples. We highlight creative and technical strategies from masters of different food photography styles. Get a new idea to run with on your own!