What if Wednesday: Food Photography

lisacohen

images viaLisa Cohen photography

I love to cook! And I love to share my cooking adventures…and I keep trying to share them with you, but alas, I am learning that food photography is one of the more difficult types of photography to master. The color of the dish, the texture…having natural daylight – which I never do because I’m always cooking at night. Ugh.

stilllifewithvia Still Life With…

Those beautiful food images we lust after in foodie magazines are the product of a huge staff, perfect lighting and endless trials. I have been reading all I could find online and will be practicing my skills – hoping to share more food adventures with you in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy the eye candy in this post!

smittenkitchenvia Smitten Kitchen

veganyumyumvia VeganYumYum

If you’re looking for some tips on food photography – check out these resources:

The Ten Tastiest Food Photography Tips from Photojojo. If you’re looking to improve your photog skills – you must check out this site!

Smitten Kitchen’s approach to food photography. A fave blog of mine with the most yummy food photography.

Food Photography for Bloggers from Vegan Yum-Yum. Easy to read and endlessly useful!

Chocolate and Zucchini’s food photography style.

Still Life With… A blog dedicated to food photography + styling.

If you have any advice on this topic – please post it in the comment section, we love to hear from you!

Top images via Lisa Cohen photography.

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37 Responses to “What if Wednesday: Food Photography”


  1. 1 David Hennessey November 11, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Jill,
    I stumbled on your blog because of your pictures on the wordpress homepage. Indeed photos of food are not always easy to take. I took one picture that by chance turned out great. It is of fruits and vegetables and I ended up using it on the front of one of my books ‘Simplify Healthy Eating Habits’. If you want to see the picture follow the link.
    http://www.thewondertechnique.com/simplify-healthy-eating-habits.htm

    Also, I have to congratulate you on exploring blogging as a way to sow the seeds of things you want to do someday because I have found out through my work by sowing seeds wonderful things happen.

    David
    http://www.thinkwonderful.com

  2. 2 Pretty Project November 11, 2009 at 10:06 am

    OMG! The one from Smitten Kitten is so super-cute!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

    http://www.theprettyproject.com

  3. 3 mooney=mc2 November 11, 2009 at 10:44 am

    I struggle with food photography myself…I love food and the process of preparing it but I can never seem to capture the process like Pioneer Woman does..or Smitten Kitchen. Thank you for the links! ( you are on the WordPress homepage in case you are wondering where this stranger came from..congrats!)

  4. 4 Ailvara November 11, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I won’t write much, I need to go. I’ve become hungry. πŸ˜‰

  5. 5 Vino Blog November 11, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I have a really hard time taking good food pictures too! Professional looking food pics are really hard to take. I think it’s all about lighting and then amazing looking food is obviously a key too! Cheers!

  6. 6 therobotdiaries November 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    speaking of food photography, who has ever walked into a cheap diner or seen a local scrubby restaurant commercial where the pictures of the food they serve are so bad it persuades you to leave or make a conscious decision to stay away from that restaurant? Your photos are nothing like that, mind you, yours look delicious.

  7. 7 Elise Cordell November 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    These photos are great! It feels like I could reach out and pick them up off the plate. Food can be so finicky, with colors and lighting and shadows on the backdrops. Bravo! I am hungry!

  8. 8 apocalypsecakes November 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    So much more appetizing than the hideous cake I’ve been looking at: http://apocalypsecakes.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/raining-blood-red-velvet-cake/

  9. 9 jill November 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks guys for all of the feedback! This really makes blogging fun…and thanks to WordPress for the homepage feature! Wow, what a day!

  10. 10 Nathan Acosta November 11, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Jill,

    I also got here from the homepage — let’s hope you get your 15 more minutes of fame when you have some awesome food pictures of your own! My fav is the Lisa Cohen pasta dishes.

    I can’t wait to start a food blog — I would have a blast documenting my own recipes and experiences like a news reporter and then sharing that with others.

    Just from my own tinkering, I’ve found that a glass of wine or bottle of wine set slightly away from the plate always romances the picture. And cloths always seem to soften things up and make the food look more cozy.

    • 11 jill November 11, 2009 at 2:29 pm

      Hey Nathan – thanks for your comment, good luck with your blog! I’m practicing my skills and hoping to share my own photos as I brush up on my techniques! Thanks for the tips…

  11. 12 Renee @ eatliveshop.com November 11, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    gorgeous photo’s! i too struggle with food photography. it’s much much much harder than it looks. i find that lighting is my largest struggle and i hope to just get better at it. i have a folder filed away of all my fav food pics that i’m planning to post in the near future. can’t wait to see your yummy dishes and congrats on the feature!

