If You’re Into Food Photography and Styling…

If you have your own blog, especially one that features food, you’re likely dabbling in a bit of photography.  I do a lot of it myself.  I’m definitely no expert.  I’m constantly learning from others– nibbles and bits and tricks of the trade.  I shoot with a Canon 40D and a variety of lenses.  Sometimes I use a tri-pod and sometimes I shoot hand-held.  I read, I go to workshops, and I test things out at home.  My blog is about food first, and if I happen to capture a good photograph, that’s great too.  Here are a a few of the things I do to help me along with my food photography and styling…

I saw an awesome tutorial on the blog Love & Olive Oil for making your own background boards.  I didn’t follow the tutorial exactly, but I decided to make some of my own.  I purchased 6 large scrap boards from Home Depot (about $6.00 each), brown wood stain and various colored paint samples.

The wood stain goes on dark but then it tends to fade.  I used a throw-away sponge applicator to apply the stain.  It gets pretty sticky on a paintbrush and is tough to clean.

To create an old “washed” look on one of my boards, I took a brush and randomly brushed gray with the grain in smooth, soft strokes.

And here’s what I did with the rest of my boards- I painted both sides of each board to create 12 new surfaces on which to shoot my food.

Here’s my usual set-up in natural light.  I have a set of French doors in my kitchen that let in great natural light from 10am until about 4pm.  I set a table up next to it, place a board on top, and sometimes I place a white board behind my subject (if needed) to bounce the light back onto the food.

These awesome clips (also at Home Depot) help a board to stand up and stay in place.

I have a zillion white dishes of every shape and size.  I have several bookshelves in my kitchen, dining room and office, and they’re all filled with dishes.  HomeGoods and Crate and Barrel Outlet are my favorite places for finding new pieces.

A colorful array of dishes and bowls line my shelves too… as well as an assortment of utensils.

Fabrics in all shapes and sizes and colors and textures are nice to have around too.  I pick those up at fabric stores, usually scouring the remnant’s section for some good deals.

Piles of single placemats can be found around my house.  I’m not sure what I’d do with them if I ever chose another profession, but it’s fun to be able to use a variety for photos.

I also keep a good number of rolls of ribbon- hanging on hangers so they’re easy to access.

When natural light is cruddy- on cloudy days or at night, I pull out the Lowel EGO lights.  If you don’t already have these on hand, they’re worth purchasing on Amazon.

And for inspiration and tutorials, I go to websites like White on Rice Couple, Matt Bites and  KevinandAmanda.com.  And now there’s a book that compiles all kinds of fabulous tips for digital food photography and styling, and it was written by Hélène Dujardin from the award-winning food blog Tartelette.  And it’s the book that currently resides on my bedside table! :)

Here’s what you’ll find in Plate to Pixel:
*Discover how to use natural light to capture stunning images
*Learn how to work with your camera modes and settings
*See how to fine-tune exposure
*Discover how to compose the most appetizing photo
*Tell your story with light
*Add pizzazz with herbs, sauces and easy styling techniques
*Learn trade secrets for photographing items such as ice cream and stews
*Develop an after-capture workflow process to improve your food photos

Hélène generously shares her knowledge of photography in this new book, there are a ton of helpful, beautiful photographs, and there are tips galore for anything and everything related to food photography and styling. It’s simply the book to have if you are in the business of photographing food.

I’m giving away FIVE copies of Plate to Pixel to RecipeGirl readers.  This giveaway is open to everyone- worldwide, though if you’re outside of the US, it may take a while to reach you.   This giveaway is now closed!  Randomly selected winners are commenters: #23, #118, #103, #242 and #274.  Thanks to all for entering!


Leave a Comment

370 Responses to “If You’re Into Food Photography and Styling…”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — June 11, 2011 @ 5:18 AM

    Lori…omg this post just speaks to me, soooo much! Thank you!!!! I love your dishes, and the board trick…from painting them and HOW you did it, sizes, etc to those clips, love it!

    I makeshifted some white boards with L-brackets taped on after attending a workshop with Matt of Matt Bites and Adam and put the tutorial on my blog.

    I am also taking a photography trip with Todd & Diane and can’t wait!

    And also one with Penny De Los Santos.

    And regret not going on Helene’s last trip. I would LOVE to win her book!!!

  2. 2

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — June 11, 2011 @ 5:19 AM

    posted it to my FB page

  3. 3

    CindyS — June 11, 2011 @ 5:22 AM

    Thank you so much for this information. I’ve just recently started a blog but most of my cooking, therefore photography, is done in the evening and I’m having a lot of trouble with lighting — daylight isn’t usually an option for me. I’d love to have some suggestions of what type of REASONABLY PRICED solutions you have.

  4. 4

    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — June 11, 2011 @ 5:25 AM

    Oh my goodness! Lori, this is the first time I’ve visited your blog and I’m going to bookmark this post for sure because I think it’s great!! I love all of your photography “props” and you have such beautiful photos! The book sounds fabulous and I’d love to see what kind of tips it has to offer. Even though my photos aren’t great at the moment, they’ve certainly come a long way since I started my blog just over a year ago. I’d love to learn how I can make them even better!

  5. 5

    Kaitlyn — June 11, 2011 @ 5:26 AM

    What a perfect giveaway! This book is wishlisted on Amazon for me. I am planning on starting a blog as soon as I figure out what I want to do with it technically (e.g. self-hosted, where to buy my domain name, etc.) I’ve been carrying my Nikon D40 around and trying to figure out what makes my photos different from the ones that I love. This book would give me some fundamentals about lighting and styling that I just don’t have yet as a beginner, and I’d love to have it in my arsenal when getting started!!

  6. 6

    Maris (In Good Taste) — June 11, 2011 @ 5:26 AM

    This is very helpful. I am hoping to learn as much as possible to vastly improve my photos.

  7. 7

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — June 11, 2011 @ 5:26 AM

    Wow, I’m impressed with all your props! I would love to have this book, I’m hoping to learn more about Helene’s beautiful food lighting techniques.

  8. 8

    Kaitlyn — June 11, 2011 @ 5:27 AM

    And I tweeted!!

  9. 9

    bellini — June 11, 2011 @ 5:28 AM

    I am like you and it is all about the food first and if I happen to take a good photo all the better… and yet I envy the stunning photos that many photographers take that make you want to take a fork and dive in. When I was at Eat, Write Retreat the stylists suggested having a spray bottle with water to make your salads, etc look freshly picked from the garden and not dried out. They also suggested brushing meat with olive oil to give it that glisten.

  10. 10

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — June 11, 2011 @ 5:30 AM

    Tweeted the contest! http://twitter.com/#!/gourmandeinthek/status/79525572316893184

  11. 11

    Alan Cooke — June 11, 2011 @ 5:34 AM

    I would love to get into food photography and styling. This would be a great resource to get started!!

  12. 12

    Alan Cooke — June 11, 2011 @ 5:35 AM

    I tweeted this contest for you!

  13. 13

    Emma Jackson — June 11, 2011 @ 5:39 AM

    Hi! I’m a super newbie to the wonderful world of blogging in general, and while I absolutely love to cook– I have absolutely NO background in “dressing” food for its pictorial debuts on my website. My husband left me his amazing digital camera with all the fancy features when he deployed, but as I always had him to take pictures, I know little to nothing beyond “point and shoot”. This is a huge deal for me to figure this stuff out on my own. I will be most excited to learn about these camera features, using natural light, and staging appetizing dishes. Thank you in advance!

    Needless say, I not only shared your post on Twitter (@emmajxn), but I also bookmarked this page for personal reference.

  14. 14

    Dee D. — June 11, 2011 @ 5:43 AM

    A trick I use is to almost always use a white plate, and have some sort of garnish, because it makes the colors of the food look all the more amazing!

  15. 15

    Dee D. — June 11, 2011 @ 5:45 AM

    I tweeted about it!

  16. 16

    Laura — June 11, 2011 @ 5:49 AM

    I would love to learn any tips on photography. It has become an interest over the past couple of months that I have just started messing around with but I would like to learn more about it.

  17. 17

    Nelly Rodriguez — June 11, 2011 @ 5:50 AM

    I’m hoping to learn how to take pictures that don’t look flat….just pictures that really pop!

  18. 18

    Nelly Rodriguez — June 11, 2011 @ 5:51 AM

    I shared on Twitter!

  19. 19

    Carrie @ poet in the pantry — June 11, 2011 @ 5:59 AM

    Great post! Laziness is my biggest problem. But yes, we can get great results at home with a little preparedness and patience. Love the idea of the boards with different finishes! I have the same problem Nelly does and I have a good camera, so I know it’s me, not the camera. Someday… We’re all a work in progress.

  20. 20

    Amie — June 11, 2011 @ 6:01 AM

    I tweeted it! And I didn’t even realize there was a book giveaway. I just thought the crafty folks that follow me would appreciate the great visuals you gave.

  21. 21

    Amie — June 11, 2011 @ 6:03 AM

    I have several TOTA lights with optional softbox’s for them. They’re great for creating natural light.

  22. 22

    Rasha @ PBAddiction — June 11, 2011 @ 6:03 AM

    I loved reading what your process is like!
    I’m hoping to learn more editing techniques to really make food pictures stand out.

  23. 23

    jill — June 11, 2011 @ 6:06 AM

    Awesome chance — I think the processing of the photo is just as important! You can really make a difference by editing to create a look of pop!

  24. 24

    Rasha @ PBAddiction — June 11, 2011 @ 6:06 AM

    I also tweeted about this (@pb_addict)

  25. 25

    Amy — June 11, 2011 @ 6:21 AM

    awesome giveaway! my best pictures happen in the summer when i can keep our door open and get natural light in the kitchen even at 830 PM. or, on weekends when i have light from outside. i definitely want to get some folded cardstock or foam board for backgrounds, i don’t seeing my chairs or edge of table in my photos. i wish i had more room so set up a mini studio with some lights (on days w/o sun) or placed in front of a light filled window!!

  26. 26

    Jill H — June 11, 2011 @ 6:28 AM

    I’m still a newbie at food photography. My biggest thing I learned so far is to use natural light. :)

  27. 27

    leslie — June 11, 2011 @ 6:55 AM

    Oh Lori..I soooo need this book. You think after 3 years of having a food blog I would know about food photography..but nope. I need to learn more about composition!!!

  28. 28

    Olga @ MangoTomato — June 11, 2011 @ 6:57 AM

    omg, would love to win that! I’ve been thinking about making those backgrounds, but haven’t made my way to home depot yet….

    my tip is to go to stores like Crate & Barrel, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc, and look at the clearance aisle: you can spot great dishes in sets of one or two to use as your props. Those are the only dishes I have in my kitchen :)

  29. 29

    leslie — June 11, 2011 @ 6:57 AM

    Sent a tweet out!!!!

