i take pictures of my food.

by Janetha on March 7, 2013

in product review

before i get started, i have to wish you all a HAPPY NATIONAL CEREAL DAY! it’s my favorite food, as you may know, so today is kinda more exciting that my birthday. i was sleepy this morning and sort of forgot it was national cereal day first thing, but i happened to eat two bowls for breakfast without acknowledging the holiday at all. it’s fate! either that or i just eat cereal every single day no matter what… yeah.

it’s easy for me to remember that march 7 is national cereal day because it also marks another year that has gone by since my horrible snowboarding accident in 2007. six years ago today i broke my humerus after sailing off a giant jump. you can read about it here. oh, and you can read about my love for national cereal day here. no need to post about both these things again, since i have in the past!

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when people see me shooting pictures of my food, i get a lot of strange looks. but i have no shame because it’s something i enjoy. i don’t just like to take a picture of my meal because i want to document it.. it really is because i love making food that looks good (or capturing photos of food in restaurants that others have made look good.) it’s beautiful to me and i could browse through food photography all day.

that’s why i love reading food blogs so much! yes, i love them for the recipes and for the writer behind each blog, but i really enjoy seeing all the beautiful photos. i mean, what’s a recipe for boring old noodles without a photo to go with it?

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an appealing picture (or two) can really take a recipe from drab to fab.

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okay, i know, i know, recipes don’t need to have photos.. but you have to agree that they help. all it takes is one remarkable photo for me to decide that, yes, i most definitely will be making that recipe ASAP.

i am by no means an expert on food photography (or photography in general), but i have learned a LOT over the past (nearly) four years of blogging here on meals & moves. back in the day, my photos were downright awful. but, hey, you gotta start somewhere! i even did a photography comparison post after one year of blogging (check it out here) and—wow—that was almost three years ago. even more has changed! i definitely have become a better food photographer with time and practice.

i started out in 2009 with a point & shoot camera and then graduated to a canon rebel DSLR. i must admit, lately i have been lazy and just snap photos with my iphone, but my desire to take better pictures is still there. i want to take awesome photos all the time, and in the past i have purchased things like a light box and cute props and artsy backdrops. the problem is i just don’t know how to put all these tools and props and things together to create brilliant food photos.

i have looked into food photography classes in the past but have never signed up for one. i learned a LOT from ashley’s crash course at foodbuzz in 2010. i have emailed some of my favorite food bloggers and asked them for tips. i want to learn! and so when i got an email from one of my friends about her new food photography e-course, i got SUPER excited.

dana (blogger of my little celebration and minimalist baker) has teamed up with her husband, john, to create an e-course for food photography. that’s quite the feat! i received an email informing me about the e-course, offering to let me check it out for free and become an affiliate for them. when i read her email i was:

  • thrilled for her & john
  • impressed by the accomplishment
  • excited for myself to learn more (hey, it’s true!)

haha.. i am so selfish. but, really, i have been oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over dana’s blog, my little celebration, for ages. she’s really got a knack for this thing. i mean, look at some of her shots… i love her use of light, texture, patterns, and props. her photos also have such a simple look to them that i really appreciate.

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source: mylittlecelebration.com

i am always checking her new posts for photography tips, so when i learned that she’s offering up lessons on how to shoot sweet shots just like her, i was incredibly stoked!

the e-course has fifteen sections that go from beginner basics to very advanced. the course also includes a free bonus e-book called “five ways to make your photos go further”.

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i have taken some time to check out the course and, not surprisingly, i am impressed. the courses contain great information with pictures and even videos to go along with the info so you thoroughly understand each lesson. there are also troubleshooting guides to follow in case you get into a bind. dana and john have covered all the bases with this e-course. i am mainly excited about the sections on bouncing & diffusing light and props! i can’t wait to put what i have learned to the test.

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because i am friends with dana, i told her i’d love to spread the word about the e-course. the rest of the rambles you have read above just sprung from me agreeing to let you all know about a way to take better pictures of food. as you can tell, i am super passionate AND super excited about the whole thing.

you can purchase the entire e-course, including the e-book on making your photos go further, from their site. clicky click. it’s $19.99 and worth every last penny. if i hadn’t received the course to review, i would have bought it with my own dollars in a split second.

i wish dana and john the best of luck in their venture to educate the world on how to take better food photos, and i thank them for all the time and effort spent in order to help food photography dummies like me.

