Fabulous photography is key when blogging. People only have the images to see of a food/diy/craft/etc so they must be stellar in order to convey the message. There is nothing worse than a dynamite recipe with dull photos taken in poor lighting. Thankfully, I love photography and try to improve as much as possible. I still have a long way to go (and don’t claim to be any sort of photography expert – I’m still learning), but hopefully these tips will help you wherever you are on your blog + photography journey! NOTE: In February of 2013 I published this post listing out my favorite products + photog tips at the time. Below is my current preferred photography equipment and tips. I will try my best to keep this list updated.
What camera do you shoot with?
I’m currently shooting with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. It’s definitely on the pricier end, but I worked my way up to it. For the first 3 1/2 years of Pizzazzerie, I shot with the Canon Rebel which I think is a fabulous choice if you’re starting out or upgrading to your first DSLR camera. If you prefer Nikon, they have comparable cameras (and lenses) too.
What is your favorite lens?
I am constantly changing between a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 (zoom lens), Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro. Since I shoot things as small as tiny appetizers to as large as a full dining-room tablescapes, I’m often rotating. I like the 24-70 for larger shoots because I can easily zoom in and out. I like the 50 and 100 for close-up and detail shots (like recipes, etc). You can also rent lenses which I did several times before purchasing some of mine. I rented through BorrowLenses.com.
What tripod do you use?
I have a Manfrotto 055xPROB tripod with a Manfrotto 322RC2 Joystick Head. I highly recommend a tripod for food photography, specifically. It is tricky to adjust to at first but it allows you to really build the best picture as opposed to “shoot a lot and hope you got one that might work” type shooting. It was a game changer for me. Also, it will easily shoot overhead which is a fabulous set-up for interesting food shots (or paper, DIY, etc)!
What lighting do you use?
I prefer natural light when possible. I shoot natural light about 90% of the time. I use white foam boards as reflectors. When I have to have additional light (shooting at night or in the winter, etc), I use this set of Soft Boxes. I’m sure any similar soft box set would be fine (you can read the details of it in the product description).
What do you edit your photos with?
I use Adobe Photoshop. I shoot raw (most of the time) and use the Adobe Camera Raw editing software for quick adjustments of photos. I also know that Adobe Lightroom is another fantastic resource for post-processing.
What are your favorite styling props?
I have collected quite a lot of props over the years. I highly suggest a lot of white dishes, plates, cake stands, etc. White makes almost any food pop and can be reused from shoot to shoot. I also like paper cocktail napkins for inexpensive pops of color, a collection of fabrics for tablecloths, and touches of holiday decorations.
What do you use for backgrounds?
I love to use fabric in various colors and textures. I also use white bead board (grab it at the hardware store) and white foam board (in the school supply section – cheap!). I also created my own backdrops by buying cheap wood and painting it. You can also find vinyl backdrops to resemble wood, etc. Get creative, look for old textured pieces of wood at thrift stores or flea markets.
Do you have any photography resources?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do! Here are a few favorites!
- Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum is a fabulous eBook that I highly recommend.
- Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots and Focus on Food Photography for Bloggers are 2 great books to put on your shelf.
- How to Edit Food Photos in Photoshop
I’m constantly taking courses, reading books and articles, etc on photography so I will update the resources section as I find helpful additions!
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Note – Some links above contain affiliate links which means I get a tiny cut if you make a purchase, which helps me continue to bring you resources + inspiration! Thanks!