Food Photography blunders 1

Today I got my first foodgawker submission rejected, and I don't feel as bad as I thought I would.  It is a long hard journey (for me ...



Today I got my first foodgawker submission rejected, and I don't feel as bad as I thought I would.  It is a long hard journey (for me anyway) learning about food photography, and that's time and money I didn't have much of when I first started this blog.  I lived at my mums still and took pictures on my camera phone (which was a really old phone anyway) and i edited my pictures on a nice little bit of equipment called 'gimp' so I think you'll understand that difficulty I had when trying to produce pictures of foodgawker style.

I don't think you have to have amazing pictures to have a great blog, and I certainly don't think you have to have it all figured out, sure it helps, but it would be silly to suggest I've always had my SLR camera (or that I've known how to use it) and that I've always had my photoshop.

I haven't and I'm not ashamed, not one bit.  In fact, here are a few of my favourite "bad food photography blunders" that prove I always had style.

I know most people find it really embarrassing to share their old food photography, but I'm going to do it anyway, because they make me giggle.  Come join me on my journey through food photography.

Yes, I just referred to it as a journey.  I'm still a little high on the sudafed.


As I started to get more into writing my blog, I read that interesting plates and dining ware was essential for creating good pictures.  What is more interesting that a cow plate?  Like, this is a serious question.  A cow plate and little cow egg cup of jam.  I even positioned the cow cup to look like it was eating the rock cakes.  (Oh yeah, they are rock cakes by the way)  This picture is chock-a-block FULL of interesting stuff.  Look there's even a remote in it.


I don't know whether it's the ghostly swirl coming off the tuna steaks (Tagline idea: my food's so good, even the dead want it), or the fact I managed to get a mop handle in the shot but this is one of my favourite foodie faux pas.  It's everything the guide books tell you is wrong with a photo of food, but I loved it, because it was the first photo I took where something was clear and in focus.  Carol Sachs here I come.



I don't think there are words for the excellence in this picture.  I really don't.  It actually makes me laugh to see that one iced little cupcake sitting on top on an un-iced cupcake.  I see it and there's this whole little situation going on in my head where the little cake is totally the boss of the bigger one. Once more, I read online that interesting backdrop were good for photography.  So I put a jug of flowers in the corner of the shot.  Can you get much better?  No.  No, you can't.


These oatcakes are burnt, yes, but my motto in life is waste nothing.  I didn't even bother to hide the burn marks.  Why?  Because I thought people would appreciate my honesty.  I thought these little pictures cried out  "Life is about making mistakes.  It's about embracing those mistake or something, it's about seeing the burn marks, and putting them in your mouth anyway, or like... not caring or something.  That charcoaled taste is the taste of sweet sweet victory."  Some really cool uplifting quote like that... When in reality, it was "I burnt the oatcakes because I started watching Doctor who and forgot about them.  I'm a pig, so I ate them anyway."



I swear to god, this is stewing apples.  It's hard to take a good picture of stewing apples on any camera.  So pretty proud of this one.


I won't lie.  Not quite sure what this is.  I think that's a mushroom?  And some baby sweetcorn?  Too much veg to be a soup... not enough water to be a stew?  Answers on a postcard.



I got a better camera, and made a brownie.  I made an interesting background (See mini whisk in background, and artfully place wooden spoon.)  The downside here is the foil reflects the yellow of my t-shirt and effectively ruins my shot.  I still liked it though.  I thought I could see faces in the swirls.


"Opt in on key trends, publish recipes that will resonate with your public"  Cue picture of two jars of nutella.  That'll get people talking.  The only thing more pretentious that that advice and calling people who chose to read your blog your "public" (we aren't royalty guys) is that I just thought putting up a picture of nutella would make me awesome.  It does, by the way.  Look at that bad boy. 1KG.  You can hear the heart palpitations. 


I thought I'd finish on a high note.  The first time I realised that natural light didn't mean taking a picture outside with a flash on, but taking it during DAYLIGHT near somewhere that light actually reached.  (Top food photography tip there, don't say I don't dispel wisdom).

So there you have it.  If you've ever been dismissed by a food photography site, or have looked at someone else's food blog and thought "damn, I'll never be that good"  please remember that they probably have a folder on their computers, just like I do, called "Learning curves".

And now, there are 3 more installments of it!

Food photography blunders 2
Food photography blunders 3
Food photography blunders 4


Till the next time all,



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35 Comments

  1. This is brilliant :D I currently don't have the skills or patience to take good photos for my blog. I'm a bit more interested in the content and waffle at the moment :)

    x

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    1. And your waffle is awesome, so I don't blame you! x

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  2. I have been rejected too, in fact, it doesn't even matter now :P
    I love your attitude to it! As beautiful as those photos are, true character to a photo comes from the story it is attached to - these photos of yours make me want to devour food and isn't that the most important? :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  3. You should have seen my rejected photo folder on foodgawker...ok, let me tell you the number of rejected photos...123.. at first I was upset because I really love some photos, now it doesn't matter that much any more.
    I love those oatmeal cookies!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Angie

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    1. That surprises me because your photos are amazing Angie!!

