How I Am Improving my Food Photography and I Finally Made it onto Food Gawker and Taste Spotting!
I have been blogging for a long time and my photos have been mediocre to poor to say it nicely. It really does make a difference in the quality of your online presence and the information you are presenting if your images are captivating and make your readers want to read more.
I recently came across an ebook that has transformed the way I photograph food for my blog. The book is Tasty Food Photography. It is written by a very successful food blogger Lindsay, from Pinch of Yum. She shares everything she has learned over the years and practical information that will improve your food photography.
I have completely changed the way I photograph food since reading this ebook. I used to quickly snap a few shots in our dimly lit kitchen right before we sat down to dinner. Now I am setting up photo shoots during the day when I can get lots of natural light.
I pull the curtains up as much as I can to let in the natural light.
I set up a basic backdrop with a reflector board facing the window to bring as much light to my subject as possible. I have been taking photos in my bedroom because it gets so much great light during the day. I have actually figured out that by leaning over the back of the reflector board I can get great overhead shots with lots of great natural light. I haven't used this side light much since I have been photographing in the daylight.
I bought two boards for $5 each at PACA, a salvage resale store that saves old buildings and anything that can be salvaged from old buildings. These are actually not real wood which makes them easy to move and store. They were a really ugly peachy beige color so I painted them both white. Then I used some watered down blue paint and a shop towel to whitewash one of the boards to give it some dimension. I plan to procure a variety of boards to add more textures and colors to my photos.
You can also add texture and dimension to photos with textiles and props. I have been studying photos on foodgawker and Taste Spotting before photo shoots to get ideas. Another tip I learned is too take lots of photos. Take your time and try various angles and set ups. I took at least 75 pictures of muffins during this photo shoot. I probably would have taken 5 to 10 photos before.
I only very recently started doing any photo editing. I am still very new to it and haven't made any major adjustments to my photos, but I have made some minor adjustments. Lindsay explains how to use several photo editing tools in Tasty Food Photography. I need to reread this section of her book and reference it often until I feel more comfortable with editing tools. She also talks a lot about camera settings which is helpful if you are using a DSLR camera. I have been mostly using a point and shoot camera which goes to show you that you can take good photos with simple equipment too. Lindsay gives a lot of good advice about taking pictures with an iphone too.
Here is a comparison of an old photo to a new photo.
I don't think this one would make it onto foodgawker or Taste Spotting.
Much better. This photo did get accepted on both foodgawker and Taste Spotting. You can see this delicious recipe here.
Don't get discouraged if you have submitted photos and been rejected. I have been rejected a lot, but I keep learning and improving and submitting new photos. I have had some luck submitting recipes on Healthy Aperture too. I don't think they are as picky on the quality of the photo, but the recipe needs to be a healthy one.
Are you into food photography? If so, what are your best tips?
Disclosure: The photo link for Tasty Food Photography is an affiliate link.
Linking up at Lou Lou Girls, Do Tell Tuesday, Create with Joy
3/10/2015 01:40:43 am
Congrats on getting your photos accepted! I'm working on my photography skills, too. It's amazing how much goes into getting good shots! Thanks for the book recommendation.
3/10/2015 02:38:36 pm
I too have been snapping quick photos before sitting down to eat and I always wonder how those beautiful pictures were taken. I need to check out this book before snapping any more food shots. Quick question...how could you take the time to get a picture of those muffins without eating them? They look delish!! :-)
3/10/2015 10:54:54 pm
Congrats on getting your images accepted! :) The after image really came out nice. I'd love to try those textured boards too. I do photography also but it's a work in progress. :)
3/11/2015 12:09:46 am
I used to be heavily into photography, all kinds, but flowers were my favorite. I'm starting to remember how much I loved photography and I'm thinking of unpacking my gear and taking some pictures this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration.
3/11/2015 01:37:49 am
Wow.... Looks great... Now I want to go and bake that cake.
Congratulations! I've read about how hard it is to get your photos accepted to ____gawker websites, so that's a big accomplishment! The 'after' photo is fantastic, not to mention delicious-looking! I'm working on a lightbox I can use for my photos and I'm trying to learn as much as I can about photography. I love the faux-wood boards as background and they look so real!
3/11/2015 12:34:49 pm
Thanks for the great photo tips! Natural lighting and good backgrounds make your food shots look fantastic.
3/12/2015 12:52:05 am
I have a party/food blog so I'm always looking for ways to improve my photography. My setup is similar to yours. I use foam board and white bead board. Congrats on your accomplishments. That cake looks awesome!!
