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Logo of The Forked Spoon showing Spork
Food Overhead Photography
5 from 4 votes

How to Shoot Overhead Photography

This guide on how to shoot overhead photography will show you how to make a safe and stable setup. Both allow the photographer to shoot perfectly level shots while also keep expensive camera equipment safe from falling over.
Active Time25 mins
Ordering Equipment10 mins
Total Time35 mins



  • Order/Gather Equipment listed.
    Food Overhead Photography
  • When equipment is fully gathered, stand the tripod up.
    Manfrotto Triman for food photography
  • Secure the sidearm to the Tripod, with the arm directly centered between two legs, to ensure the arm will go far over the photography table when those two legs are moved right next to the table.
    manfrotto side arm for food photography
  • Add both Ankle Sandbags(all 10 lbs) to the Tripod Leg on the opposite side of the Tripod arm, to counterbalance the tripod.
    Office of The Forked Spoon
  • Secure the Geared Head to the Sidearm, tightening the three screws below the sidearm head. The Manfrotto logo should be pointing up.
    Manfrotto geared head for food photography
  • Secure the RC4 base-plate to your camera. Make sure the base plate is as close to parallel with the camera as possible.
    rc4 plate for overhead photography
  • Double-check the 10 lbs of Ankle Sandbags Weights are counterbalancing the Side Arm/Geared Head.
    ankle weight for overhead photography
  • Connect the Camera to the Geared Head using the plate.
    Canon 5d Mark IV
  • Move the large adjustment knobs of the geared head until the Camera looks to be pointed perfectly downward at the photography table or subject.
    Manfrotto geared head for food photography
  • Place Bubble Level on the LCD screen on the camera, and adjust the fine-tune knobs until the bubble is in the middle. Once the bubble is perfectly in the middle, you are ready to shoot overhead safely.
    bubble level for overhead photography