  30. 30

    Kalyn — June 11, 2011 @ 7:05 AM

    I love seeing how you are making the boards. I’ve been thinking about doing something like that myself. (I already have the book so you don’t need to enter me in the giveaway.)

  31. 31

    Beverly — June 11, 2011 @ 7:05 AM

    Definitely use white plate and also do not use house lighting, natural lighting is the best.

  32. 32

    Wendy @ Celiacs in the House — June 11, 2011 @ 7:05 AM

    Lori, this post is so helpful for those of us who need a picture to really get it. Seeing your background boards and the process just clicked for me. I need a copy of this great book for more of those ‘I get it now’ moments.

  33. 33

    flip flops & pearls — June 11, 2011 @ 7:10 AM

    What an awesome giveaway!
    I haven’t heard of this book before.
    Please enter me:)

    I struggle with light….I have NONE hardly in my kitchen. Sometimes I get so mad, I just put away my 5D and use my (((GASP))) iPhone! (shhhh)

  34. 34

    flip flops & pearls — June 11, 2011 @ 7:11 AM

    I tweeted!

  35. 35

    Sue — June 11, 2011 @ 7:17 AM

    I have used an afternoon light source successfully (for me), as well as an area of my kitchen. A bit of knowledge could only enhance my efforts!

  36. 36

    Erika - In Erika's Kitchen — June 11, 2011 @ 7:19 AM

    I have issues with lighting – although much of that is because I have a day job and thus am rarely home when the light is best. I’d love to know how to use artificial lighting. Haven’t invested in that yet but I’m thinking about it.

  37. 37

    Bea Roque — June 11, 2011 @ 7:19 AM

    Thank you so much for the tips!!!! I have shared it on Fb and Twitter!!

  38. 38

    Erika - In Erika's Kitchen — June 11, 2011 @ 7:20 AM

    And I tweeted! http://twitter.com/erikakerekes/status/79553440568709121

  39. 39

    Ali — June 11, 2011 @ 7:20 AM

    My tips are to shoot at different times of day to see what light is best for your photos. That and take LOTS of shots, trying different angles, different spots of the dish to focus on, and from different distances.

  40. 40

    Beverly — June 11, 2011 @ 7:22 AM

    I tweeted


  41. 41

    Liz@HoosierHomemade — June 11, 2011 @ 7:23 AM

    I always shoot in daylight with no flash.
    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  42. 42

    Liz@HoosierHomemade — June 11, 2011 @ 7:24 AM

    I tweeted…

  43. 43

    Lydia — June 11, 2011 @ 7:31 AM

    Wow, good tips! i wonder having a house as yours to place all the nice pottery and complements for the pictures. I live in a small apartment in Barcelona with not much natural ligth or space. Anyways I try to do my best, even that I really need a photography tutorial for my blog’s pics!

    Thanks and regards from Spain!

    I Shared it at Facebook!

  44. 44

    Donna — June 11, 2011 @ 7:31 AM

    I use the white board trick and it works great! I love the textures and colors of your boards. Great job!

  45. 45

    Ria — June 11, 2011 @ 7:35 AM

    This is such a wonderful post,Lori! It is very helpful,Thanks!!

    2 things that I have learnt:

    Switch off the flash
    Shoot in Natural light

  46. 46

    Reeni — June 11, 2011 @ 7:39 AM

    LOVE the boards! Thanks for showing us how to make them!

  47. 47

    Tina — June 11, 2011 @ 7:50 AM

    Just started to focus more on food photography for my little german food blog and hope to learn more how to use the light in the write way, and how to make my own backgrounds (well your post already helped with that)

  48. 48

    Amy B — June 11, 2011 @ 7:50 AM

    I would love to learn more about the food styling side of food photography!

  49. 49

    SandeeA — June 11, 2011 @ 8:03 AM

    thanks for this wonderful tutorial!

  50. 50

    Janelle — June 11, 2011 @ 8:09 AM

    What a fun giveaway! I don’t have any tips or tricks for photographing food that you haven’t already talked about here. The best thing I know of is to use as much natural light as possible, even if that means you have to shoot on the floor of your dining room. Artificial light casts weird glows and reflections on the food, and rarely reflects true colors.

  51. 51

    Janelle — June 11, 2011 @ 8:10 AM

    I shared on Facebook!

  52. 52

    Stephanie — June 11, 2011 @ 8:18 AM

    I’d like to learn how to use natural light in a small apartment. If that is possible. Also I rt your post http://twitter.com/#!/cupcakessundry

  53. 53

    Stacy (Little Blue Hen) — June 11, 2011 @ 8:19 AM

    I love your piles of dishes, fabrics, and placemats!

    The technical side doesn’t worry me so much as the styling aspect, which I why I want a copy of Helene’s book. The Penny de los Santos workshop with Creative Live was amazing, but I think having a reference book would be sooooo helpful to me.

  54. 54

    Jessie — June 11, 2011 @ 8:20 AM

    I started baking last year…and now I wanna learn how to take beautiful photographs of them! I wanna have a copy of this book!

  55. 55

    Stacy (Little Blue Hen) — June 11, 2011 @ 8:21 AM

    And I tweeted about it. =)

  56. 56

    Ana — June 11, 2011 @ 8:24 AM

    Wow, this is a nice giveaway, the book sounds great and I would simply love to learn more about how to take nice pictures for my blog!
    I only have a point and shoot and my tip is to never use flash, it just makes my pics look terrible. See, from my tip you can get how much I actually need this book! :-)

  57. 57

    Lisa — June 11, 2011 @ 8:25 AM

    I’d love to win! I still have much to learn, but I am using more white dishes. Also, I’m going to play around with film again and I bought a Diana F+ camera. We’ll see what happens.

  58. 58

    Ana — June 11, 2011 @ 8:25 AM

    I tweeted the giveaway! Food Photography and Styling | RecipeGirl.com: http://t.co/ovrjXh6 via @AddThis #giveaway
    I am @KitchenspaceAna

  59. 59

    Lisa — June 11, 2011 @ 8:25 AM

    I tweeted it! http://twitter.com/#!/AnaliFirst/status/79569048433725441

  60. 60

    Miriam G — June 11, 2011 @ 8:28 AM

    I found your post via Tartelette, I’m a baker and small business owner, I’m trying to learn on food photography, thanks for tutorial! I shared on Twitter!

  61. 61

    gretchen — June 11, 2011 @ 8:39 AM

    i love hélène… so incredibly talented. a couple of my tips would be to pay attention to composition, look at lots of food photos for inspiration of angles and shots, and to familiarize yourself with a good post processing application (just in case).

    thanks for this post!! great ideas and tips

  62. 62

    gretchen — June 11, 2011 @ 8:39 AM

    tweeted your post as well!

  63. 63

    Tracy — June 11, 2011 @ 8:50 AM

    I use white foamcore as a bounce, but I usually just balance it against the wall or some books — will be looking for those clips! Lara Ferroni had a tip on her site a while back about using inexpensive canvas painters’ drop cloths (well-ironed) as backgrounds. They work beautifully. Thank you for the board ideas! I see a weekend painting project in my future….

  64. 64

    Francis — June 11, 2011 @ 8:52 AM

    I’ve taken the pictures for my cheesecake website (www.franciscakes.com). I have used both flash and available light. Kitchen counters, marble, stone, etc, make great background, but you have to watch what’s in the background. Watch your apperature to control depth of field, as use selective focus and throw the rest out of focus. Use a tripod, particularly when using available light.

  65. 65

    Lauren @ Healthy Delicious — June 11, 2011 @ 9:04 AM

    I bought that book about two weeks ago. I havent finished it yet, but I’ve already seen a huge difference in my photos. I’m so grateful to Helene for sharing her wisdom!

    I’ve been wanting boards like that for ages, but my home depot only sells practically wall-sized pieces of wood.Ridic.

  66. 66

    kelley — June 11, 2011 @ 9:05 AM

    What a great post- thank you for sharing your amazing collection of props with us! I have to go get some of those clips for sure! Thanks again!!

  67. 67

    Tracy — June 11, 2011 @ 9:09 AM

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/saladgoddess/statuses/79580861934211072

  68. 68

    Toñi Navarro — June 11, 2011 @ 9:10 AM

    Me ha encantado tu idea de las maderas pintadas a dos caras, yo tengo una de color blanco que me hizo mi hermano pero te voy a copiar la idea, que cantidad de platos y de objetos de decoracion para las fotos que tienes, gracias por compartir con todos.

  69. 69

    D McDade — June 11, 2011 @ 9:18 AM

    I tweeted about this! I love new books! :0)

  70. 70

    Ethan — June 11, 2011 @ 9:22 AM

    I’m not sure this is really a “trick”, but use whatever Mother Nature throws at you. I didn’t have the best light outside one day in the middle of Winter, but I used the snow as my setting. What I lacked in light, I think i made up in “story”

  71. 71

    Ethan — June 11, 2011 @ 9:26 AM


  72. 72

    Carolina — June 11, 2011 @ 9:41 AM

    I need to learn everything about lighting!

  73. 73

    Carolina — June 11, 2011 @ 9:43 AM

    I tweeted..!

  74. 74

    Kristel T.M. — June 11, 2011 @ 9:44 AM

    I’m new to this photography and blogging thing so it’s been hit and miss with pictures for me. I did take my projects outside last week and used natural light and it was amazing what a difference that made! I used a bamboo table as my background and it really changed the whole feel of my pictures. Thank you for the tips on making your own board backdrop and thank you for the chance to win the book!

  75. 75

    Lyndsey @ Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops — June 11, 2011 @ 9:45 AM

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me!! I have recently been getting super frustrated with my lack of camera skills! Lighting seems to be my major problem but I think I could do with advice in all areas!! I love your painted boards – up til now I have just been using fabrics so its such a great idea – thank you so much! I will without doubt be following you from now on for more great advice!

  76. 76

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — June 11, 2011 @ 9:45 AM

    Nice to see your setup Lori…I was just looking at my dining room this morning and thinking about my promise to myself to not let this hobby/addiction take over out there but I fear I’ve done a terrible job. Poor dining room table is getting moved further and further into living room space so I have room for table, storage, lights, etc. The good news though is that the room is actually being used; guess I’m making up for 19 years of only going out there twice a year?

    I have the Lowell lights too; it is nice to have something to call into action if Mother Nature is not cooperating isn’t it?

    Nice post and fun to see another food blogger’s ‘studio.’ I have the book already so not in the running for it…just wanted to simply comment!

    I use a water spritzer bottle and keep olive oil handy too but one thing that I love is copied from Tami with Running With Tweezers. A great big set of tweezers is so nice for setting up or changing small items without disrupting the dish. I got mine from Amazon; love these:


  77. 77

    Lyndsey @ Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops — June 11, 2011 @ 9:46 AM

    Have re-tweeted! : )

  78. 78

    Kristina — June 11, 2011 @ 9:47 AM

    I tend to shoot mostly with a 50mm portrait lens, on aperture priority usually at f5.6. And I am always checking my white balance. Oh and I shoot between 1/2 and 2 stops underexposed. I find that most Dslr light meters overcompensate and want things to be a bit darker than they should be.

