Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sequel: Here's Your Top Food Blogging Tips!

The advice is in. TONS of it! What a wonderful response you all had to the Top Ten post! Definitely a Foodie House record. Thank you to everyone who shared their ideas and hearts on the subject we all love: Food Blogging. I am so excited to present to you a new, beefier version of my somewhat anemic top ten. Way to go Foodie Friends!

*Just a note on the links: For whatever reason, Blogger is annoying and only sometimes highlights a linked word. So you know, everyone mentioned below is linked to their blog, regardless of whether it's highlighted or not.*

Why there is garlic next to the coffee filters? I will never know.

Suggestions for Best Lenses for Food Photography:

Ben said...
On Nikon, I would get the 50 mm f/1.8, because it's cheaper and slightly sharper than the f/1.4. Might not be the case with Canon, since people are recommending 1.4. However, it's important to note that the differences on both cameras is likely very subtle.

I also really love the Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 macro (which Nikon calls "micro"). I would definitely check out the Canon equivalent.
Chef Dennis said...
As for a lens I shoot with a normal lens, and I think the big difference will be using a macro lens, I do think that is a must, I am saving for a good macro lens now. Also stay with the same brand lens as camera you purchase, off brand lenses are ok, but I think for close ups with food you need a quality lens. Also research the lenses when you get close to purchase, some are made with plastic parts which aren't always bad but something to consider.

Lisa said...
The 1.4/50mm is a great lens, as we discussed. And I highly recommend it. Its great in low light. Thats the only lens I use (= Originally I bought it to take photos of my son bc it doesn't require flash (flash being bad for babies eyes).

Flashes and Lighting
For photography in a dark kitchen, which many of us have problems with, here's a great post and product that Bridget at Bake at 350 shared not to long ago on her blog. I thought this light was genius!
Amiee said...
Thanks for this great article. I just want to point out (because I see people writing it everywhere) that a flash can be a good thing, if you invest in a high quality one. I have a fairly dark kitchen, and would never use my on-camera flash for light, so I'd be left with these low-lit dim images of food, which really looked washed out and lacked vibrancy.

I followed some wonderful advice from Deb at (great photos), and bought the flash she recommended, which makes everything look like it was taken in natural light. I'm still practicing with it, but let me tell photos have improved a lot. My website is

Just wanted to share this piece of wisdom... Not all flashes are created equal.

Bec said...
Really great and helpful post. I've been getting the hang of food photography myself over the last year, and love the 1.4/50mm lens. It's great for portraits, too, for when you take the camera out of the kitchen! I know everyone feels differently about using a flash, but the Canon speedlight is awesome, if you're willing to make the investment (and you end up taking most of your photos at night). Thanks for the helpful tips!

Business Cards
I got a huge response to the business card idea. I told the hubs and he was quite pleased with himself...ugh. I hate it when he's right. Anyways, here's some really great suggestions, and cheap I might add too, on getting some business cards.
Lisa said...
With regards to the business cards...did you know that in the Foodbuzz resource center you can get free ones? Called Moo Cards. Not as cool as yours but you can get them. The Foodbuzz resource center has a ton of helpful tips. Take a look.

Debbie said...
I have been caught a few times handing out torn pieces of paper as well. I know you can get close to free ones on which I think I will go do now!

Koci said...
I'm so glad that I subscribed to the comments on this post! I took Debbie's (and your) tip on business cards and put some together over on They're on their way and I'm thrilled. :D

Photography at 6 a.m. in a badly lit pantry is no fun for anyone...well, actually it kinda is.

Cameras: Point and Shoot or DSLR?
Baking Barrister said...
Also, if you can't invest in a really nice DSLR, learn to use your point and shoot! They all pretty much have a manual mode that allows you to play with aperture, lighting, white balance, etc. If you have lighting issues, build a light box. There are some very cheap options to improve photos.
Jacob said...
And unfortunately for our little world of food blogging, pictures are paramount. A DSLR will certainly hedge your bet toward producing fabulous photos, but they are certainly not a prerequisite. Some of my favorite bloggers, who have what I consider to be some of the greatest pictures use point and shoots just like me, and some who have professional cameras produce lack luster photography. It is still all about the time and energy you are willing to invest in learning how to use the camera that you do have, and finding a post editing software that you can use effectively. If there is a blog that you find especially inspiring, drop the author a line and ask them for advice. I have found that most all of the foodie bloggers out there are tremendously supportive and gracious to us newbies.

