Tips for Food Photography Photos on your Blog

No, this post on tips for food photography photos on your blog is not about how to take better photographs. I’m far from an expert although I think I’ve come a long way since I started blogging. This post on tips for food photography is all about how to get the photographs you take noticed.  Knowing how to take a good photograph is only part of the battle.  There are a number of other things that you need to keep in mind which is why I’m offering these tips for food photography.

You can invest in a program like Photoshop Elements or you can use a free program like PicMonkey.com to edit your photos.  They both work well and I use both for different things.

Tips for food photography

 

Tips for Food Photography

  • Edit the photograph to crop out anything you don’t want in the picture – the dirty dishes in the sink, the cat, your kids sitting at the table, etc.
  • Get the best lighting possible. I have been known to take pictures outside on the picnic table in January with a foot of snow on the ground.

Tips for food photography

  • Make sure that your food shot is not just the food. You want to add in visual interest to your photograph but make sure it is related to your photograph. Ideas include a pretty cloth napkin and fork, a few strawberries for strawberry shortcake, random chocolate chips for chocolate chip cookies, etc.   An example are the strawberries in my Strawberry Brownie Trifle you see above.
  • Make the photograph as wide as your blog can accommodate.  You want your photos to really stand out. Look at the photograph in my Strawberry Brownie Trifle above. It’s at 575 width which is the largest my blog accommodates.  Now look at this recipe I did a year and a half ago when I was still learning.  Great Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie recipe – not a great photo. Experiment to see what size photo works best for your blog.
  • Give your recipe credit.  You want your recipes to be pinned to Pinterest – at least I do. It’s a great site to get traffic from.   Once they are pinned, you want someone at a glance to know what the recipe is & where it came from. I watermark photographs I take with my blog name and website (see above) so if the link is lost, people can find me.
Tips for food photography
  • Tell people what the photograph is.  Once your recipe is pinned to Pinterest or another social media site, you want people to be able to look at it and know what it is. As yummy as my Cranberry Walnut Scones recipe is above, no one can tell from looking at it, exactly what it is once it’s pinned. Now take a look at my Fresh Chilean Blueberry & Cranberry Relish recipe below.  There is no doubt what the recipe is when you look at it. I added the title when I pinned the recipe using a site called Reachli that monitors the reach of each pin you post to Pinterest. There is no title on my original photo but the pinned picture does have one.

Source: reachli.com via Ellen on Pinterest

 

  • As handy as Reachli is, it doesn’t give you any variety of the font or size of the font you use to title your photograph.  While the title is certainly there for reference,  I don’t think it’s that attractive.
  • Take a look at the photo below that I did for my Strawberry Banana Barley Bake.  I used PicMonkey.com to add in the title.  I used two different fonts and two different colors to make the title stand out. Because the title is attractive (I think), I used it in my blog post.

Tips for food photography

Experiment with making your photographs the best they can be.  I have come a long way in the four and a half years I’ve been blogging but I know I have a long, long way to go.  I hope that some of these food photography tips have helped you.  This post is part of the Biannual Blogathon Bash. Twice a year, bloggers get together to learn how to improve what they do. This year, I am thrilled to be a co-host with Meagan from Sunshine and Sippy Cups.

Challenge – Try one of these suggestions with one of your food photographs.

Biannual Blogathon Bash

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Comments

  1. This has DEFINITELY been helpful! When it comes to food product pictures (Ya know, food I get to review), I have no problem with the pictures because you can just tell what it is by looking at it. My recipes pictures, on the other hand, look really gross even though they tasted soooooo good. I wasn’t prepared and just decided to snap a picture before it all got devoured. I’ll take my time next time!

  2. Great tips! I think I need to make my watermark more prominent so that people know at a glance where to find me and it would make it harder for people to remove.

  3. Thank you for the tips, I’ve been mimicking seasoned bloggers with the pictures for a while now! I love making my photographs stand out, makes my blog posts look a little more interesting and I’ve received great compliments because of the pictures I’ve added. I’m taking your tips and I’ll do my best to implement them in the future! Thank you again!

  4. Thank you so much for these tips! I think your pictures are gorgeous. My food pics stink. I do go outside to the picnic table year round for other types of pics though. Never thought of doing it with food.

  5. Awesome tips! I finally invested in a nice camera and I have SO much to learn.. but its so fun! Thanks for the great read and awesome tips! Your photos look amazing too! 😉

  6. Thank you for the helpful tips. I am guilty of just snapping a quick picture of the dish I am blogging about. I have been working on dressing the food up but it is still just food on a plate or platter. Background props would be helpful and adding the name or watermark is something I really need to work on. The food tasted great but my Baked Ziti doesn’t stand out from the next persons without dressing it up.

  7. Thanks for the tips! I want to improve my food photography, and have been focusing on actually taking the photo. Now I see that I need to be focusing on even more!

  8. maria @close to home says:

    what great advice. it is so hard to get dinner pics when it is dark outside   

  9. These are excellent tips, thank you. Some I’ve done, others I need to learn how to do. And I usually don’t love watermarks (understand why they are there) but your tutorial solidifies the need, esp. for Pinterest.