  79. 79

    Tessa — June 11, 2011 @ 9:56 AM

    I’m not really good enough yet to have any tips, but I absolutely need help with the set-up to get natural light.

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    Jacqueline — June 11, 2011 @ 9:57 AM

    What a fantastic giveaway! I’m not terribly gifted when it comes to photography but I am keen to pick up more tips on lighting.

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    Sephasaurus Rex — June 11, 2011 @ 9:58 AM

    Posted on facebook :)

  82. 82

    M. @ V. Gourmet — June 11, 2011 @ 10:01 AM

    This is such a wonderful, instructive post — your creativity is inspirational! Having just recently begun a website for vegetarian recipes, I am new to the process of capturing food on film, but these suggestions want to make me run out to my local craft store and get cooking! I shared this on both of my social networking pages — http://twitter.com/#!/VRecipes (via Facebook). Love it!

  83. 83

    Carol — June 11, 2011 @ 10:32 AM

    Hi Lori-what a great giveaway! My husband does most of my food photos and he always has our point and shoot camera set on Macro with the flash off. We have a huge screened in porch that we use to shoot photos 3 out of 4 of the seasons…kind of hard to shoot photos out there during a New England winter. YIKES!
    His next investment-a DSLR camera……….but I have to admit he does really well with what we have now……….
    Also, I cover my folding cutting board that I use when cutting out sewing patterns with white fabric when photographing……..we can use as much or as little of it to wrap around the table we’re using for light reflection.

  84. 84

    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — June 11, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

    I want to learn about Helene’s lighting technique! Wonderful post.

  85. 85

    Debbie Koenig — June 11, 2011 @ 11:08 AM

    I’ve been meaning to buy the book, Lori–thanks for doing a giveaway! My one and only tip: shoot from close range, rather than zooming in.

  86. 86

    Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — June 11, 2011 @ 11:09 AM

    I tweeted about it! @journeykitchen

  87. 87

    Chelsea — June 11, 2011 @ 11:11 AM

    I always use a good lens!

  88. 88

    Oscar — June 11, 2011 @ 11:34 AM

    I will like to shot good pictures of the thing I do like macarons, pretzels with chocolate, cakes… And more. Im a chef and photographer of my own work and creation.
    Definitely I will love to have this book.

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    Jacqueline — June 11, 2011 @ 11:35 AM

    Such a good post. I do need tips. My photos aren’t too bad, but I haven’t progressed on further with them.

    I take my photos in my conservatory for the best possible light and find a white plate can be a good way of showing off your food. The macro setting on my camera is oft used, but a macro lense would be good too.

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    Jacqueline — June 11, 2011 @ 11:40 AM

    I have tweeted @tinnedtoms

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    Bea @ CancunCookies — June 11, 2011 @ 11:47 AM

    I’d like to learn how to take beautiful photos that will make my COOKIES look prettier… Thanks for the giveaway!

  92. 92

    Bea @ CancunCookies — June 11, 2011 @ 11:48 AM

    I’ve shared on twitter :)

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    Rachel — June 11, 2011 @ 11:52 AM

    I LOVE photographing food–and I hope to be able to learn how to focus in more on detail! SO excited about this post!

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    Stacy Marie — June 11, 2011 @ 11:55 AM

    My tips: I use the lighting under the cabinets in the kitchen to get that just right amount of light. They seem to work really well. I usually also take about a 1/2 dozen pics or so turning and touching each foodie dish. My friends love my pics and I love my simple camera.

    Hope to learn: I hope to learn more since I am just all trial and error. Any foodie pics tips would be awesome! I am sure there are many foodie tricks I don’t know and would love to try.

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    Stacy Marie — June 11, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

    Shared…. :)

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    k. douris — June 11, 2011 @ 12:02 PM

    Hoping for a win on your wonderful book! Fingers crossed. Here is my tip:

    Go with opposites. Food does not always have to be on a shiny glossy plate or bowl. This goes for colors as well! For example instead of putting carrot soup in a bowl (obvious) shoot it inside a halved coconut ! Then you have vibrant colors of orange white and dark brown. Also try putting a pink cupcake for instance directly onto a dark brown bamboo place mat. My best photos have been on organic sufaces. Tweeted@! and facebooked!

  97. 97

    Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary — June 11, 2011 @ 12:03 PM

    Ok here’s my tip. When I’m photographing something goopy, like lasagna or a mushy dessert, I pop it in the fridge to firm up a bit. Works every time!

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    Grant — June 11, 2011 @ 12:11 PM

    If the light coming through a window is too strong, you can cut it down without changing the color temperature by using plastic garbage bags, either white or black depending on how much light you need to cut out. You can layer them too or cut a bag open if the double layer cuts out too much light.

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    Reyes — June 11, 2011 @ 12:13 PM

    I want to learn how to take beautifull and diferents photos of food!! My tip? I use a white t-shirt very light to simulate some textures!!

    I need that book!!

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    Reyes — June 11, 2011 @ 12:15 PM

    And here is my shared in facebook:

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    Grant — June 11, 2011 @ 12:16 PM

    Tweeted it.

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    Laura — June 11, 2011 @ 12:28 PM

    I love using different shaped plays and bowls. I would love to learn more about lighting and good styling. This book looks great!

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    Laura — June 11, 2011 @ 12:31 PM

    I tweeted! (@mezalkb)

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    Melissa — June 11, 2011 @ 12:43 PM

    If you’re having trouble with flash this simple trick can help. (if you don’t have any other lighting setups, it’s a time-saver!) If your light is coming off too harsh or washing out your photo, simply hold or tape a piece of white or pastel-colored (your choice of color, and this can even be used to adjust the coloring in your photo) paper to the flash. Then simply bend the rest of the paper in the direction you want your light source to be, and voila! Easy light diffuser! :]

    Shared on twitter as well @9ezekiel :]

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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 11, 2011 @ 12:52 PM

    I try to take pictures in various rooms until I find the perfect lighting for that day. It definitely does change day to day depending on the time and weather. I’ve also used a kiddie table by our front door opened for some shots – works like a charm when the rest of the house isn’t so bright.
    BTW love seeing your setup and seeing your stash of food props! I’ve got to start a place to keep them all – they’re starting to clutter up my regular cabinet!

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    Lesa @Edesia's Notebook — June 11, 2011 @ 1:02 PM

    While mine is not half as sophisticated as yours, I set up a little mini studio to photograph food for my blog too. I like to call it my “foodio.” :)

    The two best pieces of advice for food photography I ever got was to use natural light and to use the macro setting on the camera. I use a 6 year old point and shoot, but I can still get some pretty decent shots that way.

    My food photography skills have improved so much since I started blogging. I want to go through the early posts and redo all the photos!

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    Heidi @ Food Doodles — June 11, 2011 @ 1:35 PM

    I would absolutely love to win that book, I’ve been eying it up for a while now. I also love your suggestions, I’m going to make some wooden boards like that in the future. I love how they look! My favorite tip or trick for pictures is using something to reflect the light. That is so important!

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    Gale Reeves — June 11, 2011 @ 1:48 PM

    I shoot on a piece of barn wood provided by my brother. Look for odd props; they look great through the lens.

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    Deborah — June 11, 2011 @ 1:53 PM

    I have been wanting to make a few boards, but haven’t been able to find the time yet. But yours are so beautiful that they might be making their way to the top of my priority list!! My biggest thing that I’ve learned lately is to move back a bit – you don’t have to get super close up on the food. Let it tell a story!

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    Hallie @ Daily Bites — June 11, 2011 @ 1:56 PM

    My most successful photos happen when I use natural light. It’s tough in the winter to get recipes tested before the sun goes down, but that natural light makes all the difference!

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    Deborah — June 11, 2011 @ 2:08 PM


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    Lana — June 11, 2011 @ 2:16 PM

    I have slowly moved from shooting on automatic, to taking photos on Aperture setting. The next big change will happen this summer – I will switch to manual, which will enable me to control everything myself. It’s a slow process, but I am enjoying every little lesson.
    Thanks for sharing your “photo studio”, Lori:) I love your boards:)

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    Northside Jill — June 11, 2011 @ 2:17 PM

    Thank you so much, this is very useful for me and for some of my twitter followers (tweeted!).

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    Lana — June 11, 2011 @ 2:17 PM

    I Tweeted about the giveaway:)

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    Palmira — June 11, 2011 @ 4:04 PM

    Really liked the boards you made, I will have to try to make mine ;o)
    My best tip is to close up to see the texture of the dish, specially when something is nearly falling of the plate or bowl…
    But I really need to improve my technique!
    Shared on FB!
    Crossing my fingers!

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    Julie — June 11, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

    I’d like to learn more about focus versus fading. I’m not sure how to keep the food in focus, but the props in the background faded. I see pictures like that a lot of food blogs, but haven’t figured it out myself.

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    Val — June 11, 2011 @ 6:04 PM

    I have a point n’shoot Canon, even though it’s maybe not the best camera, but I’ve managed to get some really nice pictures after learning that you can control “white balance” to give more life and warmth to your photos. I really would like to win a copy to keep learning. Also great post & it’s amazing that you do a worldwide giveaway. Thanks! (:

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    patsyk — June 11, 2011 @ 6:26 PM

    I prefer to shoot in natural light, but when that isn’t possible I’ve found that when I use a bounce flash I can get decent results.

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    Oscar — June 11, 2011 @ 7:28 PM

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/trevinooscar/statuses/79615105024786432

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    Carrie @ poet in the pantry — June 11, 2011 @ 7:59 PM

    I tweeted about it: http://twitter.com/PoetInThePantry/status/79532853293092864

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    Radhika — June 11, 2011 @ 8:48 PM

    Those tips on creating different backgrounds using boards are really cool. I have done up a couple of boards that way, but not using the wood stain. Can’t wait to try that next. Your prop collection is pretty extensive.

    Plate to Pixel is a neat item for a giveaway. Keep my fingers crossed. Hope I get it!

    I use triple fold foam core boards for reflectors, they are very handy while covering several angles.

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    Marie — June 11, 2011 @ 8:59 PM

    I would love a copy of this book. I don’t blog but I’ve been wanting to make a book as a present for my mom and aunts with my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s recipes but my photos just don’t have that vibrancy- would love to learn more about depth of field. One tip I do have success with is trying to shoot from different angles- simple but it really helps sometimes.

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    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat — June 11, 2011 @ 9:06 PM

    This is great info!! I always use natural light too and white boards to reflect the light.

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    Barefeet In The Kitchen — June 11, 2011 @ 9:13 PM

    I’m new to the blog world, so I’m still pretty laid back about it still. I usually take food pics on the back patio table. The lighting is decent and it works most of the time. I love your ideas!