Qs~

1. how important are the photos to you when reading a recipe and/or food blog?

2. what is the last thing you took a photo of?

3. if you were to write an e-course in something.. what would it be? (feel free to make this answer ridiculous.. like how to eat a box of cereal in 13 minutes flat. not that i know how to do that…)

xo. janetha g.

full disclosure: as i mentioned above, i received the e-course for free am an affiliate for the course. this post contains only my own opinions on the product and i was not paid to say any of it. i just really love dana and what she’s created! 

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Carly @ Snack Therapy March 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I loooove gorgeous food photos. I think that cooking is an art, plating is an art, and photography is an art. The people who can master all three of these boggle my mind! I’ve lately been obsessed with reading photography blogs; I’m determined to figure out the functions of my DSLR!

Heather @ Better With Veggies March 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Sold! This is a great price for a food photography e-course, i think this will be money well spent. Thanks for the great review. :)

kendra @ kennygump March 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

fun fun. that’s pretty cheap for a course if you ask me. and yes, pics are important to a recipe for sure. i take them but don’t know anything about it. i just click. i took pics today of my kids and i with our little niece/cousin riding rides and eating treats at the mall of america! good times.

Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome March 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm

What a great e-course! I might have to register for myself as I’m always trying to learn new tricks to getting good pictures. Especially of my food! Thanks for sharing!

dana March 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Janetha! you’re the best. Thanks so much for agreeing to check out the e-course and then writing such a stellar review. We really appreciate your feedback and hope our course can help you and your readers learn food photography quickly and effectively!

-Dana

Lee March 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I’ve taken several photography classes so I know about stuff like aperture and shutter speed, but I would love to learn more about styling pictures. I am not very good at that. I am thinking of signing up for this. Sounds really cool and a great deal.

Heather March 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

There is something so great about an amazing food photo, love it!

BroccoliHut March 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I’ve always said that one of my regrets is that I never took a photography class in high school. My blog photos started out pretty terrible too, but I’ve learned a lot through trial and error along the way. That being said, I’d love to take a formal class like this. T
I have one question though–is this class focused on photography with DSLR cameras? Just curious, as I don’t own one (yet).

Lindsay's List March 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm

oh man! i’ve loved dana since I started blogging! she’s so spunky!

Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness March 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

I love looking at the pictures on blogs! I am guilty of poor lighting, no props and using my iphone for most all of my pictures.

Jan @ Sprouts n Squats March 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Love this post! I’m getting an SLR for my birthday and really want to know where to start with hints and tips. I might take up this course

Erica March 7, 2013 at 11:19 pm

I have very little patience…I need to work on this and then take a photography class. Your pictures are beautiful!

Annette@FitnessPerks March 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Your pics are awesome Janetha–it’s impressive. And that course sounds cool! Right now I am not that interested in food photography….is that bad? I have like no patience, so that’s probably why. hah!

One day I am sure I will be more interested in photos! My sister is a great photographer, and when we were in a class in HS together, the teacher always praised her work & was like “ehh” to mine. HAHAH :)

Tina @ Best Body Fitness March 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I am AWFUL with food photography. Good thing I don’t need it too often for my blog. But still, I am sure I could learn some very useful info from this course. Thanks for sharing it, Janetha.

Nicole C March 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm

In my opinion, they are ranked #1 because I always pick a recipe based off the photo. I want to see how it’s supposed to turn out or if it perks my interest.

Last photo: some toy story cupcakes I made, they are adorable!

My e-course would be on how to give a mastiff a bath. It’d be more comical than helpful but it was the first thing that popped in my head.

Oh and one of my faaavorite blogs (because I followed her international adoption story and it captured my heart) is under the sycamore. She recently won a contest for parents magazine as the ‘most likely to wow you with photos or videos’. She teaches a class called Snap Shot. I just need a DSLR now.. :)

Tiffany @ Snack Snark Bark March 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Um yeah, I’m sitting here looking at pictures of food while I’m eating my own food. I absolutely adore food pics and taking them, like you, I believe it is art especially when you go out to eat. My friends get confused because sometimes I will take pics, other times not and most of the time it’s the situation (really nice restaurant) or just something boring like Subway (really who hasnt seen a picture of that?) My only issues with some classes is that they are geared for people with nice cameras whereas I use my iphone 4s to take pics. But it worked out because this summer I took a class in food photography for iphone users Thank god I found someone who feels the same way and takes pic of his food, it’s a match made in heaven.

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