Joann Pai

I’m a food & lifestyle photographer based in Vancouver, Canada. I started taking photographs as a way to document small moments in life. I enjoy telling stories through photography and to create images that evoke the emotions and memories surrounding food.

I use primarily natural light and keep my kit pretty minimal. Here’s what’s in my bag:

Canon 5d Mark II – The first camera I’ve ever owned was a Canon, and I love it. I’ve stuck with Canons ever since.


Canon 50mm f/1.4- This is my most used lens- I love the focal length and its versatility. The ‘nifty fifty’ is also a great walk around lens.

Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro – I love the sharpness and the details this macro lens picks up.

Canon 24-105mm f/4- I don’t use this lens as much since I find the prime lenses much sharper, but the wide zoom range is great for traveling.

Macbook Pro- I tether to my laptop so I can see the results right away and make adjustments as I go
Software: Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop

Manfrotto 190xb with
Manfrotto 410 Junior Gear Head- allows me to make precise adjustments.

Fujifilm X-E2 with Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4- I’ve been using this as my primary travel camera. It’s nice not lugging around the SLR!

Iphone- My most used camera as it’s with me all the time. I also play tunes while I work as music is a huge source of inspiration for me.

Notebook and pencil- I sketch out shoots beforehand in order to visualize the composition

Vintage cutlery and tweezer- One of the few styling props I have. I’ve become a bit of a hoarder since I got into food photography.

Bananas (snacks)- it keep me from eating the food on set

Antique acorn from Paris- my lucky charm given to me by one of my best friends. I carry it with me to every photo shoot.

Studio gear: reflectors and diffusers

Inside Pai’s camera bag:

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