Unlocking the Power of Tethering for a Food Photographer’s Perfect Shot

Posted by: on Jul 02, 2021

Unlocking the Power of Tethering for a Food Photographer’s Perfect Shot

The ingredients for a perfect food photo are simple: a good eye, irresistible food, and a quality setup. 

The food photographer’s setup is essential for bringing all of the ingredients of the perfect food photo together. Adding tethering to your photography setup can truly “set the table” for gorgeous food shots by letting you tweak and adjust in real time while the culinary masterpiece—or soup of the day—you’re shooting is at its best. 

Tethering connects the food to the photographer and the photographer to the computer for effortless workflow. Without distraction and interruption, tethering helps food photographers capture the perfect shot time and time again. Here, we’re talking about not just how tethering can really unlock your food photography potential, but also what tethering gear you need in your setup. 

Tethering Sets The Table For Food Photography

Think of food photography without limits where you can review shots, easily change settings and angles, and know immediately whether or not the shot is a keeper. Wherever the food is, the tethered photographer can create a fantastic shot—and then take a quick look at the computer screen, make a small pivot, and make that fantastic shot a perfect shot. 

Imagine avoiding reshoots! In food photography, reshoots aren’t just expensive and time-consuming, but they can take away from the quality and goals of the shot. Think of it like making dough for bread—the more you work it, the more the integrity of the composition decreases. 

Imagine this scenario: You’re hired to take lifestyle food shots for a high-end restaurant that’s refreshing their branding. They have great outdoor views and would love to feature their dinners against a breathtaking sunset. You have to reschedule the shoot three times due to rain, but finally—finally!—not only do you have a sunset, but you have one of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ve ever seen. You only have about five minutes to get the perfect shot, and you did. You got about 10 of them, and they are perfect! 

Except when you get a good look at the images on your computer, you realize the sunset actually overpowers the food, and you could have made a few small adjustments to avoid that while you were shooting—if only you could have seen it. Now, you need a reshoot.  

Tethering can help you avoid that. 

Get More Food Photography Mobility with the Right Tools

While tethering can truly set you free, you need the right gear to make the most of it.  Here’s a list of tools that bring much-needed mobility to at-home and on-site photographers. 

1. Transfer 

TetherPro USB cables let you connect your camera directly to your computer for fast and reliable transfers. 

Big benefits: 

At home: This is the easiest way to take those one-of-a-kind recipe creations and share them immediately on social media channels such as Instagram. 

On-site: Using TetherPro cables to make quick transfers means your clients can give you real-time feedback. 

2. Protect 

The StrapMoore secures to the leg of any tripod or stand to secure handy items such as a power brick, external hard drive, or transmitter/receiver. 

Big benefits: 

At home: Secure a microphone so you have the best possible narration when streaming video of your unique cooking techniques. 

On-site: Talk about flexibility—the StrapMoore will secure a laptop power brick, charger, phone, off-camera flash, microphone, battery, external hard drive—literally anything else you find handy to have nearby during a photo or video shoot. 

3. Collaborate  

The Tether Table Aero provides food photographers with a stable, portable tethering platform, perfect for daily studio use and the ideal out-of-studio workspace. (The Rock Solid Tripod Roller gives wheels to most any tripod and also offers mobility for your Tether Table Aero.) 

Big benefits: 

At home: Level up the composition and quality of your food photos. Use a tripod for handheld shots and open up a whole new world of at-home quality photography. 

On-site: Experience the easy mobility and display that will improve not just your workflow, but also client engagement by sharing shots in real time. Get the feedback you need so you can make immediate adjustments and avoid the dreaded reshoot. 

4. Power  

The Case Relay System is a favorite of renowned food photographer and author Joanie Simon, who shares her expertise on her website, The Bite Shot

Like Joanie, you can use the Case Relay System to continually power your camera without interruption. This system provides power while being connected to an external power source for a nearly constant source.  

Big benefits: 

At home: The bane of all mobile technology: losing power. With the Case Relay System, you get continual power without interruption. 

On-site: Avoid the pitfalls of not knowing where your power is coming from. Sometimes on-site means outdoors—which means you have to worry about power sources. Not with the Case Relay System. 

5. Direct 

Smart Shooter is a digital photography workflow application for tethered shooting, remote capture, and advanced camera control. This Lightroom plug-in lets food photographers tether directly into Lightroom Classic

Big benefits: 

At home: Smart Shooter can turn any home into a studio with its advanced features, such as remote capture. 

On-site: This comprehensive RAW processing and photo management software 

tethers to DSLR or mirrorless cameras. The tethering feature is compatible with select Canon, Nikon, and Leica digital cameras.  

6. Software 

Capture One gives you all the essential tools and high-end performance in one package. 

Big benefits: 

At home: If you’re a new at-home content creator, Capture One can make your life easier by making editing and sharing as easy as a click. 

On-site: You’re not tied to cords with Capture One, so you can easily capture, organize, edit, share, and print images fast, making you more efficient, and making it easier to communicate with clients. 

Discover More About How Tethering Can Take Food Photography to a Whole New Level

Tethering truly has transformed the way photographers—both professional and amateur—run their shoots. There’s so much freedom and efficiency when you use tethering, which makes it a necessity for today’s fast content creation world. 

We have much more to say about tethering and take a deeper look into more ways it helps you get that perfect food shot—and even get more advice from Joanie Simon—in our new guide, The Food Photographer’s Guide to Tethering

Download the guide now and learn about innovative new ways to shoot food. 

The Food Photographer's guide to Tethering