Every Friday I dedicate my post to as aspect of blogging, photography, or cooking that I am learning to improve my blog. See my first post on Food Photography Basics: 101 links.
What a week, Tuesday I had my first real post make Foodgawker. It wasn’t the best thing I have submitted, but I threw it in there to give it a shot. It made the cut, and I was astounded. Over 1000 hits went to that single post (and I’m normally thrilled to get 600 hits a day).
I’m not sure if I retained any readers, but I was certainly aware of the power of the “Food P0rn” sites. Especially because most of my readers come from my beloved Finding Vegan, which is my favorite food p0rn site.
In case you were wondering, I submitted the same picture to Tastespotter. It was rejected for composition. I’m told that composition is just their catch all for “we couldn’t find anything wrong, but we just didn’t like it”. The most important aspect of these sites is that they are judged by humans. And humans have different tastes. Your perfect shot may not be of a food the judge likes. There are professional food photographers that cannot get pictures posted. A couple interesting blog posts about getting accepted on the site and rejections someone actually gets are: Tastespotting Editor’s secret advice on getting pictures accepted and Pardon My Crumbs’ TasteSpotting Rejections (seriously, if she’s being rejected for those what hope do us mere mortals stand)
I do however worry about submitting too many rejects to these sites. Especially when most are being rejected for “composition”. Does anyone know if previous rejects affect future acceptances?
Either way, today’s post is about dressing up your food for photography sake. A well styled food picture separates the people blogging about the food they ate and the food bloggers. Believe me it’s been a long hard road for me.
Consider for example the touch that these flowers add to this brownie (this was my earliest attempt at food styling by the way, don’t judge too harshly)
Accessorizing the shot can also turn a kinda boring looking dish into an exciting one.
My Chayote side dish was a little pale. I spiced it up a little by placing some strips of hot pepper right on top and setting up the rest of the scene to look like I was having a Mexican fiesta. Maybe it’s not my most popular post, but I’m happy with the images. I don’t think chayotes are a big attention grabber anyways.
While I was writing the draft of this post, I came across a post that I think has incredible food styling. Check out La Spelonca Vegetariana‘s mismatched pepper lids on Raw Spicy Coconut Avocado Soup in Bell Pepper Bowls.
While I don’t have a post about food styling, some other bloggers do.
Oh She Glows has an excellent post on using props in food photography. She even has some before and after shots of before she accessorized and after. I love this tip:
A good rule of thumb with Food Styling is to remove one prop before shooting. You know the saying that you should remove one piece of jewelry after getting dressed? Well, the same applies here
Taylor Takes a Taste has a tutorial on how to create backgrounds for food photography. This is something I mean to do. I keep using my large collection of dollar store placemats, the beauty of my backyard, and my bricked front stoop as my background. I need to come up with something that looks a little more like an antique.
6 Bittersweets featured a guest post by a professional prop stylist. It’s not in a list style and is a little wordy. But it has a great deal of fantastic information. To give you a taste of how great the post is, here’s a quote:
You want them to be drawn into an alternate universe, get lost in the photo and forget about everything else! Props should create a world that is consistent stylistically with the recipe without overpowering the food.
It’s not a normal blog but Digital Photography School has a great article called simply enough, 10 Tips to Improve your food photography. My favorite tip is #5, “emphasize the yum”.
Recipe Girl has a post going over some of her styling props and accessories. The post is titled if you are into food photography and styling, I really need to paint some boards to go with my collection of place-mats.
I’m sure there are plenty of other posts out there about how to style your food. I’m sure some are better illustrated than others. The best tip I have seen for getting your picture onto the food p0rn sites is to search for similar recipes that have been accepted and get an idea for what has been accepted in the past.
The blogosphere is abuzz with this book as well: From Plate to Pixels. I haven’t read it, but apparently it’s a great how to guide to food styling. If anyone wanted to buy it for me, I wouldn’t complain 😉
Are you actively working on your food styling when you post blog posts? Know of other resources that should be on this list?