3/12/2015 04:24:24 am
Wow - the background makes such a difference! I am impressed and you made me realise that ingenuity can mean you don't spend $,000 when simple is best.
3/12/2015 04:37:29 am
just started blogging and would love to have beautiful food photography,but have no idea how to achieve it. This is soo helpful! Can't wait to check out that book!
Your before and after pictures really show how much you've learned from your research. Although I think the first picture still looks delicious, the second one definitely has better lighting. Either way, I'd eat both of them. Yum! Yum!
Wow - huge improvement in the photos. And I love the boards you got to use as a background. I'm definitely checking out that cake recipe too!
3/13/2015 01:10:52 am
Oh my gosh what a drastic improvement! I need to find some good tutorials or books to learn how to photograph my hair better since I'm a hair blogger. Photos make a world of difference. I get so, so annoyed when my photos look great on camera but then when I go to edit them to add watermarks, they get grainy and look distorted. So, I guess my issue is finding a good editing software.
3/13/2015 05:14:11 am
I'm not a food blogger but thanks for these tips because I do photography for my blog and every now and then objects which should be correctly framed and lit.
3/14/2015 03:30:52 am
Oh my...great post! Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for being part of our party. I hope to see you on Monday at 7. Lou Lou Girls
3/14/2015 04:39:26 am
I sure dont spend a lot of time taking in taking photos for blogging. I only use my phone and admire those that have nice cameras and take the time to learn about lighting, focus and all the technical stuff.
3/15/2015 07:39:23 am
Thank you so much for this post - they are all great tips that I will start to use - I have even asked for a photography lighting kit for my birthday!
My food photography is pretty bad... I don't do much of it and when I do, I just take about 100 pictures using different angles, light, camera settings, etc, then chose the best one. I can see how putting some effort into learning what works can save me tons of time in the long run.
3/15/2015 01:56:00 pm
I love love love food photography! I have been doing it for 4 years and just can't imagine doing anything else. Food doesn't run away from the camera like some subjects :-) A little expensive unless you get a B1G1 deal, Lemon Drop Shop has beautiful backgrounds for photographs. They are geared for portraits, but many wood and brick ones would work for food photography.
3/15/2015 02:16:57 pm
Wow! Congrats on getting on gawker and I LOVE the way you've tackled photogrphy!
3/16/2015 03:42:21 am
Wow...new pics look great. Thanks for the tip on the book!
3/16/2015 02:28:37 pm
Wow! I've got a photography background thanks to 3 journalism classes my senior year of high school but I never really put much thought into food photography. I think there are some restaurants that need to read that book cause their food doesn't look near as appetizing in photos as that cake does! Way to go!
3/17/2015 03:20:50 am
That is what I wanted to do... study photography especially food photog... Great work!
3/17/2015 05:01:52 am
Great job on the new and improved food photography! Big improvement. One of my pet peeves is a photo blog with bad photography. I guess it's because I was a photographer for 10 years ;-) Big thumbs up to you though for doing your best! Plus that pie just looks delicious.
3/17/2015 08:19:59 am
I am not that much into it but am wanting to get into it. I take my pictures with my cell phone or if I accidentally forget to take one I do a search and post it and then give credit to where I got the picture.
3/17/2015 02:15:15 pm
love this post! Super inspiring, I need to work on the quality of my food photos...thanks for the post
3/17/2015 02:47:51 pm
I love blogging, but I freely admit that my photos are the WORST! My food photos are worse than worst. Tasty Food Photography sounds like a wonderful resource and you certainly have put it to successful practical use. So much so, that I'm pinning that chocolate cake too!
3/18/2015 11:55:53 am
I'm not much of a food blogger right now, but I am a craft blogger and I am always looking to make my pictures better so I can get onto sites such as Craft Gawker. Thanks for the tips!
3/18/2015 02:37:45 pm
Thanks for these tips and the links, I am a new food blogger and will need help in this crucial area. I can take pet photos like nobody's business, but photographing food is a whole different monster :)
3/18/2015 08:46:48 pm
Thank you so much for sharing. I have been trying to find better ways to make my pictures stand out. This will be a great help.
12/31/2016 11:55:52 pm
A great website with interesting and unique material what else would you need.
4/7/2022 12:01:35 pm
Such an amazing blog post. I am also a professional photographer and I am exploring photography material on google I found your blog I really love your blog and am encouraging you to write more blogs that can help us.
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Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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