In case you’re new around here, Blog Talk Tuesdays is a series I started on the blog a few months ago to address the blogging-related questions that come my way.
Past Blog Talk Tuesdays posts include:
- How to Start a Blog, Blog Focus, Self Hosting and More
- Blogger Safety
- Company Outreach: Receiving Free Products, Hosting Giveaways, Posting Product Reviews and More
- Connecting with Other Bloggers
- Rising Above Negativity
- Balancing Blogging and Real Life
- How to Increase Blog Readership
- Freelance Writing 101
Today’s post addresses blog pictures and photo editing. I feel rather silly touching on this topic because, as I’ve admitted many times on this blog, I am definitely not a photographer and don’t really have a genuine interest in photography.
I try my best and hope to continue to improve the pictures you see on Peanut Butter Fingers! That being said, below I’ve addressed the most common questions I’ve received relating to photography and blogging.
Let’s get to it!
Blog Pictures, Photo Editing and More
- What kind of camera(s) do you use?
For most of the photography I do at home, I use my Nikon D3000.
It is great for showing detail in food and the action mode is a life-saver when it comes to snapping clear pictures of Sadie. I am such an amateur photographer and really need to learn how to use this camera to its full potential because I know it can do so much more than what I ask of it on a daily basis.
As for photos outside of the home, whenever I leave the house, I take all of my pictures with my Canon PowerShot S95. I never travel with my Nikon since it’s so big and bulky!
While my Canon S95 is small and convenient like all point and shoot cameras, the quality of pictures produced by the camera far surpass those I’ve taken with previous point and shoots I’ve owned throughout the years. It’s especially great in low lighting, which is why I initially purchased the camera since I need it to perform relatively well in dark restaurants on occasion.
- