Let’s do something different today: no new recipe, but 5 newly shot recipes from the blog! I know you all love the before/after effect, right?
The following recipes have all been created in the beginnings of the blog in 2013. At the time, I knew very little (not to say I knew A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y. nothing) about food photography and was shooting with my modest compact Digital Camera, a Canon, that was a rather good camera for what it was by the way. I always paid attention to detail, pretty things, and was putting an extra effort to make my dishes look pretty. Funny enough, I didn’t find my photos bad at all then, and maybe that is for the best otherwise I might have stopped blogging right away, who knows?
Still, my photos were really amateur, with no attention to the light or the angle (I was trying really hard though) and the composition was awkward most of the time. It’s not until I got my first DSLR camera from my dad for Christmas that I started to understand the importance of food photography – not the technique though, the technique came much, much later.
NEW PHOTO #1: Pumpkin & Walnut Tartine with Blue Cheese
Pumpkin & Walnut Tartine with Blue Cheese – This recipe is insanely good, especially in fall and winter time. Unfortunately the photos from the original recipe were not so enticing, hence the recipe did not get the success it deserved. The main issue is artificial versus natural light and composition. In the new photo, the blurry effect creates perspective. All we want is grab the tartine through the screen!
NEW PHOTO #2: The sumptuous mushroom soup
Sumptuous Creamy Mushroom Soup – This soup is ridiculously simple to make and so tasty! Composition and artificial versus natural lightning are the main issues of the original photos. On the new photo, the bowl of soup appears in the bottom two thirds, which creates a perspective effect.
NEW PHOTO #3: Red Lentil Dahl with Roasted Pumpkin and Hazelnuts
Red Lentil Dahl with Roasted Pumpkin and Hazelnuts – This dish is one of my absolute favorite and I prepare it every so often. It was about time for me to reshoot the photos so you also want to try it! For once, the old photos were not too bad in terms of lighting (I used natural light, yeah!) but the composition somewhat too compact makes you wonder if the meal will be satisfying enough. On the new photo however, the serving presentation with rice makes the portion more generous.
NEW PHOTO #4: Super Soft American Chocolate Chip Cookies
Super Soft American Chocolate Chip Cookies – Who doesn’t want to treat him/herself with a simple soft chocolate cookie once in a while? I have baked these cookies for many years and they never disappoint! When it comes to the photos, everything is wrong with the old, except maybe the use of natural lightning. The rest: composition, awkward angle and food styling are rather clumsy. On the new photo, there is no fancy food styling but the flat-lay photography (view from above) works beautifully here.
NEW PHOTO #5: Rustic Pear and Chestnut Tart with a Hazelnut Crust
Rustic Pear and Chestnut Tart with a Hazelnut Crust – You should add this delightful dessert to your baking list, really. It tastes like a tart you just bought in a fancy French bakery, except it is not and it’s actually easy to prepare. What to say about the old photos? Well, to be honest with you, this was the last slice (we ate all the other ones) and I really wanted it on the blog as it was so delicious. But of course here again everything was wrong: artificial lightning, old-fashioned food composition (it looks like a recipe from a magazine in the 80’s!). The new photo is another example of a flat-lay composition that works here again really well.
There is no miracle, learning the technique and practicing are key in food photography. In more than 5 years blogging, I spent countless hours shooting food, practicing, practicing, practicing. I took thousands and thousands of food photographs, most of the time for nothing else than practice. It eventually paid off and I got better and better as I started to understand that the key element was to always challenge yourself a little bit more, never ever stay in your comfort zone. I took a food photography class, bought a fancier camera later on, and kept practicing and practicing tirelessly.
I am currently shooting with Canon EOS Rebel T6s DSLR Camera and use my 18-135mm lens most of the time. I still haven’t bought the 50mm f1.2 which I am dreaming about. Investing in a great camera is important but you are still the one doing the job behind, this is why I do not believe that purchasing the most expensive camera is mandatory at first. Mine is intermediate and I still manage to take some really good shots, because I learned how to use the manual settings and I’m not afraid of playing with the camera – anymore, I should add. Yes, it’s scary at first, we have all been there!
What about you? Do you master food photography with your phone at the restaurant? Or maybe at home as a blogger? And what do you find the most challenging versus the most exciting when you take photos of your food? Feed me with details, I’m hungry for some more!