Happy Friday, ya’ll! So first off I wanted to make an announcement. I will be making my comeback to instagram very shortly. Over these last few months I have been preparing posts and recipes, product reviews, and nutrition tips so I’ll have some new content for you guys once I return.
In the meantime, I wanted to share some inside tips on my life as a food blogger. I actually used to get questions about this when I was still on instagram. People would ask what my setup looked like, what kind of camera I used, how I got so many followers, etc. To be honest, I never really got into those fancy setups or fancy equipment. I do consider myself more of a creative person, though, and I think that’s important when doing this kind of work. I try to visualize what I want my viewers to see and take away from my pictures and then try to capture that. I’ll get into this a little more in a bit.
I don’t know about you guys but I like to think my pictures have come a long way since I first started blogging. Case in point, I made my blog debut way back in 2012 and this was the very first picture I posted:
If I hadn’t read my blog post I would have had no idea what these even were (they were whole wheat challah rolls, fyi). But as you can see from the picture the lighting is horrendous, the quality of the picture is equally horrendous, and the presentation is just kinda bleh. I want my food to actually make people hungry. My ultimate goal as a dietitian is to make people drool over healthy food.
So, tip #1: photograph in natural light! natural light is always best! I cannot stress this enough. I position my work table right next to the window so I can get that glorious natural light shining on my food. I’m not going to lie, it’s sometimes a pain in the ass waiting around for that natural light. Where I live, I found that the best time to photograph food is in the afternoon. And some days it’s best to just not photograph at all. If it’s overcast or raining, forget about it. Not always ideal if you have a job or plans or, you know, a life. But sometimes you have to make sacrifices. But it can really pay off in the end. The better my photos got, the more people (and especially companies) noticed my work on social media. I was an ambassador for several companies and I got to do what I loved; which was working with my hands, developing recipes, sharing my love for nutrition and health and food with the social media world.
Tip #2: If you can’t afford a quality camera (try this one on for size if you’re in the market: Light Camera) make sure you are utilizing photo editing apps. I’m well aware my photos aren’t the highest quality but honestly, I just don’t have the budget for a great camera right now so I use my old iphone 4s for all of my pictures. And then I edit my pictures in an editing app to help them “pop”. And it can really make a difference. I like to think of it as makeup for your pictures. You’re not necessarily lying about what you’re showing the world, you’re just enhancing its best features.
Tip #3: focus on presentation! Sometimes that means having to add a little something “extra” to your photos to really help them pop. To be honest, my food is not always as “glamorous” in real life. Some days, I’m just too lazy to add those extras. And on those days I don’t photograph my food lol But when I do photograph food, sometimes those little extras are exactly what draw people in and entice them. Take the waffles pictured above, for example. My original waffle pictures were just plain boring chocolate waffles. No pizazz. After taking a few pictures I realized they were missing something. And that’s when I got the idea to dip them in some homemade chocolate sauce and nuts. And it really paid off. This was one of my most popular posts on instagram. Which brings me to my next tip….
Tip #4: Be patient! I know a lot of people don’t really take food blogging seriously but I do. It’s something I put a lot of thought into. I spend a lot of time trying to develop new recipes and come up with new content. And that doesn’t include all of the time I spend actually making recipes, photographing the end product, editing the pictures, and backing everything up. It’s a time consuming process. The longest of which is actually probably the photo taking part. Waiting for that natural light can take awhile in itself but then I also do a whole setup with my food. I’ll do various presentations with various “props” (like adding in decor to make the picture more appealing or use different backdrops like a white plate vs just placing the food on a cutting board) and then take multiple pictures from multiple angles. I typically end up with a crazy amount of pictures that I will go through, edit, and then from there try to choose the best one.
Tip #5: Get inspiration from multiple sources! I consider myself a pretty creative person but sometimes we all need some help getting inspiration. So I draw inspiration for not only recipes but also for food presentation from multiple sources like pinterest, instagram, and a handful of food blogs. I kind of like to see what other people are throwing down and that helps inspire me to put my own twist on things. Or sometimes it even just helps to walk away all together. Some days my food just isn’t photogenic and it’s not until I walk away and come back to it the next day that I get the inspiration I need to make it more presentable.
Tip #6: Have fun! A big reason why I left social media was because I started taking it too seriously. I’m a health professional so I felt I had a responsibility to keep my posts more…well, professional than happy go lucky. After awhile, I felt like it became “work” trying to keep everything going. It’s important to make sure it stays fun for you. I gave myself some time to re-evaluate what I wanted my social media to say and that’s given me the direction I need to go forward again. So take some time to figure out what you want your pictures to say and what kind of message you want to send and that will definitely help give you some direction as well as help keep it fun for you.
So having said all of that, I hope you guys enjoyed this post and I will see you back on ig soon!