As I mentioned earlier, food photography and styling is huge concept and learning to master this subject is by reading and experimenting continuously. In today’s post Dolphia of ‘Story of Cooks‘ is going to highlight 5+1 key points which help you in taking food photography and styling to the next level. This post by Dolphia not only focuses on essential points in photography and styling but also in blogging…Do scroll to read in her own words what she has learnt through all the years of her food blogging….
First, thanks Lubna! It means a lot to share my words with your readers. I am going to talk about 5 points and 1 bonus point that helped me in photography (tech and non-tech)
- Take critique with a grain of salt. I am photographing since 2012 but I am photographing food since 2014. When I started doing food photography, many food photography experts told me ‘Don’t share too many photos.’ ‘Don’t try new things, you should master only one thing at a time.’ ‘You overshoot.’ etc. etc. But I did not listen to every single world I heard. I only listened to the ones I felt right. People will talk, but you have choice to listen subjectively. You should only listen to the words that will help you to grow, not everything. If you listen to all critiques, you will never be a photographer.
- Just keep shooting. Like I mentioned in my first point, many told me that I overshoot and overshare. But that did not stop me from shooting and sharing. I live and breathe photography. I carry my camera everywhere and I photograph any frame attracts me. I sell a large portion of my photographs through Stock Photography and they need new photos every now and then.
- Shoot tethered. When I am at my studio, I always shoot tethered. If you see my blogpost, I share more than one style and setup. I photograph the entire procedure and each post of mine has 8-10 photos. I photograph and check the light, focus and everything as I shoot tethered. I also do a little bit of editing as I go.
- Why should invest on props? If you’re a food photographer and trying to earn money through food photography you need to invest on props. You should really see Andrew Scrivani’s extravagant collection of props. When you’re photographing, you never know what will you need. I start simple with my frames. While I shoot I add and remove stuff. I always remember something Coco Channel said “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory”. I follow the same rule when it comes to food photography.
- Have a separate expense account. Photography is an expensive hobby. You need to invest onit. But that does not mean, you should spend millions on it. I have seen many bloggers buy thousands of dollars’ worth of props, gadgets and shoot terrible photographs. I have a rule. I set aside some money every time I go for prop shopping and I never go over that amount. I rarely upgrade my gears and I only do when I think that’s going to help me in future.
- You really can’t do everything: I often see bloggers feel pressurized that they require award winning photography in their blogposts. That’s actually not necessary. Few decent photos (clear focus, proper color contrast) can suffice a blog post.
I mean think about it. You brainstorm a recipe, do a test, then cook then photograph then clean – how many things you can do?!
But if a blogger wants to make money through photography they need to invest time and money on the photography part. My point is you can’t be both. If you want to earn through photography – do photograph everything you see. Even a simple pumpkin or vanilla cake can make a gorgeous photograph. But who wants a simple vanilla cake recipe? If you want to be a successful blogger like Elise of Simply Recipe focus on your content, recipe and uniqueness. Good, decent picture can suffice those posts.
Look at Pinch of Yum, Simply recipe, Half Baked harvest – do we admire them for photography? No. But we admire Andrew Scrivani, Francesco Tonneli, Leigh Beisch for their photography and check they are not bloggers.
Lubna, thanks again!! Hope my points help or will help someone.
Thank you Dolphia for writing such a wonderful post for my readers.
You can reach Dolphia @