  12. 13 graphicgreg November 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Congrats on the feature…you’re making me hungry!
    My biggest problem with food photography is doing it.
    Hard for me to break out the camera and lights while I watch a delicious meal go cold 😦

  13. 14 goldnsilver November 11, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I have exactly the same problem. I’m trying to create a family cookbook and publish it through blurb (just for myself), but I can’t get pictures that make the food look good (I’m always cooking at night; which causes the food to look like a congealed mess in the pics even if it looks great in real life).

  14. 15 listen2thea November 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    You’re all forgetting one of the easiest ways to fix photos is with post process editing with a good program like photoshop. There are endless ways to improve photos using these programs and don’t think for a minute that professionals don’t post process like this as well. Granted it’s better if you can get it right the first time around with the camera but don’t be shy about doing some post processing to achieve what you’re looking for. πŸ™‚

  15. 16 katie November 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I’m like you. I find that I’m always cooking at night and therefore never get “the” shot. I swear it’s all about the post process. As a food blogger (along with about 5,000 other topics), we always compare ourselves to those like the Pioneer Woman, Bakerella, and Smitten Kitchen. Pretty high standards, huh? I say just have fun with it and keep practicing. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. πŸ™‚

    ps. congrats on the feature on wordpress! Does amazing things for your traffic. πŸ™‚

  16. 17 azizmoummou November 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    so interesting…I shall say thank you.
    My blog is simple and safe and hope can bring it a stride in advance.
    http://hellochichaoua.wordpress.com.
    I would love to receive your advice and suggestions.
    keep your chin up,
    Aziz

  17. 18 shutterboo November 11, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I love food. I love photography. Combine the two and I immediately start to drool. Thanks for sharing!

  18. 19 Tatiana November 11, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Wow this food does look great πŸ˜‰

  19. 20 Amy November 11, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Great photos! Not to mention the food looks delicious.

    Amy

    wedding photographer colorado springs co

  20. 22 warlock6 November 12, 2009 at 3:47 am

    i think you are lucky because you like cooking. not many people can boast with that. very often we are rather lazy to cook something special. that is my i admire you, my friend!
    the pictures are great and look very tasty. it seems you are a really good cooker. lol!

  21. 23 hendryfikri November 12, 2009 at 4:51 am

    mmm… yummy…
    Sorry, but I prefer to taste that food than capture it.
    LOL

  22. 24 Evan Roey November 12, 2009 at 4:55 am

    What a good photography! The food is also looking very beautiful and delicious!

  23. 25 sravan953 November 12, 2009 at 6:27 am

    The third one (via Still Life With…) was my favourite! OMG

  24. 26 yellow78 November 12, 2009 at 6:50 am

    FANTASTIC Photos!!! Will it be possible to try those foods? Hhmmmm, I think they’re very very good…

  25. 27 anonimo November 12, 2009 at 6:54 am

    pero esto qe es????’ke comida tan poco apetitosa xfavor……………donde kedan los platos tipicos???me kedo con unas patatas fritas y unos huevos o con un menu de bocateria y no con esta comida tan……nisikiera se como definirla………..xdxdxdxdxdxd

  26. 28 Jaamin November 12, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I love to eat and I love photography, the last picture is amazing and it looks sooooooo delicious !!

  27. 29 Frances Bean November 12, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I never thought about what exactly goes into a good food photograph. Interesting! Now I’m hungry.

  28. 30 lindsaylorusso November 12, 2009 at 9:36 am

    yum! do you do this professionally? i am a food network addict and LOVE to cook and try new things! in another life i would have been a chef, i suppose it’s never too late!

    http://twitter.com/lindsaylorusso

    • 31 jill November 12, 2009 at 11:28 am

      Thanks everyone for the great comments! Lindsay – I don’t do this professionally…am just trying my hand out at photography and have been referencing all the amazing work out there by other bloggers as a way to improve my skills. Maybe someday I could go pro…until then I’ll be documenting my trials online.

  29. 33 Conrad Olivier - Colorado Wedding Photographer November 14, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Wow, I’m not sure which is better your food or the photography – seriously! Great work!

  30. 34 gwenannwilson April 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    One of the tricks within food photography, aside from the usual photography tools, includes using a brush to spread vegetable oil or glycerin on the commercial item to create shine.
    Visit us at Photography and find lots of great tips and advices about this great hobby. Visit us now!


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