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    Tengo un horno y sé cómo usarlo — June 11, 2011 @ 9:25 PM

    Well, I’d love to be able to make decent ice-cream photos. So far, it’s been really tough.
    Great idea this giveaway, and I am using your tip on photo surfaces.

    I’d love to have one copy of Helene’s book. I would patiently wait all the way the book would have to reach Spain ;)

    You can see my comment on my FB: (in Spanish, but with your link)


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    Tengo un horno y sé cómo usarlo — June 11, 2011 @ 9:30 PM

    Ups, sorry, my profile in FB:

    Tengounhorno Ysécómousarlo
    There you’ll find my link to your post.

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    crystal — June 11, 2011 @ 9:49 PM

    I have a food blog and I am always looking for tips to photograph my food!

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    auntiefruf — June 11, 2011 @ 10:31 PM

    Thx for sharing all of these tips. You will be seeing some put to use shortly when I launch my aahsome blog.

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    Leila — June 11, 2011 @ 11:30 PM

    I use a point-and-shoot and have tried to maximize it’s capacity by using the wide-lens feature and by using “white balance”. I’m still training myself to get my subjects closer to the natural light. I feel like I’m faking it if whatever I’m shooting isn’t where it really is in my house. I need to get over that and get my subjects closer to a window.

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    Janet — June 11, 2011 @ 11:45 PM

    What a super fab post this is! I’m almost embarrassed to say what tip I learned only a year ago- shut the flash *off* when photographing food. My photos improved greatly once I did. I still have a longggg way to go though!

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    Meredyth H — June 12, 2011 @ 1:59 AM

    I like to always have a utensil of some sort in the photo to offer size perspective. But I have a LOT to learn about food photography!!

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    Loy — June 12, 2011 @ 2:53 AM

    I love this. I am so new to blogging and digital photography that I just finally learned to shut the flash off on my little point and shoot. Would love to win this book. I am linking this post to a post I am doing on Help for New Bloggers. Thank you so much.

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    Arlene — June 12, 2011 @ 2:53 AM

    Always looking for resources to help make blog photos better! Thanks, Arlene

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    Linda T. — June 12, 2011 @ 3:08 AM

    Being a new blogger and an old photographer, I am learning how to re-think how I approach the subject with my first ever digital camera. Food is a new genre for me, as I am used to photographing people and animals with 35mm film (and a flash boot at night). ‘Am finding that I love using only natural light and I am seeing food in a whole new and delightful way. Helene has an airy and clean style with white which allows the food to stand out, as it should. I could compare her to Mowielicious … both are artists with the food styling, and both use white, yet there is a difference in their own personal touches. I am not looking to copycat Helene, and I am unable to go to her seminars, and so I will have to learn what she has to teach from her book. If I were to combine my own tricks with her “eyes”, there would be great improvement in a shorter amount of time. I need to do this.

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    Mandi McClure — June 12, 2011 @ 3:36 AM

    What great ideas! Especially the boards. I get so tired of shooting on the same 3 surfaces in my house. I would love to learn some more styling techniques for the food. I feel like I am not always that creative or mine just looks boring.

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    Mandi McClure — June 12, 2011 @ 3:43 AM

    I also tweeted about it here:

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    Sara — June 12, 2011 @ 4:52 AM

    I am hoping to learn how to use the settings on my camera if I win!

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    Traci — June 12, 2011 @ 4:59 AM

    I am hoping to learn more about Lighting!!!! It’s so key to great photos and I find that it is the area in which I can use the most help!!!

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    Traci — June 12, 2011 @ 5:00 AM

    I shared your article on Facebook!

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    Felicia — June 12, 2011 @ 5:28 AM

    What an excellent post! I struggle with my pictures because I really dont know how to use the features of my camera. I also love this because I am tired of my work island or dining table being the background for my photos!
    Thanks for the tips and offering this super-cool giveaway.

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    afflowers — June 12, 2011 @ 5:32 AM

    We are working on our website for our dinner delivery service – dinners on the porch and need to start tweeting and FB photos of our food so all tips are great!

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    Margaret — June 12, 2011 @ 5:41 AM

    MY photos are improving all the time, but still have a ways to go. Using light is my major problem. Need help there.

    Thanks for these tips.

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    Margaret — June 12, 2011 @ 5:45 AM

    Tweeted about the give away.


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    Patti — June 12, 2011 @ 6:17 AM

    I need to learn some ways to quickly get good food photos. I don’t have the patience for elaborate setups.

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    Tracy — June 12, 2011 @ 6:25 AM

    Great post!
    My usual technique is to shoot a gazillion pictures on my kitchen table or chairs until something looks good. It’s pretty random.
    I love the idea of the background boards. I also love all your dishes!

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    Katie — June 12, 2011 @ 6:32 AM

    I have a great desire to learn everything I can about food photography. These were some great tips. My first step will be to get a better camera as the one I have now is a little on the cheap side.

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    Jenny — June 12, 2011 @ 6:53 AM

    I make martingale dog collars for big dogs when I am not baking. I created a white box for photographing them. I bought a large square plastic cube box from Target and added a clip on LED light.

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    jessica lynn — June 12, 2011 @ 6:57 AM

    I want this book so bad! I wish I had a great tip or trick, but really, the only thing i know is that practice will eventually make perfect, even if it takes hundreds of shots to get there!

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    Amanda — June 12, 2011 @ 7:04 AM

    My trick to good photos? Um, can I share my tricks to mediocre photos?? :) I try to use natural light. :) Great giveaway!!

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    Sonya — June 12, 2011 @ 7:15 AM

    I rarely use my flash. I don’t have much natural light in my kitchen so I try shooting at all times of the day in various spots in my kitchen until I find just the right place. I have found that the kitchen over my sink is the best source I need to make some of those boards to sit on the sink! that would work perfect!!!

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    Sonya — June 12, 2011 @ 7:19 AM


    I shared this on twitter.

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    CopyKat Recipes — June 12, 2011 @ 7:20 AM

    I need to make up some of those boards too ;) Right now most of my shots are coming off of two places, an oak table, and a cedar hope chest, if its in the morning, we are on oak, if it is past noon we are on the hope chest.

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    Yenta Mary — June 12, 2011 @ 7:22 AM

    I don’t always serve the recipe “as is” for my food shots; for example, if basil is supposed to be torn, I place an intact leaf here and there because it’s infinitely more attractive than a little green/brown shred … :)

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    Nadine Bernardo — June 12, 2011 @ 7:24 AM

    Omg I have to join. Can I just say that I love your site and I’m trying everything on it! :) ok the one tip I can share is that you always have to set the white balance. People don’t do this that’s why they end up with photos that are darker, yellowish or not the right color. Always check that you get the right white balance to get the perfect photo! :)

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    Andree — June 12, 2011 @ 7:27 AM

    I learned to use macro to take better pics. I need*, want to use light better!

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    Amy Mikkelsen — June 12, 2011 @ 7:48 AM

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I know what’s on my agenda when the kids are back in school.

    My helpful tip is to practice, practice, practice. Try shooting at different times of day, in different lighting and MOVE around the food.

    I’ve been hoping to get read this book and would love to win!

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    Amy Mikkelsen — June 12, 2011 @ 7:50 AM

    I tweeted the post too :) Happy to share such wonderful info and giveaway!

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    Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) — June 12, 2011 @ 7:54 AM

    Yay for an international giveaway. Photography is something that really eludes me, I’m just not too into it. This was an awesome post though, it really helped me understand. I’ve been seeing those painted boards everywhere!

    I’d love to learn more about angles, I never get it right!

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    Kathie — June 12, 2011 @ 7:58 AM

    Great post! I love all of the tips you gave and can’t wait to try some of them out!

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    megan {a dash of megnut} — June 12, 2011 @ 8:03 AM

    i always try to shoot in natural light but since I only have one window in my apartment and theres a building 5 feet away from it my natural light is scarce. so i guess i would like to learn how to take good photos in these circumstances.

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    megan {a dash of megnut} — June 12, 2011 @ 8:03 AM

    i shared this on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/ADashofMegnut

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    Tastes of Home (Jen) — June 12, 2011 @ 8:04 AM

    Thanks for sharing your tips…for myself I depend on natural light a lot and I feel that the right props and backdrops are essential to a good photo. I am learning to be more creative in my composition and excited as there’s just so much to learn about food photography and food styling!

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    megan {a dash of megnut} — June 12, 2011 @ 8:05 AM

    i shared this on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Dash-of-Megnut/117565671661259?ref=hnav

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    Tastes of Home (Jen) — June 12, 2011 @ 8:08 AM

    Just tweeted..:D

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    Patti — June 12, 2011 @ 8:10 AM

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/PattiAnastasia

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    jillian — June 12, 2011 @ 8:12 AM

    These are some really great tips! I had actually just resolved to stop caring so much about the photos on my blog. I found I wasnt blogging because the photos just took too much time!

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    Kate — June 12, 2011 @ 8:37 AM

    I’ve found that taking multiple pictures of the food from different angles helps. that way when I write something about it, I have many pictures to choose from!

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    Kate — June 12, 2011 @ 8:39 AM

    I just shared this on facebook!

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    Hungry Jenny — June 12, 2011 @ 8:40 AM

    Hi Lori – great post – it’s always interesting to read about how great food photographers compose their shots!

    I always struggle with my food photography though I think a large part of it is that I get frustrated too quickly with it – I don’t have alot of space in my house (as would otherwise buy lots more props etc!).

    However, I have a big collection of different coloured/patterned scarves which I often use to sit my dish on when taking photos! I don’t know if you could call that a proper ‘tip’ but it’s a trick I certainly use to try and make for a more interesting background to my photos!

    Thanks for the useful post and the giveaway – have retweeted!

    Hungry Jenny x

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    Liz W — June 12, 2011 @ 9:17 AM

    What a fantastic giveaway! I’m new to food blogging and have been learning a lot every new post, including one of my most important lessons – turn off the flash! I’d love to learn more about props and styling and have read posts on your site for some inspiration in the past. Thank you for the great tips!

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    Naomi Bussinger — June 12, 2011 @ 9:23 AM

    !!! My facebook page is overwhelmed with all my ameture attempts of taking pretty pictures of the food I make. I JUST purchased my very first digital SLR and would LOVE to have this book, I think it would help me a lot. I’m currently working on setting up my own food blog and would love to have this book so that I can take better pictures for it. :) Shared on facebook!!

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    Cathryn — June 12, 2011 @ 9:24 AM

    Shared this! loving the tips … Thx

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    Naomi Bussinger — June 12, 2011 @ 9:25 AM

    Shared on facebook :)

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    Patti Wigington — June 12, 2011 @ 9:36 AM

    Love love LOVE this! I’ve recently started photographing my gluten free recipes and posting them on my blog, but I don’t have a terribly fancy camera. I can definitely do the backdrop boards, though – that’s a fantastic idea. I’ve found that brightly colored plates make everything pop visually, and I’ve started experimenting with fabric as a backdrop. Thanks so much for all your tips!