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  4. Loved this post it really made me laugh, we've all been there. I have the issue that my pics look fab on the camera viewer (especially after I've had a glass of wine or two) but then I get home and they are pants! Found you because you used the #fdbloggers on twitter! x

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    1. Thanks! Ohh i know what you mean, why do they make the screen so small?! Everything looks great when it's tiny!

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  5. Lol I loved this article, we have all been there and still there FoodGawker is the fussiest site in the world! TasteSpotting say yes when FoodGawker say no - most of the time!- used to bother me but not any more. Many food blogs these days are semi professionals with super expensive cameras and expensive software to fix any minor errors. My camera wouldn't even sell for £50 now! Only paid £100 to begin with. GIMP is awesome I used it for a long time good bit of kit. All we can do is try our best and be happy with that :D

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    1. So true! I don't even know if my camera would sell but I love it and it's been many places so i don't think I could! I agree, i love gimp, it made me laugh everytime I opened it!

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  6. Love the cow dish!! :) I reckon so many of my more interesting plates/bowls in real life look terrible in photos, but the more boring ones turn out better usually.....I still use gimp haha eventhough I recently found out that I actually do have photoshop installed on my computer (although I think it's quite an old version)!

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    1. I agree actually, the fussy ones usually looks quite bad in photos. Nothing can beat a good old white bowl in my opinion!

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  7. The one good thing about being rejected by foodgawker and the like is that they tend to give feedback. It has made me think about my photos rather than shooting from the hip and hoping the photos will come out right. Great post. We've all been there!

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    1. So true! They did give me feedback but it was very strange!

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  8. Can't believe you got rejected by them! Your photos are awesome! (The ones in this post are pretty hilarious too!) I think that being an awesome baker is good enough!

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    1. So true Kat, plus if something looks good it'll come across no matter what the pictures look like!

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  9. Brilliant post, I love it! As a new food blogger I'm really trying to improve my photography and my submissions get rejected quite a lot. This is a nice reminder that everyone has to start somewhere. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I can totally relate to the food photography learning curve! The biggest thing that has helped me is learning to use Lightroom for editing. I only recently started getting my pictures accepted onto FoodGawker, and I am always learning :)

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    1. Lightroom! I keep hearing about it and I really want it!

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  11. Had to chuckle, as I've published doozies myself. I've gone back and updated some of my old photos and I'm not sure I should be doing that. It's fun to look back and realize your accomplishments. And sometimes I really don't understand the rhyme and reason for Foodgawker's selections.

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    1. I don't understand it either, but that's the fun of it all I suppose! I've been tempted to go back and update.. or just delete but I stop myself!

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  12. I'm also a reject on Foodgawker. I know I should keep trying but it can be discouraging to think you've got much better but are STILL not good enough! I have some terrible pictures on my blog hidden on the older posts!

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    1. I'm the same Corina! I deleted a few because they were so bad! But then I think, hey, without those I wouldn't of learnt to do what I do now!

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  13. Thank you for sharing this with us! As a camera phone (at the moment) blogger, I have a love/hate relationship with foodgawker because they seem to always accept the photos I think are meh and reject the photos I'm super proud of (the ones that, ironically, receive the most compliments from friends and readers). Go figure!

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    1. Exactly! Ah wel, I think you just have to be proud of what you achieve no matter what :)

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  14. Hahaha this post made me laugh so much!! Not because of the photos (we've all been there!) but just because your descriptions are hilarious :D "look, there's even a remote in it" - love it! :)

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  15. Great post! Made me chuckle - I have a very similar collection myself, and unfortunately I never improved so I get my other half to take all my photos for me now!

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    1. Thanks Kim, ah that's a good idea, I might steal it. hehe

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  16. Hehe, love this post. Glad you're not disheartened by Foodgawker's reject. I've been rejected on many occasions with them, and I used to be a [studio] photographer!

    Although going from that to natural light food photographer was a learning curve for me too. Most of my photography blunders can be found right there on my blog!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment.

    Lisa // Sweet 2 Eat Baking

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    1. Most of mine are still on here as well, I'm too fond of them to get rid! Thank you for reading :)

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  17. what a great psot! Until now I am still figuring out how to take the best photos for my food posts, i"m afraid to say that most of them suck but still lots of room for improvement! enjoyed reading this post!

    styleandchocolates.blogspot.com

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  18. What IS more interesting than a cow plate? I honestly can't think of one single thing. Also, I post pictures of 1KG jars of nutella on my blog all the time, because nutella needs nothing. NOTHING. PS I can't comment on your About page but I just want you to know that your Doctor Who onomatopoeia was spot on. I can still hear it in my head.

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  19. TOTALLY love this!!! I have taken worse!

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