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.
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 🙂
Great tips, thank you!
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!!!!
Thank you so much for this information. I have just recently started my food blog and always looking for great, inspiring ideas.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
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!
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!
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!
I never realized you had this post until now. So informative & helpful for all of us. Pinning & facebooking now 🙂
Thank you Sweetie!
I can’t wait to make my own boards – so much inspiration thanks Lori!
Awesome post Lori! love the idea of painting the boards!!! i bought the book a month ago and am learning a lot!!! thanks
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.
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!
I use a laminate sample to set my white balance.
I’d like to learn how to take more photos without using natural light. Most stuff I do ends up being at evening/nighttime.
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.
Shared on The Kitchen Is My Playground’s Facebook page. Thank you!
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 …
Shared on Facebook.
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.
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!
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 🙂
i’d love to learn more about the use of natural lightning in my pictures!
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…. 🙂
I need all the help I can get! 🙂
Great giveaway over at Recipe Girl – last day to enter. Win a copy of Plate to Pixel http://t.co/tk4jhwX
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.
posted on fb http://on.fb.me/jkUXEI
I shared it on twitter! @chocandcarrots Thank you for the giveaway!
thanks for sharing all your props and secrets! Love it 🙂
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! 🙂
Tweeted! Fingers (and toes) crossed!
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! 🙂
I’d really love to know more about how to use natural lightning in food fotography!
Thanks for the chance to win, I hope to learn how to control lighting in my food pictures 🙂
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!
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 🙂
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.
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!
THANK YOU AND KEEP AT IT, YOU ARE A TRUE PIONEER.
Lots of hugs,kisses and marshmallows covered in chocolate and then converted into scrumptiously squishy smores….
I’m working on confidence with my photography. That and experimenting with light and color.
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!!!
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
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.
I’m hoping to learn more about the types of lighting/bulbs and how they affect color…thanks!
I don’t do much food photography yet but I’m trying to break into it… such fun! But so much to learn!
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.
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!!! 🙂
I like to use natural light and contrasting plate or towel
I want to learn how to use lighting correctly! Seems like I’m always fighting with it!
I’m hoping to learn how to use the manual setting and photo editing.
Okay, I just shared the link. 🙂 Thank you.
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.
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!!!
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.
As a beginner in photograpy and in food blogging, this book would be AWESOME!! I shared on facebook, too!
I have to get myself those clips and Helene’s book, I have so much to learn about lighting and depth of field.
i just shared in facebook
to take a good picture of the food i cook i always go outside
gonna have to learn how to take good pictures
I want to learn how to use the camera setting on my camera. I’m clueless!
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.
Sometimes my indirect light is still too harsh.. I’m desperately trying to fix that!
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!
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.
I shared the giveaway on Facebook!
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)!
Been thinking about dipping my toes in the blogosphere..this would so help!
Just shared this giveaway on twitter as well! 🙂
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!
I’d love to learn more about proper lighting. 🙂
I put this on my facebook! Love the idea and the boards look so great!
My tip is… Turn on the lights! XD
Just kidding. I have no idea what I’m doing– Books help 🙂
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.
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.
I tweeted! (@savvyjulie)
I really want to learn about photo composition and using props to make the photos more interesting!
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!
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!
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!
I shared the giveaway on FB.
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.
I shared the giveaway on Twitter! (:
I shared this post on Facebook. Thanks for the opportunity!
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. 😉
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.
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!
I desperately need to spend some time learning about how to use natural light!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
That book looks awesome. One thing I do often is use my custom white balance setting. It is a life saver!
I tweeted about this giveaway. My handle is @mannadonn
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!
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.
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.
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 🙂
Great ideas! I am just beginning, but this would be so helpful to get started. Thanks!
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.
Lori, this sounds like something I could really make good use of! Here’s hoping!
I tweeted too: http://twitter.com/#!/EatDeliciously/status/80256950826315777
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.
I am just getting started with food photography and would like to learn the best way to get the best pics of my food.
I’ve shared this post on twitter and my Facebook page as well!
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!
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)
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
I would love to learn how to deal with the awful lighting in my kitchen!
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.
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.
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.
I tweeted! http://twitter.com/#!/CourtneysSweets/status/80121087442157568
I’m suffering horribly from food composition and positioning.. I would love to learn how to get the most light as well.
Thank you for your great tips in your post! Such helpful info!
I hope to learn more about food styling and lighting.
I tweeted, too!
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.
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”!
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!
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!
Posted on Twitter @whatchamakinnow!
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!
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.
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!
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!
A tip to good photography is to practice!!
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.
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!
I facebooked about it!
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!
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!
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!
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!
I shared this on my Facebook.
I tweeted about this article and giveaway.
I put glycerine on some of my food to make it look juicy and fresh.
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 🙂
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 !
I would love to learn more about maximizing my camera’s settings for awesome food photography.
that comment sounded bad…it should have been a singular boyfriend…not plural!
i try to take a picture before my boyfriends eats the food!
I love the board ideas! Your prop collection is pretty nice. And what a great giveaway — this one is on my Amazon wish list! 🙂
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!
Wow!! You make food photography look easy! I would love that book to help my skills develop!
tweeted about this as well:0
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.
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
I’d really like to learn more about lighting when natural light isn’t available.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
Oh, shared on Facebook too. 🙂
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.