    Shared on Facebook:

    and Twitter:

    outside the lines

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    Jen — June 12, 2011 @ 9:38 AM

    I would love this book! I’ve just recently started adding better pics of food to my blog. It sure helps to make it look more appetizing :)

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    Jen — June 12, 2011 @ 9:41 AM

    I tweeted your giveaway!

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    Kortney — June 12, 2011 @ 10:11 AM

    I love natural lighting, other than that Im just learning. that book would help! thank you

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    Dottie W — June 12, 2011 @ 10:17 AM

    Posted this on Twitter already! Great blog, thank you for showing us your amazing collection of props – very jealous! I just started in food photography (I had always done landscape or portraits before), but my natural calling came back to food (as my love for cooking did as well). My only trick is my little soft box with a strong, hot light on each side to soften any shadows. I also try and wait (if I can bear it), for the food to cool down to avoid any steam.
    My biggest drawback right now is my lack of dishes :( Will have to attempt to change that :)

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    chandhana — June 12, 2011 @ 10:50 AM

    I recently ventured into food writing.. and I recently bought an awesome camera… would like put these two together and create awesome pics and lovely food…. and finally an international giveaway… something long awaited!!!!!!!!!1

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    chandhana — June 12, 2011 @ 10:52 AM


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    Liz — June 12, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

    I suck at photography! I want to take a course later this summer. This book might greatly help my photography skills until then! Thanks for a chance to win!

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    Shani Ablicki — June 12, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

    What a great idea for a book. I’m not an expert in photography but using your ideas and tips could make my photos even better. I look forward to reading more of your ideas. :)

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    Rachel — June 12, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

    Shared the contest on my Facebook Profile!

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    Mercè — June 12, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

    Thanks Lori!
    I do pretty much the same for the backgrounds.
    And with my photography, I try different angles, move around the subject, move props around, try different color combinations… Sometimes what I had in mind does not work, sometimes yes… that’s why trying different things helps me to find the right picture.

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    Amy Jurist — June 12, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

    Wow, great blog post! I’m a caterer just starting to blog! The book would totally help!

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    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — June 12, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

    I have SO much to learn about food photography. I just got a new camera and would love to learn more about all the different settings. I need to open the manual and start reading :)

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    Amanda Thompson — June 12, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

    I would love to learn more about the different modes and settings on my camera and which lenses are better for different types of shots.

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    Rachel — June 12, 2011 @ 11:08 AM

    Can never take too many photos! I take approximately 4-10 photos of anything I make, in different angles, so I can have options of which photo comes out the best. Still looking to learn, so hoping this book with help me since I LOVE to cook and bake and share photos with my friends and family!

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    Kim — June 12, 2011 @ 11:16 AM

    I just bought a new camera to take pictures of my cakes I bake (hobby I don’t sell them)… I would love this book and the tips.

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    Julie — June 12, 2011 @ 11:18 AM

    My trick is to just take lots and lots of shots. Out of 100 pictures, 10 turn out pretty good. Out of 10 shots, I’m lucky to get 1. I’d love to learn some food styling tricks!

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    Karen Pizzuto-Sharp — June 12, 2011 @ 11:22 AM

    Lori, thanks for the great post. I am absolutely dismal when it comes to photographing my baked goods – in real life they look delicious, and then I shoot these one-dimensional, flat looking photos – sometimes with camera glare and bad backgrounds you can’t even tell they’re cookies! LOL Some great ideas in this post – why didn’t I ever think to use fabric to spice up the photo shoot?
    And btw, love your blog. :-)

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    LilSis — June 12, 2011 @ 11:35 AM

    Great tips on making the boards! I use a lot of place mats, too, but I love the idea of the different colored boards. I have a ton of stuff that I’d love to learn about food photography so I would LOVE to win this book.

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    Kristina Vanni — June 12, 2011 @ 11:35 AM

    This is awesome! I just lugged a bunch of wood back from Home Depot recently to do this exact same thing!

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    Tom — June 12, 2011 @ 11:37 AM

    Looks like your having fun Lori..I’ve been doing this for years..a great source if anyone wants to save a few bucks check to see if there is any construction going on in your area. Usually most new construction sites have scrap plywood laying around on the ground from roofing that you can use at basically no cost. Try using old water based latex paints, primers or water based stains some you can mix together for custom colors simply thin them out with water. Try weatherizing the wood to give it an interesting look.

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    LilSis — June 12, 2011 @ 11:37 AM

    I just tweeted the post! :-)

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    Jenifer — June 12, 2011 @ 11:40 AM

    I’m so excited to learn new tips. I’ve been following you for a while now and your food is delicious and easy. You’ve inspired me to start my own thing on FB. I can’t wait to post some super pics! As far as pics go, I love contrasting colors such as white on black, light on dark, etc. I think color and angle are everything!

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    Jenifer — June 12, 2011 @ 11:41 AM

    PS… i share your tips all the time so naturally, i shared this one! ;)

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    Emily@SoDomesticated — June 12, 2011 @ 11:46 AM

    I use natural light when I take my photos and prop a foil covered board up next to my food arrangement, so that the light can bounce back and create a brighter photo. Photoshop always helps too ; ) I would love to learn more photo staging tips!

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    Martha Lee Asarisi — June 12, 2011 @ 11:57 AM

    I love your facebook page and you publish the most amazing recipes too!

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    Cathy Arkle — June 12, 2011 @ 12:02 PM

    Tip…I take my food to different rooms in the house to get different backgrounds and lighting. i set the dish on the piano top (great reflection), chairs, tables, wood & tile floors, marble bathroom countertops, etc.

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    Mike Hamm — June 12, 2011 @ 12:06 PM

    Nice tips. I’ve been dabbling in food photography. It’s kind of fun. I’d like to get good at food styling too. Seems like they really go hand-in-hand. I always shoot from several different angles. Sometimes the picture looks flat at one angle and then it will suddenly pop at a different angle.
    I’m always looking to learn more.

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    Mike Hamm — June 12, 2011 @ 12:08 PM

    Oh, shared on Facebook too. :)

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    Laura Scott — June 12, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

    As one that loves cooking and used to do a great deal of photography, this truly intrigues me. I always want to have the tools at hand to do my best. This book would be such an asset!

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    pamm — June 12, 2011 @ 12:18 PM

    Love all the tips. I’m just trying to learn as I go. I don’t have a photography tip but I have one for cleaning paint brushes that have dried paint or stain on them. Take white vinegar and heat it up to almost boiling. Set brushes in the vinegar and let it soak for awhile. You will ba amazed at how it works.

    Love your blog

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    Tom — June 12, 2011 @ 12:23 PM

    FYI: A few quick tips if you use natural lighting and don’t have a backlight and would like to increase the lighting on an object try using a small adjustable mirror. It can be positioned to reflect lighting to the backside of an object reducing any shadows. Another trick if you have no mirror or backlight try making a cheap reflector using tin foil mounted to a piece of cardboard.

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    Jodie Younse — June 12, 2011 @ 12:28 PM

    Photography has always been my passion and I’ve always loved good food. So, when I combined the two I found something I truly love.
    Tip: shopping thrift and second hand stores for utensils keeps things cheap and lets you look for unique items.
    Shared this on Facebook as 5ive $ Feasts.

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    Melissa Fullmer — June 12, 2011 @ 12:33 PM

    i am no food photographer but would love to learn how so i can incorporate some pictures into my family recipe book, i would love to learn what the best settings on the camera are for photographing food. I would love to win the book!

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    Rachel — June 12, 2011 @ 12:48 PM

    I’d really like to learn more about lighting when natural light isn’t available.

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    Nancy — June 12, 2011 @ 1:11 PM

    Wow this post just blew me away. I have wanted to start a blog but know I need a better camera. I’m going to look into the one you use. Also thanks for sharing all your ‘props’ photos. I have so much to learn.

    Would LOVE to win a copy of the book. I have photographed some of my dishes but they don’t look all that great. I know this and your blog post will help me greatly. Thanks NJ

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    Krista — June 12, 2011 @ 1:20 PM

    When I do take pictures of food or anything in general I always try and use natural light. I’ll take it outside and if i have to to make it look nifty set it right in the middle of my garden with all the plants ive used to create it surrounding it.

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    Krista — June 12, 2011 @ 1:21 PM

    tweeted about this as well:0

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    Shalaine — June 12, 2011 @ 1:31 PM

    Wow!! You make food photography look easy! I would love that book to help my skills develop!

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    Megan — June 12, 2011 @ 1:32 PM

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this site by way of a tweet on twitter (which I retweeted!) and I posted a link on my facebook page too. I’ve got no tips to share since I’m still pretty new when it comes to sharing on my blog; but I’m really interested in this post and the tips you’ve provided here, I’d love to learn more about better showcasing the food and items I share. I’m off to read through the rest of your blog, I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read so far!

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    Christine J — June 12, 2011 @ 1:36 PM

    I love the board ideas! Your prop collection is pretty nice. And what a great giveaway — this one is on my Amazon wish list! :)

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    Carissa — June 12, 2011 @ 1:58 PM

    i try to take a picture before my boyfriends eats the food!

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    Carissa — June 12, 2011 @ 1:58 PM

    that comment sounded bad…it should have been a singular boyfriend…not plural!

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    Kara — June 12, 2011 @ 2:02 PM

    I would love to learn more about maximizing my camera’s settings for awesome food photography.

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    Belle — June 12, 2011 @ 2:50 PM

    Tweeted it and also brought it 2 attention of some photo students I know.
    PS I am married 2 a pro fotog. U do very good job of explaining things to the artistically challenged !

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    kiki — June 12, 2011 @ 3:16 PM

    Hi Lori, I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now and particularly love your photos… If, after reading this book, I’m able to take half as good (ok, lets be honest, 10% as good) photos as yours are, then I’ll be very happy :)

    Regards from Serbia :)

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    Debbie Fabre — June 12, 2011 @ 3:18 PM

    I put glycerine on some of my food to make it look juicy and fresh.

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    Debbie Fabre — June 12, 2011 @ 3:19 PM

    I tweeted about this article and giveaway.

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    Debbie Fabre — June 12, 2011 @ 3:19 PM

    I shared this on my Facebook.

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    Kim- Liv Life — June 12, 2011 @ 3:40 PM

    What a useful post! I’ve recently been reading about painting the boards and have that project on my summer to do list. Currently I use simple scrapbooking papers that I found at Michaels for backgrounds, my favorites are some of those with texture.
    Funny, I’ve seen people use those board backgrounds and was alway envious of the really neat weathered tables that they had! Thanks for sharing the secret!

