Wish Upon A Dish: How I Improved My Food Photography

September 20, 2012

How I Improved My Food Photography

This post is not about the food. Well, it is about food but the photography of food. I am talking about something I stumbled on, literally.

I have tried countless ways to improve my pictures, I knew my food was good but without a good picture the food looked unappealing. Can I erase two years off my blog and start over? Should I remake every recipe to take a better food shot?

I certainly am not a food stylist, but there is lots of room for improvement. What I needed to do first was find the sweet spot in my house. Took me two years to understand about the sweet spot and then The Pioneer Woman explained and the world was a better place.

Once I found that, I needed a work surface. While visiting a post on one of my favorite food blogs, Almost Bourdain (thank you Ellie for returning to us), the "Stumble On" gadget caught my eye. One of the segments was a picture of a white molded chair with the caption "Searching for a seamless white background....".
She used that chair for her food pictures in the early days. I think that post changed my blogging life. How come, in two years, I am now getting smart?

The only area in my whole house that has natural light is in front of my sliding doors that lead out to my deck. Unfortunately it's in the living room and there is not much room for a table that has to be moved after each shot so that chair of Ellie's made such good sense.

I finally went looking for that chair but my budget was $20.00 and a new one was out of my price range. Our Town Garage Sale was this weekend, I was hoping to get lucky and find a suitable substitution that was within my budget, but I guess plastic chairs never get old and need to be sold. Off to Target we went.

I bought two white wood and Formica side tables, reduced so both were perfectly priced, and took several pictures a wine glass in a few different camera settings to see which worked the best.

Now it's not perfect but it is way much better than using the flash when going outside is not feasible. I disliked all those very bad pictures taken at the dinner table and made excuses, but not any more.

Like Ellie's post has breathed new life into my food photos, I would love to pass on what I have learned. It only takes one good picture to inspire a whole blog's worth.

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