I love photography, and it’s pretty much always been one of my biggest hobbies. I’ve been into it in some shape or form since I was about 14, starting out taking classes at a local community college with film cameras & darkrooms, messing around at home with Holgas, lomography and Polaroids, and later moving on to pretty much exclusively digital cameras and processing. I originally applied to college majoring in photography (before switching my major to Biology).
I thought I’d make this page to talk about what I use and love, and answer some common questions about photography in general! I am not an expert and not a professional *at all* (and a lot of days I don’t even think I’m any good at photography), but here is the rundown of what I currently use.
For all photos on this site, I use my old trusty Canon Rebel XT. I bought it with my after-school job paycheck savings all the way back in 2005, and it’s been a workhorse ever since! I’ve never had any problems with it, but it is getting pretty old at this point (the sensor is 8 megapixels – not that that matters for a food blog). I think a good and affordable comparable dSLR in “modern times” is the Canon EOS Rebel T3i (or it’s even more recent and pricey cousin, the Canon Rebel T5i). My boyfriend has the T3i and I have at times been jealous of it’s nice screen.
I currently almost exclusively use the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. As far as lenses go it is insanely affordable, and it has been serving me very well over the past few years (and it gets some great bokeh!). I’d like to upgrade to a fancier lens in the future, but I am not ready to spend that cash just yet. I also have the kit lens that came with my camera, a Canon 18-55mm, which has the option of zooming and also has a wider angle, but I use this less for my blog since my newer 50mm works great for me.
I edit all of my photos using Adobe Lightroom. I have Lightroom 4, but the current version is Lightroom 5. In the past, I used Photoshop, which is a more complex and powerful professional editing program. I no longer use it because in 99% of the editing I do, it is not necessary. For food blogging photography, I feel that Lightroom is the perfect tool and does everything you could want it to do. The main tweaks I usually make to almost all photos is to adjust exposure, tweak individual colors to make them pop in photos, increase sharpness a bit, crop if needed, and sometimes use the adjustment brush to make local changes. There are many other small tweaks that can really help photos in Lightroom – I recommend it for anyone trying to improve their photography.
GREAT RESOURCES FOR FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY
There are some truly wonderful resources I’ve used to get started with food photography when I started my blog. I try to add any good page I find to my Food Photography Tips Pinterest page. I’d been dabbling in photography for years before I started this site, but food photography (and styling!) is a whole different beast than art photography and requires some specific skills and techniques.
Here are some pages I’ve consulted many times and taken to heart:
- Jen Yu’s Food Photography Philosophy – this is not a tips page, but I wanted to put it first because I think Jen’s perspective on photography is very similar to mine. Buying a fancy camera doesn’t make a great photographer – only practice, time, and lots of interest and learning will do that.
- 12 Things that Have Helped my Food Photography by Bojon Gourmet – Alanna’s photos are AMAZING and a constant source of inspiration. She wrote up this great post full of practical tips and information. I love it.
- Ashley of Edible Perspective’s treasure trove of photo tips – Ashley has created a big resource of food photography tips on her site which is so useful.
- All of Pinch of Yum’s food photography tips articles are great and I have referred to them many times.