You Eat With Your Eyes!
Really... you do. We all do.
Way before our taste buds ever try a certain food, we already start forming an opinion about it based on its aroma and appearance.
When it comes to online recipes, there is no way of tasting or smelling the food - no matter how delicious. The biggest selling factor is "What does it look like?"
Having beautiful, appetizing pictures together with your recipes is essential. In fact, it is critical!
Easier said than done though. Especially since most food bloggers start out with a passion for food and cooking - not photography. We'd have a photography blog otherwise 😉
You with me so far?
Ok great. Now, how can we take our pictures from blah to YUM?
Lindsay Ostrom, the super talented blogger behind Pinch Of Yum, has come to the rescue with her awesome "Tasty Food Photography" ebook. In it she not only gives heaps of tips and tricks for taking appealing food pictures - but explains it all in a way that is very accessible and easy to understand.
Just take a look at this table of contents to see what I am talking about:
I bought and absolutely loved the original ebook. I learnt so much from and it changed the way I did my photography. Now Lindsay published a new and updated (even more awesome) version of the same ebook. I'm stoked!
You might say "I don't even have a fancy camera and all this won't help me" but nothing could be further from the truth!
There is a whole section dedicated to tips on how to improve your pictures with just a point & shoot or iPhone camera. The new version has even more advice on how to maximize your phone's camera capabilities, etc. I especially love Lindsay's list of favorite photo editing iPhone apps - most of which are free or only $1.99!
For a food blog, great pictures also result in more traffic - due to them being more likely to get pinned to Pinterest or accepted to food sharing sites like FoodGawker or TasteSpotting. I don't have a DSLR camera myself but can attest that with some simple changes I made to my photography (after reading Tasty Food Photography), I started to get my point & shoot camera pictures accepted on the just mentioned sites - which resulted in a LOT of new visitors to my site.
Two other major parts of the guide focus on lighting and editing. Before reading the book I only marginally understood how important natural lighting is for appealing food photography. And don't get me started with photo editing! All I used to do was click the auto-improve button in online software like Picmonkey. Now, I am no longer overwhelmed using Photoshop - thanks to what I learned from Lindsay through her guide.
I will say that the "Tasty Food Photography" ebook is one of the better investments I have made for this blog 😀
Now I have some good news, so pay attention:
Lindsay wants to give one reader of SpecialtyCakeCreations a free copy of the newly updated ebook. And since its a digital copy, the giveaway is open world-wide! Yay! Just enter the rafflecopter giveaway below before midnight July 14, 2013 for a chance to win: Giveaway ended.
NOTE: Contest is officially closed!
If you don't want to wait until then, you can also make use of the discount code newversion30 and grab a copy for 30% off anytime BEFORE July 8th by clicking HERE.
UPDATE (July 11):
There now is a new discount code that you can use until July 31. Simply enter newversion25 during the checkout process over HERE and enjoy a discount of 25%.
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning if you buy the ebook through these links I earn a commission. Lindsay also provided me with a free copy of the new version for review. All opinions stated are entirely my own however.
I need to stop going on vacation. I missed an awesome giveaway...thanks for the heads up about the book
Nonsense Melissa! You definitely deserved a relaxing vacation! Sorry you missed the giveaway though. Hope you came back refreshed and recuperated.
Cynthia V. Sawyer
I am taking big leaps in my food photography this week. Along with my new camera lens this week I also bought Lindsay’s (Pinch of Yum) new e-book Tasty Food Photography. I love the book! It walks you through an easy to follow guide on how to take and edit food pictures.
Definitely light! The camera picks up the light with a yellowish blech tint.
Aw...that must be annoying. Are you using a point & shoot camera? Have you tried manually setting your white balance?
I am using a point and shoot(Nikon Coolpix L810) Am not getting paid yet at my job but once I am I will be saving for a dslr.
I hear ya, Jess. I am also using a point and shoot at the moment. Do you use yours in auto or manual mode? Most have an option to change the white balance in manual mode. That should help with the yellow tint.
Mine doesnt have manual mode (At least not that I can find and I have explored that camera like crazy trying to find different settings) Oh well! Ill look some more.
My biggest challenge is lighting!!
Kelly @ Nosh And Nourish
I'm intrigued and would love to look through this book!
Its an awesome guide. Helped me so much. Good luck in the giveaway Kelly!
Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen
My biggest challenge is styling- I seem to always take the same "formulated" pictures and it's hard to think of new ways to style my pictures so my posts are interesting!
I can relate Faith. I feel once I figured out one set up that works I am too hesitant to change it up.
natalie @ wee eats
lighting! it can ruin even the most delicious-looking dessert!
So true Natalie!
What is your greatest challenge when it comes to food photography?
My biggest challenge is lighting...I think. It could be composition. Or positioning. Or a whole slew of things. Every now and then I'll hit one just right. Lol. 🙂 I'm reading DSLR's for Dummies to help me learn to use all of the settings on my camera to improve my photo quality.
Sometimes the journey of learning photography seems so long and hard - but when I look back just a little bit I can see how far I have come. I think key is to always keep learning - so you are definitely on the right path Kimberly 🙂
Getting the proper lighting
My biggest challenge in taking photos of food is the lighting...with having big windows in the kitchen it brings in great natural light but sometimes the glare is a pain to deal with.
Yeah, lighting is a tough one. Too much - too little. Neither is good. We once stayed at a place with lovely windows on all sides and a big black table in the center. I thought it would be perfect - but like you say - glare and weird reflections made it tougher than dealing with low lighting.
Taking pictures too close, or not close enough. Also I have a real big problem getting the right angle!
Haha...totally feel ya Michele. "Awkward angle" is by far the most used rejection reason I get for my images on food sharing sites 🙂
My greatest challenge is the lighting in my house. 🙁
Oh bummer. I know what it feels like having to deal with less than ideal circumstances
Natural lighting is an issue for me. My house is small, only has a few windows, and none of them get good exposure. Because of this I often have to take my food out side to photograph so I put everything on a plate and then all my photos start looking really similar.
I love shooting outside when the lighting is right but totally dislike carrying everything out
Jacquee @ I Sugar Coat It!
I was planning on getting a copy of this book!! Love this giveaway! I still struggle with the technical - aperture, shutter speed. Usually hit or miss for me.
I am scared thinking of all the technical things I'd have to learn with a DSLR camera. Still I can't wait 🙂 Reading Lindsay's book makes me already feel less intimidated about this aspect 🙂
Jacquee @ I Sugar Coat It!
Well, clearly I did not win. 🙁 BUT, I've just purchased it through your link. YAY! 🙂 Thanks!
Aww...sorry Jacquee but thanks so much 🙂
My biggest challenge is positioning the product in the photo. How do I take an accurate picture showing the detail without looking like you're sitting on top of the picture???
I totally understand Stacey! Often I try to apply the "rule of thirds" and it just looks off. I could definitely improve my composition as well.