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About Michael Ray, His Food Photography, His Studio, and His Business

Michael is a Pittsburgh PA based food photographer and has been photographing food professionally for more years that he cares to admit.  Most people would consider him an advertising food photographer, as opposed to an editorial food photographer, but the truth is that Michael’s work has appeared in many national food publications as both advertisements and as editorial content.

What Separates Michael from His Competitors

Most people that truly understand the food photography industry would say that it’s Michael’s lighting that separates him from his competition.  He has the ability to light food in such a way as to bring out the maximum texture and to accentuate at the appetite appeal of the food.  He is able to not only make pretty pictures, but is also able to make the food look so good, that people think that they are able to reach out and touch the food in his photos. Many of the food photography tips that Michael writes about, come from is understanding of photographic lighting.

The Studio

Michael’s studio is located in the strip District of Pittsburgh, and is specifically designed as a food photographer’s paradise. The Studio boasts a fully equipped kitchen, food stylist staging sea, plenty of prop storage rolling racks, tons of refrigerator space, and a very large shooting area. Having a 12’ camera stand and with the studio ceiling being extra high (17’), shooting strait down on sets is never a problem.

Equipment Special For Food Photography

Food photography requires some special photo equipment, not needed by many other disciplines of photography. Michael uses both a Nikon DSLR system, for most of his location shooting and an Arca Swiss View camera system, for his studio shoots. Both cameras produce the same resolution but have different shooting characteristics. Both of Michael’s camera systems allow for focus manipulation than enable him to produce his stunningly beautiful food photos.

Michael’s Lighting equipment is another thing that is somewhat special to the niche of food photography. His favorite “main” light is a Fresnel spot strobe light, and of course he has access to soft boxes, reflectors, mirrors, tons of light stands, and anything else a fully equipped photo studio might contain. It’s the mastery of this equipment and techniques that enable Michael to share the food photography tips listed at the end of this introduction.

Food Photography Clients

Over the years, Michael has worked for many national, regional, and local food photography clients in the food manufacturing, restaurant, and magazine publishing industries. Some of his clients had included the following names:

Heinz, Del Monte, Food Lion, Vocelli Pizza, Giant Eagle Markets, Kings Family Restaurants, Bruegger’s Bagels, Morton’s Steak House, Church’s Chicken, Boston Market, Rich’s, Nestle, Marzetti, Sarris Chocolates, StarKist Vitasoy, Nutrisystem, Ruth’s Chris, Atria’s Restaurant, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Buck’s Pizza, Food Lion, Moonlight Mushroom, College Inn, LaRosa’s Restaurants, Donut Connection, Budget Savor, US Foods and a gazillion others…

Food Photography Tips from a Professional Food Photographer

Along with being a food photographer, Michael is pretty well known for his many articles about the art and craft of advanced food photography. He also maintains a very informative blog on the subject, where he shares behind the scenes photos, videos, image critiques, and industry observations and some great food photography tips for the novice or intermediate food photographer.

 More information about Food Photographer Michael Ray

Fstoppers Article about “giving back”

Audio Interview with Michael Ray

Audio Interview with Food Photographer Michael Ray

Photigy Interview with Food photographer Michael Ray

Contact Michael Ray

If you’d to talk to Michael about a project or just to answer any questions you may have about the subject of food photography, you can either call him at 412-232-4444, or email him, whichever you prefer…

food photographers clients

Michael Ray’s partial client list