In the first blog post in Blogging 101, I shared with you all my Top 5 Tips for Starting a Food Blog and also more resources found on my Food Blogging page, here. I’m so happy that it helped so many of you, I got a flood of emails and kind comments about how it was a simple and straightforward advice post for starting your blog. Many of you followed up and were asking about food photography, especially after I shared my “before and afters”; so today I’m sharing with you all Food Photography Tips for Food Bloggers. Let’s get started!
Make, shoot, eat.
Practice, practice, practice.
I know this isn’t something many of you want to hear, because it takes a lot of time, hard work, and effort to practice BUT I promise you, this is THE only way you’ll hone in on your own style, craft, and skills.
Get the right equipment
You don’t have to get over ambitious and order all the things- but be mindful about what pieces of equipment are going to be the most fruitful for your work. For example, when I first starting blogging I was using an iPhone 4 with phone editing software and uploading it into the blog, it looked like a mess and the start but this was the natural progression of practicing. My first major piece of equipment was my Canon Rebel DSLR with a 100mm lens (I still use this camera but have since upgraded to a 50mm lens. Here are my favorites:
- CAMERA: My personal preference is the Canon DSLR Rebel or the Canon 70D
- LENS: I shoot primarily with a 50mm or 100mm. Other options are the Canon macro 60mm lens, and Canon 24-70mm Zoom lens, Moment Lens for iPhone
- TRIPODS: these can be really helpful for overhead shots- shaking equals blurry shots! Velbon tripod, Slik Sprint Pro Tripod
- SOFTWARE: a must have- Lightroom for primary editing with colors/filters if you use those and Photoshop for adding text and crops, etc. to images
Find the best light you like to work with; for me I only use natural lighting partially because it yields the most beautiful images in my opinion, but it’s also because I’m lazy and don’t want to fuss with artificial lighting- I don’t have time for that. Here’s my tip, take a day to just play around with your camera and a bowl of fruit- take that bowl of fruit around your house or studio during different times of days and shot at different angles, make note of the time of day that produces the best quality shot in your opinion. Because let’s face it, it’s YOUR work, your photography and it doesn’t matter what you “think” it should look like. It’s art and it’s personal so have fun with it.
Experiment with different food props like utensils, plates, bowls, cutting boards, backdrops, etc.; and use what fits your unique style. The more that you find your own style and own it, the more your readers will enjoy reading your blog and be able to identify your work from a group of images. This cycles back into my whole philosophy of “be yourself, everyone else is already taken”.
A couple of my favorite resources for food props: West Elm | Target | Crate and Barrel | Sur La Table | Antique malls/shops | Flea markets
You’re writing a food blog, guess what, you kind of have to make the food look “extra” special and styled. As much as I have fun with styling food, when it comes to actually eating these recipes that I make and remake again, I don’t style them, I just make and eat like a normal person- but for the sake of sharing a recipe for the public to see, you need to style it so they know what it “should” look like and what to expect when they finish making a recipe.
Resources to help you with food styling:
- From Plate to Pixel,
- Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots,
- Focus on Food Photography for Bloggers,
- CreativeLive online workshops specifically for photography (be open minded here, you can learn a lot about photography through workshops about portraits, weddings, etc.- photography is photography)
- The Food Stylist Handbook
Blogging 101 posts:
I hope that helps get you started! Comment below with any other questions you have about food photography and I’ll make a part II if needed!