Starting up your blog

What I learnt so far about recipes and food photography

July 1, 2014

Now that you have your blog up and running, you need to get cooking, taking pictures and writing blog posts and recipes.

When I started blogging, I did not really know how to approach you.  English is not my first language so, sometimes, it adds to the blogging challenge.   So I do not have big writing advises and tips.  I would just tell you to stay yourself and enjoy it!

The talking:

Not that I am the blogger in right now or anything.  But I am happy to share the few things I learnt along the way.   I read quite a few blogs and the advice that I am trying to apply in my posts is to be as descriptive as I can.  I try to explain why my recipe is so good and why you should try it out.

Being engaging is not something you can learn overnight, I am practicing.   I am so grateful of the messages that I get, it is encouraging and gives me some feedbacks too.

For the recipe of the vanilla shortbread balls, I wrote aveline powder and I received messages, emails asking me what it was?  Well, don’t you know aveline powder, it is in the stores!  Well, silly me, aveline is in French, so it is updated now, you need ground hazelnuts for that recipe!

Shortbread Vanilla shortbread balls

Food photography:

Good thing, I can be engaging some other ways: my pictures.   I try to keep them simple, not too much props but just enough to tease you and to get your mouth water.

To be honest, I do not have too many props… I use what I have in my kitchen and check the thrift store once in a while.   I don’t really have a budget right now to go crazy on it, although I would love too.  I have been a little inventive since I don’t own that many napkins, plates, cutleries, etc.

Butternut squash creamy soup  Creamy butternut squash soup and my winter scarf

Creme brulee Crème brûlée and the inside of a pant of my daughter!

Oreo crust strawberry tart Oreo crust strawberry tart and a dress of my daughter!

Our closets give me quite some inspiration sometimes.  Some other props:
– Ingredients from the recipes
– Relevant utensils (for eg. the pizza cutter)
– Your hands
– Colored papers

Photography is an art that you don’t learn in a snap (ahah!).  It requires practice, time, patience and love.  I can be behind my camera for hours without knowing it.
I have been learning and practicing on my own.  I did get a great help from an ebook, the one from Pinch of Yum, Tasty Food Photography.  It’s an amazing source of tips and tutorials.

tasty food photography

Lindsay explains with simple terms and a lot of pictures different techniques of photography.  There are a lot of terms that I suddenly understood thanks to her explanations: such as depth of field, aperture or lightning.  I highly recommend this ebook to anybody looking for some pointers in photography.  Amazing mini bible.

As soon as I started applying all the tips given by Lindsay, my pictures got accepted on the foodporn websites.  I was so exited when I got my first one accepted.  Such an accomplishment by itself.  Here are my galleries:

  • Foodgawker – Where I got the most of my pictures published
  • Tastespotting – More challenging to get accepted but I least you learn why it gets declined.
  • Tasteologie – You never get to know the status of the submissions unless it got published.
  • Tasty kitchen – This one is more time-consuming to submit since you put the picture and the recipe.  It is actually a community.

In the future, I want to submit more to Tasty Kitchen, it is a great to get feedbacks for your recipe description, you will not get accepted if you are not descriptive or understood well.

About my camera:

I currently own the Canon T4i, I treated myself with my savings and I never regretted my purchase.  At first, I didn’t see the big deal about the touch screen but actually, I use it quite a lot to take pictures while on my tripod.

Canon T4i

For most of my pictures on the blog, I am using the lens Canon EF 50mm, I love it!  I get the sharp and crisp results that I look for.  It was a gift from my husband, El Cubano, definitely a score!

Canon EF 50mm lens

And my beloved tripod, I had another one and it was not good quality at all.  But this Manfrotto tripod is great: light, easy to expand and adjust.  Totally an amazing product.

My advices:

Just like that….

  • Read a bunch of blog posts that are giving you advises and decide what is best for you.  But don’t ignore all the advises, if there are given to you, it works!
  • Submit your pictures ASAP, it will help you right away with your photography skills.
  • Be ready to spend a LOT of time learning!  Don’t give up even when it is hard!
  • How about traffic to my blog?  Foodporn websites will certainly help you but here is advice from Bjork from Pinch of Yum that I love is that even if only 10 people are visiting your blog, you don’t know who they are:  ALWAYS THINK QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!

Food photography

  1. Cool post! Photography is my biggest challenge. I get pretty frustrated since I can’t make my photos look as good as the images I have in my head. I haven’t submitted my photos to any of the food porn sites yet because I feel like I am far from being ready. Your photos, on the other hand, are lovely.

    So your main language is French! I worked at a French restaurant for years, so I picked up a little French here and there. I’m not sure if you ever read my post on learning French, but it may make you giggle!

  2. I suggest you consider the ebook I purchased, the tips are great and simple to understand, you will love the approach of Lindsay! I will have a look for that post about French 🙂

  3. Thank you so much Helen! It is nice to hear, I think I may have some grammatical mistakes hanging around in the blog but just imagine it with a French accent and it would be more charming 🙂

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