Behind The Scenes In Krysten’s Kitchen: Affordable Photography Tips & Tricks
I have to start out by saying that I’m not a professional photographer, and I know my photos aren’t 100% perfect. BUT I am pretty darn proud of them and what I have been able to create for my blog and, of course, my Instagram feed. I am always learning and looking for the light when it comes to food photography, but I wanted to share a few tips, props and odds-and-ends with you that have helped me!
Last November, I attended FABlogCon in Denver, and I attended the photography session. That, alone, taught me so much! I understood that you had to “find the light” for your photos, but I also learned some basic stuff that helped.
Use natural lighting
No overhead lights
Find the light - it might be on your back porch or somewhere else besides your kitchen
Use a reflector to bounce light back to your subject (I bought this one) SEE PHOTO BELOW)
Get a piece of white wooden board from Home Depot if your counter isn’t the best (read more about this down below & why it worked until I found something better).
I feel like I understood those five tips, but couldn’t express them. Once they were said in the session it all clicked, and I couldn’t wait to get home to start taking food photos. I immediately ordered a reflector (even thought I only sorta knew what I was doing) and almost ended up buying a fancy camera. I decided to stick with my iPhone, and that’s the only thing that I have used for my blog and Instagram to this day.
Some photos look better from overhead: fancy toasts, pizza, etc.
Some photos look better from the side: pancakes, burgers, etc.
Always take multiple shots from different angles when shooting a dish. It’s much easier to choose another photo to use than to make the dish again to get the photo you want.
Try to keep your phone steady. Use this kind of small phone stand or this stand that can give you more control that also can be used for filming video with a little lighting.
When it comes to props, you want to keep it simple. Sometimes a photo can look way too busy when you have too much going on, and you don’t want to take away from your main focus. Stick to small or subtle props. I found these beautiful fall leaves at a local florist, and they really add a little pop to my photos. You can also use food as a prop. If you are making a 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Frosting, consider a small pumpkin in the photo. Keep it simple.
Let’s talk about the white wooden board from Home Depot. It was great, for awhile, when I didn’t know what I was doing. It also worked... until I realized it wasn't. It still gave some glare, I had to be careful when I used it in my kitchen (the lighting above) and it was SOOO HEAVY! This board was about 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. It was a pain to move around, and it just stood up in my hallway when I wasn’t using it. For awhile, I left it on our kitchen island because I was sick of moving it around. It was great while it lasted (kinda sorta), but then I found something else. This photo of cookies below is using that heavy white board. It's not an awful photo but I really don't miss it. Don't worry... keep reading! I have a solution for you!
I found a company called Replica Surfaces, and I am so excited for their launch! Mandy Gleason started Replica Surfaces because she wanted to make the most beautiful backgrounds for photography.
Whether you are snapping pictures of food, products, or Etsy creations, she wanted to make something that was lightweight, ultra thin, durable, stain resistant, and won’t glare. Mandy’s old backdrops changed my food photo game, and so you know I am beyond excited for her new surfaces! I haven’t gotten my hands on them yet, but I have seen them via FaceTime, and I have been following their Twitter & Instagram and they are gorgeous! I can’t wait for their Kickstarter campaign to get fully funded, and I do believe that these new surfaces will change your photo game, too!
Replica Surfaces will have 4 different backdrops to choose from: Marble, Concrete, Ship-Lap and Rose Marble. To be honest, these past few months my photography game has gotten so much better after discovering Mandy’s old backgrounds, and now, with the launch of her new company, I can’t wait to create!
You can learn more about Replica Surfaces here or check out their Kickstarter. They will be the last backdrops that you ever need to buy. It’s definitely worth the cost, they are affordable and will look stunning in your photos.
UPDATE: This morning, they were fully funded in less than an hour, BUT still check them out and order because early bird pricing is going fast! They plan to create a 5th design if they raise enough and project backers will get to help choose the 5th design! Oh I am so thrilled!