Foodie 101: How to take good pictures

One of the most under appreciated (and tough to master) aspects of running a food blog of any kind is managing the photography. Until the day we invent smell-o-vision or tastable TV, a picture on a food blog is worth more than a thousand words.

As I’ve managed my blog over the course of the past year, I would hope you can see a noticeable improvement in my photography skills. I have learned so much in my time, though I definitely agree I always have a lot of room for improvement. After 18 months of food writing and almost 150 reviews, let me give up-and-coming bloggers a few pointers on the basics of food blogging.

Part 1: Background for the food photographer

  • Don’t worry if you have an old/cheap/small/basic camera. It’s intimidating to think your photos can compete with what’s out there when you see giant lenses and photo studios. But rest assured: the photographer makes the shot, not the camera. I’ve shot from at least four cameras in this blog; my best shots have come equally from each. Angle, light, and the science of the photo make all the difference.
  • Bring a camera wherever you go. You never know when you’ll see a good photo of someone preparing food/something food related. I take a lot of shots of simple things, and sometimes I end up going to a new food place unexpectedly.
  • Consider a home “studio.” I’m not talking about a going insane with a red room or anything – far from it. Sometimes you need photos of a homemade dish or a delivery item. If you’re doing a cooking blog, this is obviously important. In that case, people want to see the food with no distractions in a photo; not your messy kitchen or backyard. Consider a nice, neutral few dishes and background set specifically for your food photos.
  • Illustrate everything. Every post needs an illustration. In a food blog, why not? Photos here are some of the easiest to take. People like to read something with some visual content. My posts with the least illustration get the least feedback and page views.
  • Never be satisfied with your first shot. Always be prepared for a new one. Even when you like a shot, always keep and open mind: There’s always a better angle or some better light.

Check back in a few days for more food photo tips from Another Food Critic!

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