Postings: How Often?
Jacob said...
I used to feel a strong pressure to post every single day, and I did for several months. But I am realizing that it is ok to give myself a break now and then, when I am otherwise too busy with work to devote much attention to it. Post only your best stuff (which isn't to say that you can't/shouldn't post about your kitchen failures as much as your triumphs... we have all been there, and it makes us human. In fact, I find, like Julia Child's old cooking shows, making mistakes is often even more inspirational... it makes us feel like, hey even I can do that.)
Carolyn said...
I don't have time to post more than 2-3 times a week, and I just have to hope that the people who like my blog don't mind!

Pam said...
I love that for every rule there's the exception. My favorite blogs, Lottie + Doof and 101 Cookbooks, each post maybe once a week. Sometimes less.

Baking Barrister said...
I think that as time goes on, you can slow your posting down. First build up a small archive and then get into a regular posting schedule. I currently post every 3-4 days because not everything I make is particularly exciting and sometimes I just don't have any interesting stories or tidbits to share with my reader. I find stories about the food or the blogger really make me want to come back--it's that glimpse into someone's kitchen that makes it fun. So if I'm not amusing, I won't post.

Photographing: Time Crunch 

For moms, food blogging and photo sessions can be especially difficult. A couple of you voiced your frustration with being able to get some good shots while you've got the kids and hubs ready to eat. I know the feeling, this was my suggestion:
I would have to say on photographing in a time crunch with hungry kids, is to have your set up (mine being foam core board "studio" set up on a table by the window, as well as your camera and tripod) ready before you cook, so as soon as it is done and right before you serve it, you can just plop it down and shoot. Also, I'll reserve some food to give to the toddlers to keep them happy. Somedays, I feel as though I work at the city zoo at feeding time, rather than at home. And the hubs...well, he just has to wait. And he's never too happy about it either, but I remind him that I'm a blogging star in the making and that usually buys me a couple more shots.

Other Avenues For Getting Your Blog Out There/ Resources
Lisa said...
There are sites called pro-blogger and other sites that help with blogging tips. ( I have to visit myself to get some tips too).

I read a lot of mommy blogs and they have really, I mean really good advice. And there are plenty of resources that you can read up on. You just have to find the ones that you like. Merely asking people for advice does nothing. Research is key...check out Serious Eats, not just to put photos on Photograzing but for the resources.

Also "like" your favorite chefs, bloggers etc on your facebook page so you can get idea's and learn from them. Observation and reading is so important. If you look at my progression, wow you can definitely tell that I have learned throughout my blogging. From photos to even writing.
Baking Barrister said...
My #1 bit of advice is TWITTER. I resisted so hard but got one for the blog. It is a great way to interact with readers and other bloggers, find new blogs, get input, etc. It's really improved my readership. Just uh, keep in mind that it's for your blog, not your friends who understand that warped sense of humor...heh.
Kate said...
I thought of one more thing... learn to use Stumbleupon. Add their toolbar so you can stumble your own posts and others you like. Every once in a while I'll actually get a hit on my blog from a stumbler. Thanks to Kathy for starting me on the stumble path :-)

Sara said...
The one tip that I would add to the list would be to strive toward building a community. Inviting comments, starting a newsletter signup, Facebook group, events, etc. The blogs that last are the blogs that have a family :)
Well said
Pam said...
Content creators... That's the term I'm learning to adopt to loosely define bloggers. We get to say what content we publish!!! Yeah!! Well written, poorly written, gorgeous photos, crummy photos, controversial or sweet, it's all mine to say!!! Hurray!

Nobody likes being told "no".

Photo Rejection:
Koci said...
After that, I'd say just be yourself and don't take yourself too seriously. Some of my favorite photos have been mercilessly rejected from food sites, citing the dreaded "composition". Like I learned through years of AP English classes, judging a creative work is highly subjective. Just write about all the silly stuff that you don't think anybody cares about, because that's what people actually find incredibly interesting.

We All Agree, Keep It Light and Relax!
Lisa said...
I'm a mom first, blogging for me is a creative outlet. To fill in the time when I'm not spending it with my son. Food blogging....everything has already been done in my opinion. Its the visuals first then the content. Unless you're some super chef coming up with new recipes that no one has ever tried, then you must do something to make yourself stand out.
Pam said...
Very few of us ever really make money at this gig. If I get a free case of wine, some bottles of juice (hasn't everyone by now??) some good books, comped invitations to nice events or dinner at a winery because of this, that's terrific by me. Some bloggers are seriously looking for income, and I'm glad that I love my day job and can avoid that pressure.
Janis said...
I think that it is great to have a blog but it also kind of annoys me when people do act like it is a business. I lose interest once it becomes too slick. I rather be more like a voyeur looking into some ones life rather than reading too thought out prose. Also, I like the pictures to feel less slick than many of the ones I see. I want to see what it really looks like and not just some photoshop version of the food. I also hate artsy takes on food. It is food for gods sake, not a da Vinci.