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    Skinny Fat Kid — June 12, 2011 @ 3:57 PM

    I’ve been working hard on my photos and agree that natural light is the way to go. Unfortunately it’s usually dark when I’m cooking but I’ve tried to make a few more things on weekends. I did buy a small tabletop photo studio which has helped!

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    Sara — June 12, 2011 @ 4:14 PM

    I have been trying to take photos of food for my blog and I seem to be NOT good at it! I have tried many different things, such as: different kidns of bowls, plates, using EVERY light in the kitchen plus flashlights to make sure the lighting is sufficient, I have tried tilting things to get a good shadow to light ratio.
    I don’t know what to do to take better photos and so I would love to learn some better ways to take incredible food photos so that I can take pictures of the things I create for my blog. I don’t have many readers…only one person ever comments and so I want to get more people to check out my blog! I feel this would help.
    Does the book teach about finding time to create fun things and take pictures of it? Time is hard for me!:)
    I also want to learn how to take action shots of food…such as pouring things. I don’t have a tripod and so to take pictures of things as I pour or mix is really hard to do one handed!!!
    I’m so excited! I never win, this would be the icing on the cake for making fun food fotos!

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    Tamara B — June 12, 2011 @ 4:21 PM

    I love to bake and people are always telling me to sell my cookies, muffins etc. Now if I could learn how to photograph them to look as good as they taste….maybe I could sell some of my baked goods. My favorite way to shoot is with natural light. I’ve taken workshops on landscape photography, but haven’t had the opportunity to take any workshops for food photography. I definitely shared this link on my FB page as I know some very talented photographers who are always wanting to learn!

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    Sara — June 12, 2011 @ 4:21 PM

    I facebooked about it!

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    Laura O. — June 12, 2011 @ 5:07 PM

    I’m just starting out as I’m opening a bakery and cafe in the fall and am trying to shoot my own photos for my menus and website. Thanks for all the great tips!

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    Janelle King — June 12, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

    My problem when I try to take pictures of my food it always come up looking terrible. I would love to learn how to take better pictures.

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    Lindsay — June 12, 2011 @ 6:25 PM

    A tip to good photography is to practice!!

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    Christine — June 12, 2011 @ 6:44 PM

    I am so happy I came acoss your post through my reader! I have been battling for months on starting my own blog but because I don’t know how to use my camera that well, I haven’t done so yet! I am willng to learn everything and soak it all up!

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    Melissa Liberatore — June 12, 2011 @ 7:03 PM

    For the past couple of years I’ve been dabbling in the hobby of food-ography as I call it. I use a variety of tableclothes but have found it is especially fun using satin/cotton scarves as a background for images – they are very inexpensive at yard sales and Goodwill and come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Thanks for this great post on painting your own backdrops – love that idea!

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    Pamela — June 12, 2011 @ 7:15 PM

    I shoot most of my pictures on our sun porch. It does get tough in the winter months, though. I usually don’t get the food ready before the sun starts going down. I do have a light set up in the basement, but sometimes I get lazy and don’t want to lug the food down. The book looks fantastic and I would love to check it out.

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    Chelsea — June 12, 2011 @ 7:25 PM

    Thank you for posting this info!!! This is something I really want to learn about! I’m currently using a roll of wrapping paper as my back drop and just trying to use the natural light or lights already in the room. I have a couple different colors that I use depending on the food. Thanks again for all the great info!

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    Chelsea — June 12, 2011 @ 7:27 PM

    Posted on Twitter @whatchamakinnow!

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    Manette Gutterman — June 12, 2011 @ 7:38 PM

    I’ve got more to learn about aperture. I also need to practice using different lenses. Thanks for the chance to win this great book!

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    mike509 — June 12, 2011 @ 7:40 PM

    A terrific post! Off to HD to get some board! Tip: I sometimes use salt cellars (footed) and “baby spoons” to shoot puddings/ice creams/bread puddings etc – it’s much easier to handle/style something smaller (IMO) – and it gives the reality of a “grown up” serving! Would love to explore the book!

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    Susan — June 12, 2011 @ 7:41 PM

    I would LOVE to know how to take some amazing pictures of my creations! Thanks for sharing your tips on creating boards. I’ve always wanted to know how to make food look “commercial ready”!

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    Brenda @ afd — June 12, 2011 @ 7:56 PM

    Such an info-packed post, thanks! I would love to have a copy of Helene’s book – it’s definitely on my list. I just plain need to dig into my camera more, and know this book would help.

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    Brenda @ afd — June 12, 2011 @ 7:59 PM

    I tweeted, too!

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    Jill @ Dulce dough — June 12, 2011 @ 8:55 PM

    Thank you for your great tips in your post! Such helpful info!
    I hope to learn more about food styling and lighting.

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    Courtney — June 12, 2011 @ 8:56 PM

    I’m suffering horribly from food composition and positioning.. I would love to learn how to get the most light as well.

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    Courtney — June 12, 2011 @ 8:56 PM

    I tweeted! http://twitter.com/#!/CourtneysSweets/status/80121087442157568

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    Jill @ Dulce dough — June 12, 2011 @ 8:58 PM

    I tweeted

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    Dionne — June 12, 2011 @ 8:59 PM

    I need this book! I read photography books but they never seem to be what I am looking for, since they normally focus on landscapes and portraits. I need a book that focuses on food.

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    Dionne — June 12, 2011 @ 9:01 PM

    I think these board are ideal background for photos since they all seem to be a matte finish, I really struggle with glares on countertops. White dishes are the way to go.

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    Nicole @ whatcanicook.com.au — June 12, 2011 @ 10:21 PM

    I’ve just published my own recipe book and have no experience in photography. I have an Olympus camera and am such a novice that I don’t know how to use it properly. I love taking photos of my food and need some great tips on how to do this for beginners, this is what I would like to learn more about. Your information about creating own boards has provided me with so much inspiration, thank you, I believe I can learn these tricks too. Have re tweeted your tweet.

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    corinne — June 13, 2011 @ 3:29 AM

    I would love to learn how to deal with the awful lighting in my kitchen!

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    miss mary — June 13, 2011 @ 3:30 AM

    It´great!! i´d like to learn more about stylish photo to take better photos to my blog!! I´m from spain (santiago de compostela) and, i´d love to have a copy of this book!

    I shared this in my facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Antojos-de-Miss-Mary/128642330545754)

    my blog losantojosdemissmary.blogspot.com


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    The Little Welsh — June 13, 2011 @ 4:19 AM

    This is a fantastic post and it’s really shed some light (excuse the pun!) on some of, what I’ve considered to be, the mysteries of good food photography. I’m a passionate food blogger and love food photography but always feel frustrated at not having the right props, lighting or knowledge even to take good pictures. One thing I learnt early on and still practice is using a large A3 piece of white paper and proping it up on my laptop – this provides the perfect angle for the paper to bounce the light back on to the food! Plate To Pixel would be a huge help to me and make my love of food photography a lot less stressful!! This has been a fab post too by the way and I found the tips on fabrics and crockery especially useful. I’ve just tweeted this too (@TheLittleWelsh)

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    Renee - Kudos Kitchen — June 13, 2011 @ 5:17 AM

    I love that you were painting your own backdrops. I’m definitely going to try that. I don’t only take food photos but also photos of my painted items. I think that interesting backdrops will add to whatever feeling I’m trying to convey. Also love your stockpile of dishes and fabric swatches. I’ve recently started doing that and found out what a difference it makes in taking an interesting shot. I hope to keep improving as time goes on. I never suspected that I would also become a lover of photography. Sweet! Thank you for the post Lori!

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    Renee - Kudos Kitchen — June 13, 2011 @ 5:22 AM

    I’ve shared this post on twitter and my Facebook page as well!

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    Linda — June 13, 2011 @ 5:56 AM

    I am just getting started with food photography and would like to learn the best way to get the best pics of my food.

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    Eating Deliciously — June 13, 2011 @ 5:58 AM

    I hope to learn how to better use artificial light sources when photographing food. I do most of my cooking on weeknights after dark so I don’t have the option to use natural light.

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    Eating Deliciously — June 13, 2011 @ 6:04 AM

    I tweeted too: http://twitter.com/#!/EatDeliciously/status/80256950826315777

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    Jean | Delightful Repast — June 13, 2011 @ 6:46 AM

    Lori, this sounds like something I could really make good use of! Here’s hoping!

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    Rose — June 13, 2011 @ 7:26 AM

    I’m hoping to start a blog about Soul food and how to prepare it healthy. High blood pressure is one of the number one silent killers in the African American community. I want to show how I lowered my weight, and blood pressure, and still enjoyed those “home-cooked” recipes passed down from generation to generation.

  258. 258

    Lindsay — June 13, 2011 @ 7:27 AM

    Great ideas! I am just beginning, but this would be so helpful to get started. Thanks!

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    The Farm Girl — June 13, 2011 @ 8:07 AM

    Thanks for the tips. I am a food blogger too and am constantly trying to improve my pictures, can’t wait to try some of your tips. The biggest thing I want to learn is how to capture the natural light better and to improve my styling! Hope I win :)

  260. 260

    Liz — June 13, 2011 @ 9:01 AM

    I would love to learn more about using light. It’s hard because I’ve heard the best time to snap pictures is during the day around 2 p.m. and I’m never home at that time with a full time job during the day. I also want to learn more creative ways to display my food.

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    Meagan — June 13, 2011 @ 9:39 AM

    I have started my own little baking blog about all the receipes I bake. So far I haven’t included any photos, as I am still learning about the different techniques. This post you put up, was full of so many good ideas and tips and I will forsure be using them for my little blog. The biggest thing I want to learn more about is capturing the photos with the right amount of light.
    Thanks fo your tips.

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    Maranda — June 13, 2011 @ 9:51 AM

    I would love to learn more about lighting and placement. I’m not too creative when it comes to plating food and making it look pretty!

  263. 263

    Maranda — June 13, 2011 @ 9:52 AM

    I tweeted about this giveaway. My handle is @mannadonn

  264. 264

    janetha — June 13, 2011 @ 10:36 AM

    That book looks awesome. One thing I do often is use my custom white balance setting. It is a life saver!

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    GIna — June 13, 2011 @ 10:41 AM

    I find when I use my 200 lense on my Nikon that i get the clearest shots. But what I would love to learn more about it creating a great pic when you dont have all of the lights and backdrops. Just using natural light and what i have in my kitchen or backyard.
    I also ‘liked’ and linked on my facebook page!

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    Angie — June 13, 2011 @ 11:10 AM

    I am no good at photography although I would love to be! I want to learn to use natural lighting. I LOVE pictures that use a lot of natural lighting.

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    Holly H. — June 13, 2011 @ 11:12 AM

    Thank you for the tips – I keep wanting to start my own blog (after stalking so many of you) and appreciate the small tips in photography – thank you for the great post!