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.
I love your facebook page and you publish the most amazing recipes too!
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!
PS… i share your tips all the time so naturally, i shared this one! 😉
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!
I just tweeted the post! 🙂
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.
This is awesome! I just lugged a bunch of wood back from Home Depot recently to do this exact same thing!
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.
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. 🙂
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 🙂
Wow, great blog post! I’m a caterer just starting to blog! The book would totally help!
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.
Shared the contest on my Facebook Profile!
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. 🙂
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!
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
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 🙂
I love natural lighting, other than that Im just learning. that book would help! thank you
I tweeted your giveaway!
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 🙂
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:
outside the lines
Shared on facebook 🙂
Shared this! loving the tips … Thx
!!! 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!!
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!
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
I just shared this on facebook!
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!
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!
i shared this on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Dash-of-Megnut/117565671661259?ref=hnav
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!
i shared this on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/ADashofMegnut
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.
Great post! I love all of the tips you gave and can’t wait to try some of them out!
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!
I tweeted the post too 🙂 Happy to share such wonderful info and giveaway!
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!
I learned to use macro to take better pics. I need*, want to use light better!
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! 🙂
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 … 🙂
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.
I shared this on twitter.
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!!!
My trick to good photos? Um, can I share my tricks to mediocre photos?? 🙂 I try to use natural light. 🙂 Great giveaway!!
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!
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.
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.
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!
I need to learn some ways to quickly get good food photos. I don’t have the patience for elaborate setups.
Tweeted about the give away.
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.
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!
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.
I shared your article on Facebook!
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!!!
I am hoping to learn how to use the settings on my camera if I win!
I also tweeted about it here:
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.
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.
Always looking for resources to help make blog photos better! Thanks, Arlene
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.
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!!
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!
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.
Thx for sharing all of these tips. You will be seeing some put to use shortly when I launch my aahsome blog.
I have a food blog and I am always looking for tips to photograph my food!
Ups, sorry, my profile in FB:
There you’ll find my link to your post.
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)
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!
This is great info!! I always use natural light too and white boards to reflect the light.
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.
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.
I tweeted about it: http://twitter.com/PoetInThePantry/status/79532853293092864
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.
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! (:
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.
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!
I Tweeted about the giveaway:)
Thank you so much, this is very useful for me and for some of my twitter followers (tweeted!).
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:)
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!
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!
I shoot on a piece of barn wood provided by my brother. Look for odd props; they look great through the lens.
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!
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!
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!
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 :]
I tweeted! (@mezalkb)
I love using different shaped plays and bowls. I would love to learn more about lighting and good styling. This book looks great!
And here is my shared in facebook:
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!!
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.
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!
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!
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.
I LOVE photographing food–and I hope to be able to learn how to focus in more on detail! SO excited about this post!
I’ve shared on twitter 🙂
I’d like to learn how to take beautiful photos that will make my COOKIES look prettier… Thanks for the giveaway!
I have tweeted @tinnedtoms
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.
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.
I always use a good lens!
I tweeted about it! @journeykitchen
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.
I want to learn about Helene’s lighting technique! Wonderful post.
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.
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!
Posted on facebook 🙂
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.
I’m not really good enough yet to have any tips, but I absolutely need help with the set-up to get natural light.
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.
Have re-tweeted! : )
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:
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!
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!
I need to learn everything about lighting!
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”
I tweeted about this! I love new books! :0)
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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….
tweeted your post as well!
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
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!
I tweeted it! http://twitter.com/#!/AnaliFirst/status/79569048433725441
I tweeted the giveaway! Food Photography and Styling | RecipeGirl.com: http://t.co/ovrjXh6 via @AddThis #giveaway
I am @KitchenspaceAna
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.
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! 🙂
And I tweeted about it. =)
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!
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.
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
I shared on Facebook!
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.
thanks for this wonderful tutorial!
I would love to learn more about the food styling side of food photography!
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)
LOVE the boards! Thanks for showing us how to make them!
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
I use the white board trick and it works great! I love the textures and colors of your boards. Great job!
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!
I always shoot in daylight with no flash.
Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
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.
And I tweeted! http://twitter.com/erikakerekes/status/79553440568709121
Thank you so much for the tips!!!! I have shared it on Fb and Twitter!!
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.
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!
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)
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.
Definitely use white plate and also do not use house lighting, natural lighting is the best.
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.)
Sent a tweet out!!!!
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 🙂
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!!!
I’m still a newbie at food photography. My biggest thing I learned so far is to use natural light. 🙂
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!!
I also tweeted about this (@pb_addict)
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!
I loved reading what your process is like!
I’m hoping to learn more editing techniques to really make food pictures stand out.
I have several TOTA lights with optional softbox’s for them. They’re great for creating natural light.
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.
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.
I shared on Twitter!
I’m hoping to learn how to take pictures that don’t look flat….just pictures that really pop!
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.
I tweeted about it!
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!
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.
I tweeted this contest for you!
I would love to get into food photography and styling. This would be a great resource to get started!!
Tweeted the contest! http://twitter.com/#!/gourmandeinthek/status/79525572316893184
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.
And I tweeted!!
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.
This is very helpful. I am hoping to learn as much as possible to vastly improve my photos.
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!!
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!
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.
posted it to my FB page
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!!!