  10. Great tips!  I think experimenting with different props, lighting & shadows is the key to food photography. 

  11. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories says:

    Wonderful post and very useful tips. I love to blog my thoughts on recipes I have tried and really need to do better about adding that extra visual element to make the picture more appealing.  In fact, I was in Williams-Sonoma the other day and saw some pretty amber and deep blue glass bowls.  Although I have no space in my cupboards, I thought they would have looked great to showcase a recipe photo.  You know you’re a blogger when bowls become photo props instead of just bowls! 

  12. These are great tips, and your fruit w/the chocolate syrup came out entirely fabulous!  It looks good enough to make me wish I had one. 🙂

  13. Great tips. Now my only problem is making food that would be worthy of taking a photographing. 🙂

  14. Food photography is really hard. I was a professional wedding and portrait photographer for many years, and I still struggle with food!

  15. Great tips! I need to go back to old food posts and fix my pictures (not Pinterest friendly what so ever!). 

  16. These are great tips!!  I love your pictures…they’re just lovely!

  17. Love the tip about adding some extra visual interest to the photo. I need to start doing that!

    Question: I have a hard time finding a place to add my logo/url in some photos. Do you have any tips for that?

    • Ellen Christian says:

      When I crop the photo, I make sure to leave room at one of the bottom corners that is like a table top so I can add my watermark.

  18. great photos, the food looks for good! I am not good at any photos. but learning is fun!

  19. What wonderful tips, Ellen! I love what you’re doing with your food photos. My photography has definitely improved, and I often take photos outdoors or inside my garage near the open door. But I still have so much to learn. This was a great help! 🙂

  20. Great tips! I have been doing some of them but just have learnt some more. I blog recipes too and have been struggling with taking pictures at night after the kids fall sleep. A good camera is not what I can afford now but sooner or later, I will be there. The tip of having different fonts to make the title stand out is a great one for me and I will test drive this one. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Thank you for this great post, Ellen! One thing I need to do is quit using my iPhone and make the effort to use my dSLR. I know that good pictures can be taken with an iPhone, but they’re so much better when taken with an actual camera. Also, I’m thinking about creating some type of backdrop/lightbox to use during the winter – you know all too well how dark New England winter nights are!

  22. Great tips! I’m working on my food photography skills and it is really difficult. It’s especially hard in the winter when there’s no light!

    • Ellen Christian says:

      It really is! I have a lightbox but I haven’t had time to really learn to use it properly. It’s on my list!

  23. These are great tips! I need to photograph and blog more about recipes and foods that I create, but I ALWAYS worry about the set up and presentation. I’ll definitely be trying some of these!

  24. Lighting is my biggest challenge. I can’t seem to find a place in the house that has even lighting, if that makes sense. One side of the picture always comes out darker than the other.

  25. this is great advice, thanks! I get a ton of traffic from pinterest and it helps to have really nice looking pictures!

  26. Great tips, thanks Ellen!!

  27. Excellent tips, I really struggle with lighting and I love your idea of photographing the food outdoors.  I’ve also been experimenting with watermarking and am going to now be watermarking photos on a consistent basis.

  28. These are great tips Ellen. For some time, I had my blog’s name as well as the name of the dish on my pics – but then I thought they were better without the writings and stopped doing that…I take pics on my phone and that always takes a lot away from the picture quality – But my biggest issue is with lighting 🙂

  29. Great tips Ellen. I always see your food photos from being in the Simple Sassy group but I am glad you shared some pointers with us.  I never take photos with anything but the food and if its anything else in there I usually don’t want it there.  I am also new to watermarking and still working on Pinterest as well.  I’ll be bookmarking this as my go to post from now on.

  30. Retha Groenewald says:

    Great post. Those food pics make me hungry

  31. I’ve recently been playing with PicMonkey and used it for my own mini-challenges for the blogathon. I still need a watermark, though, and am working on taking pictures that look good in the first place! Great challenge, thanks so much!

  32. So much better! Picmonkey only takes a couple of minutes and improves my photos so much. Thanks, Ellen!
    http://www.kellystilwell.com/2013/01/homemade-cranberry-salsa.html#.UQXuJ6XJClI

  33. Meagan Paullin says:

    I just bought a new camera, and am experimenting to get better food photos. That is a BIG goal of mine in this new year! I just got a lightbox too, since it’s really tough to find good natural light in my house. 

    Here’s my recipe for the challenge: http://sunshineandsippycups.com/2013/01/strawberry-and-cream-cheese-stuffed-danish/ 🙂 Not perfect, but getting better….

  34. Thanks for sharing these tips Ellen! I’ve been working to improve my lighting and settings (although I still have a ways to go!) Lighting always seems to be a challenge.

    I really need to work on the watermark and finding a better program to use – but my head can only handle so much new info at a time!

    Maybe that will be my aim for the next blogathon!

  35. Tiffany Cruz says:

    I’m still learning, always trying to improve. Thanks for this post.

  36. Donna Richards says:

    Thank you for these tips.  I will use them all.

  37. I love how you use your photo & blog name on your pictures I do that to but just my link & I use Photoscape to edit my pictures for my blog.

    • Ellen Christian says:

      Thanks, Tara.  I use Photoshop Elements to add my watermark.  I’ve never tried Photoscape before.

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