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    Misty — June 13, 2011 @ 12:27 PM

    I’ve been very interested in this book, and I’ve seen the board tip in a few places lately. The best thing I do is go outside to shoot – the light in my place is terrible for photography, so I take my food out onto my patio. Otherwise, I just do the best I can with what I’ve got, and sometimes play with a light box.

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    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert — June 13, 2011 @ 12:29 PM

    Wow this is great information and ideas! I just bought this book not long ago and love it. Thanks for the interesting tips. This is my first visit linked from Bakerella. Have a great week and happy cooking.

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    d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo — June 13, 2011 @ 12:37 PM

    I’m still a point and shoot camera user, but I love the macro setting – it makes my photos look like I’m a beginner using a better camera!

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    Kristi — June 13, 2011 @ 12:52 PM

    When my kids were born, 9 yrs. ago I took almost all my pics with an old 35mm my father-in-law got from a pawn shop. I didn’t even know how to use most of the settings, but I really liked how many of the pics turned out. I’ve since learned from PW’s blog the effect I achieved is called bokkeh (spelling? pronunciation?) . I now have a digital but I like those old pics best, more character to them. I would love to get an even better camera and learn to take great pics of peoples faces!

  272. 272

    Kendra — June 13, 2011 @ 2:30 PM

    I desperately need to spend some time learning about how to use natural light!

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    Lisa @ The Cooking Bride — June 13, 2011 @ 2:31 PM

    I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting better. For indoor shots, I bought a cheap poster frame from Wal-Mart, covered it in waxed paper, and use it as a diffuser for my lights. I would love to be able to have all the background and dishes, but I have nowhere to store them!

  274. 274

    leanne — June 13, 2011 @ 2:35 PM

    Ha! I have no good photography tips, which is exactly why I am probably the target audience for that book! I’d love to learn how to better plate food so it looks better in photos.

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    Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe — June 13, 2011 @ 2:52 PM

    Really, aside from crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, all I do at present is take advantage of any natural daylight streaming in through the kitchen window depending on the time of day. I need lots of help since I don’t actually plan my cooking/baking BASED ON what time the good light comes in. ;-)

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    Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe — June 13, 2011 @ 2:56 PM

    I shared this post on Facebook. Thanks for the opportunity!

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    Vale — June 13, 2011 @ 2:56 PM

    I shared the giveaway on Twitter! (:

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    TAMMY — June 13, 2011 @ 3:02 PM

    Since I’m still learning, I have no good tips to share. I really need to learn more about lighting. My photos tend to be either underexposed or overexposed.

  279. 279

    TAMMY — June 13, 2011 @ 3:04 PM

    I shared the giveaway on FB.

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    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — June 13, 2011 @ 3:24 PM

    As a new food blogger, I am about the food, and the photography comes later. So far I haven’t learned the trick to how to do it right! What a great giveaway!

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    Sylvie Paquette — June 13, 2011 @ 3:30 PM

    Great article, thanks for sharing your tips! I would love to win this book since food photography is something I fantasize about being awesome at… :) I re-tweeted!

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    Emily Bites — June 13, 2011 @ 3:38 PM

    I could really use a copy of this book! I started food blogging 5 months ago and though I absolutely LOVE food, I know nothing about photography. I am trying to work on my photos but I have a lot to learn.

    My tip is to make the food the star and not clutter the photo with too many props.

    I loved the tips you provided above, I bookmarked this post for future use!

  283. 283

    Julie @SavvyEats — June 13, 2011 @ 3:52 PM

    I really want to learn about photo composition and using props to make the photos more interesting!

  284. 284

    Julie @SavvyEats — June 13, 2011 @ 3:54 PM

    I tweeted! (@savvyjulie)

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    Nelson Cardoso — June 13, 2011 @ 4:38 PM

    Since I don’t have that many resources (lighting etc) I like to shoot in tight and with a narrow depth of field to take away focus from things around the plate.

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    Glory/ Glorious Treats — June 13, 2011 @ 4:55 PM

    I always use natural light, and I’m lucky to have a huge window in my living room, where I almost always shoot my photos.

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    Sephasaurus Rex — June 13, 2011 @ 5:45 PM

    My tip is… Turn on the lights! XD
    Just kidding. I have no idea what I’m doing– Books help :)

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    Aimee — June 13, 2011 @ 5:45 PM

    I put this on my facebook! Love the idea and the boards look so great!

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    Chrissy — June 13, 2011 @ 7:59 PM

    I’d love to learn more about proper lighting. :)

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    Lori @ Laurel of Leaves — June 13, 2011 @ 8:06 PM

    Natural light is the way to go with food photography! I would love to learn more about composition and props. Thanks for the chance to win such a cool book!

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    Lori @ Laurel of Leaves — June 13, 2011 @ 8:09 PM

    Just shared this giveaway on twitter as well! :)

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    Patti S. — June 13, 2011 @ 9:01 PM

    Been thinking about dipping my toes in the blogosphere..this would so help!

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    Rose Atwater — June 13, 2011 @ 9:21 PM

    I’ve only had my first DSLR camera for a few months so I want to learn the ins and outs of how to use all the buttons, settings, etc. So far I shoot mostly on auto (minus the flash)!

  294. 294

    Rose Atwater — June 13, 2011 @ 9:23 PM

    I shared the giveaway on Facebook!

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    BrandyU — June 14, 2011 @ 6:19 AM

    I’d love to learn how to use my camera better. I have a nice camera but I end up keeping it on auto because I’m not sure how to adjust the settings.

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    Monica Henry — June 14, 2011 @ 7:11 AM

    I love your blog– I found it through a link on moneysavingmom. I love to cook for my family and enjoy trying new recipes. I am not a great photographer but I working on it. I scrapbook and always include food photos. I want the table to look pretty and take a photograph before we eat at family gatherings. My family cooks together so I take a lot of photographs of the process. It is really special to have photos of my children with my mom and even my grandparents in the kitchen together. So thanks for sharing all the great tips and will have to check that book!

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    Julie — June 14, 2011 @ 7:46 AM

    Sometimes my indirect light is still too harsh.. I’m desperately trying to fix that!

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    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — June 14, 2011 @ 8:05 AM

    I’m very much a novice when it comes to food photography but I’m learning along the way. I’ve found with some foods, that it’s easier to shoot when they are cold or frozen, believe it or not! Foods that are stackable are sturdier and I don’t have to worry about steam showing in my picture. This doesn’t work for all foods, of course.

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    Leah | So, How's It Taste? — June 14, 2011 @ 8:10 AM

    I tweeted!

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    Tara — June 14, 2011 @ 10:50 AM

    I want to learn how to use the camera setting on my camera. I’m clueless!

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    Tara — June 14, 2011 @ 10:52 AM

    I tweeted!

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    betty — June 14, 2011 @ 11:21 AM

    to take a good picture of the food i cook i always go outside
    gonna have to learn how to take good pictures

  303. 303

    betty — June 14, 2011 @ 11:23 AM

    i just shared in facebook

  304. 304

    NicoleD — June 14, 2011 @ 12:29 PM

    I have to get myself those clips and Helene’s book, I have so much to learn about lighting and depth of field.

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    Elizabeth McKenzie — June 14, 2011 @ 12:46 PM

    As a beginner in photograpy and in food blogging, this book would be AWESOME!! I shared on facebook, too!

  306. 306

    Jennifer — June 14, 2011 @ 1:13 PM

    I’m so happy to have discovered your blog. I am a lawyer gone mom fantasizing about going confectioner and food/photographer. Tips and sites like yours help immensely!! Thanks for sharing!
    Going to post on FB now! Be right back.

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    Jennifer — June 14, 2011 @ 1:20 PM

    Posted blog address and give-away on FB.
    I guess I should specifically add what I want to learn about food photography. I want to learn about lighting!!!

  308. 308

    cpr — June 14, 2011 @ 2:14 PM

    I’m fairly new to this, and my only tip is to use natural light as much as possible. I hope to learn how to master my exposure settings and to really learn how to use strobes.

  309. 309

    cpr — June 14, 2011 @ 2:16 PM

    Okay, I just shared the link. :) Thank you.

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    oksana — June 14, 2011 @ 2:33 PM

    I’m hoping to learn how to use the manual setting and photo editing.

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    Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen — June 14, 2011 @ 2:45 PM

    I want to learn how to use lighting correctly! Seems like I’m always fighting with it!

  312. 312

    Melissa J — June 14, 2011 @ 3:35 PM

    I like to use natural light and contrasting plate or towel

  313. 313

    Kristen — June 14, 2011 @ 4:56 PM

    I found this VERY interesting! I hope to start my own blog soon, so this really was very useful!! I take pictures of people now and love doing that. I love to capture moments with candids, but also take great posed photos. Food pics are new to me, so I really need to read up on it. I find that the tips that you give and other food photographers are VERY helpful! Choose me, choose me, choose me!!! :)

  314. 314

    Lois — June 14, 2011 @ 7:35 PM

    I’m working on improving my photography techniques (for food and everything else!) so this book would be really helpful. I love your idea of buying just 1 or 2 dishes at places like HomeGoods and TJ Maxx – I do like having lots of dishes, both for serving food (eclectic is good!) and photography.

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    Jessica S — June 14, 2011 @ 9:25 PM

    I don’t do much food photography yet but I’m trying to break into it… such fun! But so much to learn!

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    nik — June 14, 2011 @ 11:34 PM

    I’m hoping to learn more about the types of lighting/bulbs and how they affect color…thanks!

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    Andrea — June 15, 2011 @ 12:52 AM

    I love baking and taking photos of the baked goods. I found that natural light is the best to photography food. I’m hoping to learn how to add “accessories” to the photos to add that special touch.

  318. 318

    Christy taketa — June 15, 2011 @ 4:00 AM

    I don’t know much about photography but I bought a 50mm lens and it’s been my favorite investment yet……well actually it was a cheap investment but the one item I’m so happy I purchased

  319. 319

    Kelli Reppert — June 15, 2011 @ 5:08 AM

    Just learning about blogging and food photography. Love your blog and as of right now I have a Canon Rebel that I love!! oh and I shared you on my FB page!!!

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    Gioconda — June 15, 2011 @ 7:13 AM

    I’m working on confidence with my photography. That and experimenting with light and color.

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    Mayuri Jivan — June 15, 2011 @ 8:02 AM

    A very big foodiegroupie hello all the way from chilly South Africa…

    Firstly, let me just curtsy and say to her royal highness the queen bee of food and photography, YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION!

    My name is Mayuri and I am currently standing at a cross roads in my life with regards to my chosen path/destiny. My heart lies in food, photography, colour, fabrics, sunlight, sparkles and a little bit of magic, however my head tends to disagree and is presently living in a world of black suit clad attorney ninjas who do nothing but talk and type all day long in an airconditioned, stuffy, fluorescent light (*yuck) environment, worst of all eating toasted sandwiches and boring greek salads all day. blegh*.

