Direct sunlight is often too harsh when it comes to using natural light photography. If you are taking photos of food on a sunny day, the best thing to do is to diffuse the sunlight coming in through a window. Try to have the window at your side or behind the food, just not at your back since that will flatten the look of your food.
There are a couple of modifications to your environment that you can do to get better images. Some of those are:
1. Start by using either a sheer white curtain or a white translucent shower curtain to diffuse the strong rays of sunlight coming in. Alternatively, you can also use wax or parchment paper and place it over the window to cut down the intensity of the light.
2. Next, shut off all of the other lights in the area; because otherwise you’ll have mixed lighting sources and therefore throw off your color.
3. Make sure to take a custom white balance reading for accurate color rendition.
4. Place a white reflector on the opposite side of the window to bring some detail back into the shadows if needed.
5. Use tin foil or mirrors to add specular highlights to the food. Specular highlights are little points of light that help to make the food look more appetizing.
Source: originally published here!