This is why I keep both our mugs smiling. Well, Tiny just looks confused.

Content, Keepin' It Real:
Jacob said...
I, too, am very new to the business of blogging, and definitely had that moment of "is this just for fun? to attract more local business? or to share my passion for food with other foodies out there in the world?" I'm not sure if I ever really consciously answered those questions for myself. What I can say is that, as is the case with most everything else in life, do what you love to do. Follow your own passion with reckless abandon, and people will be drawn in by the energy of it.

Pam said...
Oh... one more thought. I'm coming to believe that the best posts come from authors who actually get out from behind their computers and live a little. Coming back to the keyboard with something cool to say, in terms of observations, research findings and experiences, means more to me as a reader than to read something thin and lifeless every single day. I just don't have time for those posts, and quickly learn to avoid those blogs. Again, just my preference.

Just Food Snobs said...
The best advice I can give is stay true to yourself and write from the heart. Share personal stories because we all have a story we can relate to. Don't overthink what you are going to write just let it flow naturally. Anyone can post a photo and a recipe only, but without the human connection all is lost. It seems like you have learned alot and offer great tips, good luck and look forward to following your future posts!

Thank you again to everyone! I hope you find these tips as helpful as I did. I love learning new things and other people's views on the subject. Feel free to continue adding advice and ideas. We can never have too much.

Cheers, my dears!

Oh, and keep a look out on Friday for my post with Wild Alaskan Seafood! My proposal got chosen and I'm making the meal tonight. I've got the jitters, only because we've had thunderstorms every night this week and it makes for terrible pictures! So, whether it turns out good or not I'm postin' it, baby! (but I really hope it does.)


  1. Hi Lauren - I enjoyed reading both your posts, tips and the sequel. Great topic, thanks! I just received my new MOO cards last week.

  2. Great job Lauren! I think food photography is really blossoming, and we need all the help we can get....photgraphing people was so much easier!
    I am definitely getting business cards too!

  3. Congrats on the Wild Salmon proposal, and on the new DSLR. Have fun with it!

  4. Great post Lauren! I love all the ideas, I think my favorite is living outside the blog! I'd rather get hugs and cook with and make playdough with the kids than sweat the small stuff! Have a great day, you have a beautiful family to enjoy!

  5. Aww L, good post (= I hope you win the Wild Alaskan Seafood Challenge! And the photos of your kids are so cute! I'm still learning about this thing called "blogging" so I liked that you shared your journey with us (=

  6. Another GREAT post. I LOVE learning "straight from the horse's mouth" from all these fantastic bloggers. Thanks, everyone!

  7. Fabulous post! I loved all the blogging tips!

  8. This is by far my favorite posting on food blogging tips. I love how you conglomerated so many different perspectives!

  9. I agree with everyone here. This is a great resource, and I love the way you incorporated the ideas of so many. I especially need help with the camera, so I'm sure I'll be referencing this post often. Thank you!

  10. Hey Lauren!

    It is so funny that you quoted my ranting about letting yourself off the hook for not having to post every single day. I just finished up with a crazy three days of work where I was essentially baking from morning until night, for some larger catering orders. I didn't post for three days, and while I would love to pretend to be all enlightened and light hearted about it, I could feel the mounting anxiety about not having posted in so long. It was palpable. lol So, I too, am still learning to be kinder to myself in that regard. With that said, today marks the 90th day of my blog, and also it's 90th post. My 100th post is just around the corner (I feel SO disproportionately proud of I was thinking of trying to rustle up something for my first giveaway to celebrate the milestone. We will see what I can come up with?! Where do the fabulous bloggers find all of their donations? Hmmmm. . .

    Thanks for compiling all of the comments. There are some really great, talented people out there who are so generous with their advice, but it often goes overlooked unless one always reads all of the comments (which I, unfortunately, don't typically have the time to do). And I clearly still have a lot to learn. =)

    Happy eating!

  11. Thank you so much for compiling all of this and sharing it, I really appreciate the effort you have given to share this, and I love the pics of the kiddos:)

  12. Great post! I love how you have everything us normal people would like to know about blogging in one simple post. So great to hear so many different pov.
    Excited to read your Wild Alaskan Post!!!!

  13. Wow, this is awesome and so informative. Thanks for doing all of the dirty work and making it accessible.


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