When I first started this blog almost eight months ago, I had NO CLUE what I was doing (and I’m still learning)! It didn’t take me long to realize that no matter how good my recipes were, if they didn’t look good, it didn’t matter. We live in a visual world… here’s what I’ve learned about food photography and styling so far.
I started out with a dinosaur point-and-shoot camera, paying little attention to camera settings and food styling. Here is my very first photo for my Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. Ouch! Harsh lighting is the first thing I see!
Not that I am a wizard behind the camera. I’m not here to tell you I am a photography expert, because I’m not. I’m still learning every day.
If you’re a food blogger (or just like taking photos of food), I hope that I can pass along what I’ve learned so far on this blogging journey of mine that I love so much!
Back in March 2012, I came across this food styling and photography post on one of my favorite blogs. I immediately bought the book that RecipeGirl recommended and have fallen in love with it. Plate to Pixel is one of my favorite books and I am giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Please see details at the bottom of this post on how to enter.
But before we get to that, don’t ‘cha want to see my crazy “behind the scenes” rigged setups? I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I want to show you that you don’t have to have elaborate food props or a ton of expensive dinnerware to make your photos look stunning (not that all of mine are).
Just a little thinking outside of the box. Okay, here goes…
Yikes! Here are my Cherry Beer Margaritas back in April 2012. Please note that I have since scrubbed that filthy back porch. We had just moved and it was on the “to-do” list at the time :-|. I don’t know how many times this photo has been pinned on Pinterest, but I can tell you it is a LOT. I love my Mason jars and borrowed the pitcher from my Mom. Did I mention it’s a darn good drink, too?
I used a little fold-up card table with a 2×2 board that I purchased from my local home improvement store for $4. I currently have 5 boards that I painted and/or stained both sides.
Did you know the background for my Creamy Cucumber Salad is an old side table I purchased at my local flea mall for $3? I was THRILLED! They even loaded it into my car for me!
You’re gonna laugh at this one…the background for my Raspberry Lemonade Cocktail is an old weathered foot stool to an Adirondack chair! I placed a brick under one side so that it sat horizontal. The white board is just a piece of foam board I purchased at Staples to “bounce” the light so there wouldn’t be a shadow. You’ll learn all of that stuff in this awesome book!
Plate to Pixel by Hélène Dujardin was my saving grace when it came to learning about food photography and styling. I also learn from other blogs, magazines and tutorials. I never thought I’d have so much passion for taking pictures of food, but quickly discovered it was embedded in my soul somewhere just dying to come out!
This book is empowering; providing you with information such as the benefits of natural light, food styling, camera settings and ideas for food props and backgrounds.
I hope that in some way (even by exposing you to my dirty back porch) I have helped and inspired you. There are ways to work around limited resources…you just have to go out there and FIND them!
Oh, and I am leaving all of my “less than stellar” photos on the blog. Because I want to remember my journey.
Okay, now for the giveaway info! Please comment below, telling me what you hope to learn from this book.
One lucky winner will be chosen via Random.org on Monday, August 6. Entries are open to residents of USA and Canada. Good luck!
Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links included in this post.
This contest is now closed—congratulations to lucky commenter #9–Victoria!