    Yes, I am an attorney, and as fun as that sounds lately I just find myself putting my foreign exchange deals files aside to catch up on the enchanting, magical world of food blogs. I find myself wishing i had an oven next to me at this very minute to quickly whip up something from your site. YOU ARE FANTASTIC!

    Any-hoo long story short I decided to get off my ar*e and do something about making my heart happy! Screw the head!!


    I have not started a blog as yet, to be honest I feel so intimidated by all the fantastic blogs out there. I did not even know where to begin. So i am taking baby steps. I started by signing up to the foodblogforum site, asked a few of the blogger-gurus how to get started so im slowly learning. One of the things I know that personally draws me to food blogs are the wonderfully tantalising pictures you all post! WOW!

    I dont have tantalising tidbits on how to obtain the perfect picture, but I am a newbie to this world and would most definately like to make a full blown career out of it. My passion lies in beautiful things whether they look beautiful or taste beautiful. My life was meant for something bigger and more fulfilling than this black ninja corporate world I presently find myself in- temporarily.

    Anyway, from all South Africans I just want to say thank you to you for giving us something so beautiful to divert our attention from our temporarily-meaningless days!


    Lots of hugs,kisses and marshmallows covered in chocolate and then converted into scrumptiously squishy smores….


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    Jen Schall — June 15, 2011 @ 8:23 AM

    I can’t believe I never thought to stain my own “table top” for photos… Just brilliant!

    Lately, I’ve realized that I really need to step it up and work on breaking out of my “usual” photos… I take the same photo all the time, and I need to try new perspectives/angles/etc.

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    Laurel — June 15, 2011 @ 9:38 AM

    One thing that I use a lot is taking a black sheet as a table drape and using a piece of black foam board behind whatever I’m photographing. It gives a really nice background plus it isn’t too difficult to blend the seam in Photoshop :)

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    Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} — June 15, 2011 @ 10:56 AM

    Oh wow! I am loving your props and set up. For me, natural light is the only way to go. I’m still learning and I really want to get some ideas for styling and lighting!

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    kala — June 15, 2011 @ 11:01 AM

    Thanks for the chance to win, I hope to learn how to control lighting in my food pictures :)

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    Yvette MWCAdventure — June 15, 2011 @ 11:19 AM

    I’d really love to know more about how to use natural lightning in food fotography!

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    yvette MWCAdventure — June 15, 2011 @ 11:22 AM

    i tweeted!!

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    Marsha @ The Harried Cook — June 15, 2011 @ 11:25 AM

    Just today I was telling my husband – I have to buy that book! Man, I hope I win! Especially because this is an international giveaway!

    Thank you for sharing your tips… I think one thing I’ve learned since I started blogging about 3 months ago – lighting lighting lighting! I’m still learning, but changing the ISO settings on my camera, especially in low light situations really changed my photographs! I’m still an amateur, though. I have a LONG way to go! Thanks for this fabulous giveaway! :)

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    Marsha @ The Harried Cook — June 15, 2011 @ 11:27 AM

    Tweeted! Fingers (and toes) crossed!

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    Caroline @ chocolate and carrots — June 15, 2011 @ 11:31 AM

    As hot/cold as it gets outside, I always take my food outside under our oak tree to shoot. I don’t get very good natural lighting in my house, so all of the sweat/freezing fingers are with it for a great photograph! :-)

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    Kristen — June 15, 2011 @ 11:32 AM

    thanks for sharing all your props and secrets! Love it :)

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    Caroline @ chocolate and carrots — June 15, 2011 @ 11:33 AM

    I shared it on twitter! @chocandcarrots Thank you for the giveaway!

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    Kristen — June 15, 2011 @ 11:33 AM


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    Kristen — June 15, 2011 @ 11:38 AM

    posted on fb http://on.fb.me/jkUXEI

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    kitchenarian — June 15, 2011 @ 11:46 AM

    To me the food is the easy part and the photography is the challenge. I have a light box that we built and I use it when the outside lighting is bad. I really could use some additional photo tips. Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway.

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    kitchenarian — June 15, 2011 @ 11:51 AM

    I tweeted!

    Great giveaway over at Recipe Girl – last day to enter. Win a copy of Plate to Pixel http://t.co/tk4jhwX

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    Christy Clark — June 15, 2011 @ 12:06 PM

    I need all the help I can get! :)

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    shanzia — June 15, 2011 @ 1:11 PM

    I am an aspiring food blogger( an ardent bloghopper as of now)…. I had a lot to study from this post of yours… and would juss luvv to explore what the book has to offer…. :)

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    yvette mwcadevnture — June 15, 2011 @ 2:32 PM

    i’d love to learn more about the use of natural lightning in my pictures!

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    Joyce — June 15, 2011 @ 4:44 PM

    HI! I would LOVE to receive a copy of Plate to Pixel. I don’t know enough about photography to get fabulous professional results which is why I need to read this book! I’ve JUST finished my first year in high school and I would love to dedicate my summer to learning more about food photography. (It was only last summer I earned up enough babysitting money to buy my first dslr!)
    I am also a food blogger and I make videos about food (baking in particular) but my photography skills are not at it’s full potential. I am hoping to learn more about lighting, props set up and camera settings (there are so many!).
    Thank you again for this opportunity to win this giveaway :)

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    Joyce — June 15, 2011 @ 4:53 PM

    HI! I just posted for everyone to hurry and enter this contest so if they win they can give the book to me. just kidding. I actually explained why i desperately wanted to win this book similar to the comment I just posted. LOVE!

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    Kristina Boroff — June 15, 2011 @ 6:51 PM

    I would love to check the book for help on pictures of my cakes, I have to come up with ideas for some of the pictures to show off some of the cakes. I have used different table clothes to drape over some boxes to give a soft effect.

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    Kristina Boroff — June 15, 2011 @ 6:55 PM


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    Kristina Boroff — June 15, 2011 @ 6:55 PM

    Shared on Facebook.

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    Tracey @ Kitchen Playground — June 15, 2011 @ 8:18 PM

    Oh my!! As a new food blogger, what is there NOT for me to learn about photography??? I’m just fumbling through it right now …

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    Tracey @ Kitchen Playground — June 15, 2011 @ 8:19 PM

    Shared on The Kitchen Is My Playground’s Facebook page. Thank you!

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    Giuseppe Pascarella — June 16, 2011 @ 6:12 AM


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    Evan Thomas — June 16, 2011 @ 5:59 PM

    Making your own props is a great idea. That’s definitely something I want to work more on with food photography. I should set aside a weekend for some of these crafts projects.

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    Elle Sort — June 16, 2011 @ 6:15 PM

    I’d like to learn how to take more photos without using natural light. Most stuff I do ends up being at evening/nighttime.

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    Alana — June 16, 2011 @ 6:20 PM

    I use a laminate sample to set my white balance.

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    Heather — June 23, 2011 @ 8:02 PM

    Lori I love this post! I finally got Hélène’s book in the mail today and I can’t wait to read and learn and read all over again. Great post!

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    Angela FRS — June 24, 2011 @ 2:05 PM

    Lori, this post is so helpful–I have been trying to find the “Firm Grip” clips you show here and I cannot locate them anywhere (I tried Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc.). Do you have any idea how they were listed? Would love to find some.

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    Shef — June 30, 2011 @ 7:52 AM

    Awesome post Lori! love the idea of painting the boards!!! i bought the book a month ago and am learning a lot!!! thanks

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    Carrie Pacini — September 15, 2011 @ 9:29 AM

    I can’t wait to make my own boards – so much inspiration thanks Lori!

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    marla — January 6, 2012 @ 5:42 AM

    I never realized you had this post until now. So informative & helpful for all of us. Pinning & facebooking now :)

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    Cara — January 6, 2012 @ 6:15 AM

    I just came across this since Marla shared it on FB. I received Plate to Pixel for Hanukkah and I’m loving it!

    I made some of those boards (well, one 2-sided board) using the instructions from Lindsay and Shawnda (Confections of a Foodie Bride) and I’d love to make some more but I just haven’t had the time. I see you’ve managed to make them look great on a single board, without gluing planks together (which I did the first time around.) That seems so much easier, I think that’s what I’ll do next time!

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    Cara — January 6, 2012 @ 6:16 AM

    oh, one more thing – did you stain all of the boards before adding color? Or did some just get painted without staining first? Thank you!

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    Lori Lange — January 6, 2012 @ 6:20 AM

    Thank you Sweetie!

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    Lori Lange — January 6, 2012 @ 6:21 AM

    I think I did both- some I just gave a good base coat of one color and then did some swishing with another. Re-visiting this post again makes me want to make some more of these!

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    Eileen — February 28, 2012 @ 6:00 PM

    Great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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    Kathy Steger @FoodWineThyme — August 24, 2012 @ 12:52 PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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    Donya Mullins — October 30, 2012 @ 2:33 PM

    Thank you for such a great post!! Being somewhat new to blogging, I’ve found the taking photos of food is the hardest part! Your post has such great ideas to help me and I’m ordering the book,. Thanks Lori….
    ~A Southern Soul

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    Carla — December 27, 2012 @ 3:03 PM

    So glad I’m not the only one with a ridiculous amount of props, place mats, and ribbons (especially after reading 2012 trends that must go haha). I do love your version of buying a piece of wood without having to glue.

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    Ruta — February 21, 2013 @ 1:34 PM

    THANK YOU! I am seriously in love with this post. I’m always looking for ways to improve my photography, and this has some really great tips.

    Next time I visit home depot I will definitely pick up some wooden boards. They look great and sound SO easy to make.

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    Mike @ Food Blog Life — March 22, 2013 @ 4:22 PM

    This is a great post, thanks for sharing. I’ve been looking for some ideas to add some variety to my food photos. Looks like I’ll be heading to home depot this weekend :)

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    buttercream bakehouse — May 18, 2013 @ 2:23 PM

    Thanks for much for posting your tips on food photography. I struggle with this the most on my blog because it takes me hours of editing 100’s of pictures per post because I am not taking good photos to begin with . Love your blog.

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    Miss Food Fairy — May 19, 2013 @ 10:40 PM

    Thank you so much for this information. I have just recently started my food blog and always looking for great, inspiring ideas.

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    Sujhey — June 13, 2014 @ 5:37 AM

    Thank you so much for the great tips! I have trouble with lighting because most of my cooking happens at night when I get home from work. These ideas will help tremendously. I already bought some boards and stain to start having a nice background. Thanks again for all the recommendations!!!!

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    Monika — September 21, 2014 @ 2:02 PM

    Great tips, thank you!

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    Agnieszka Potocka — November 25, 2014 @ 8:04 AM

    I just start my own way with food photography and I catched your blog. I find it helpful and beside me is a ‘ready to prepare’ wooden floor wood pieces to make my table-board :)