I’m definitely a newbie when it comes to the world of food blogging. I actually never intended my blog to go in that direction, but I love to bake and I had a longtime love for photography that somehow resurfaced – so here I am. When I started taking pictures of food, I quickly found out how little I knew about the basics of photography, but after browsing tons of sites and reading a book I’ve gotten better in a short period of time. One thing I wish i could find tons of sites about is how to do food blogging with an iPhone. Turns out that most people use fancy DSLR cameras, when I save enough money hopefully one day I will too. Until that day comes I’m trying to get the basics down and maximize the potential of my iPhone 5s, which by the way takes pretty decent pictures. I digress, let me share a little bit with you – some that I learned from trial and error, some from tons of reading.
#1 Keep it simple – The iPhone has a great camera, but its important to remember that it’s pretty limited – thats why its so fun and easy to use. You have little control over the depth of field and as you get better and/or learn more about photography that will annoy you more and more. So in order to maximize the potential of the iPhone keep props to a minimum – you won’t be able to blur your backgrounds much to keep the attention on your subject. Props are great, but you want the focus on your subject. This is the point where I say ,honestly, I really like more simplistic pictures so I am biased.
#2 Focus, focus, focus – One thing I love about my iPhone is the my ability to interact with the screen to choose my point of focus. This makes its much easier to select exactly what you want to fucus on. You’re only working with about 8 megapixels, but this allows you to really make them count. So, do focus – often and a lot. Play with different points of focus, and remember that some points of focus will result in different amounts of lighting. Select the point of focus that allows for the best balance of light.
#3. Lighting Matters – if you have done any reading about photography you have problem learned that lighting is THE most important part. All those books ain’t lying. Bad lighting =’s a bad photograph. Earlier I experimented a lot with DIY Ego lighting – and got pretty good results. But my recommendation is to go with natural light – it really adds life to your photos and makes food look as delicious as it tastes. Here are some quick tips on how to harness the beauty of natural light. First I like north facing windows – the light is indirect and relatively consistent for many of the daylight hours of the day. Second – diffuse diffuse diffuse, this will give your photos a softer more even lighting. And last – use reflectors. These don’t have to be expensive, I just use white foam board. These can help you illuminate parts of your subject that may be darker. Here is the basic set up I used to take the photos in this post.
#4. Don’t use the flash – this really could have been part of the previous tip but I didn’t want it to get lost. It’s imperative to never use the flash when photographing food. It makes your food looked washed out, and who wants to look at or click on washed out food – ‘nough said.
#5. Try try again. Honestly this tip probably applies to life in general, but as your mom always said “ if at first you don’t succeed try try again” It’s easy to take a million pictures with the iPhone – use that to your advantage. You would be surprised how what you capture can change even when you think you didn’t change anything. If you take a lot of pictures, you can find the best one – the one with the best lighting, the best focus, the best perspective.
I am by no means an expert, I have a lot to learn and I’m looking forward to soaking up every bit of knowledge possible. But I wanted to write this post for two reasons. One, I want other people who are using their iPhones to food blog not to feel alone or inferior for some reason. And two, because I wanted to tell you what I’ve learned in a quick and hopefully helpful way. Good Luck!!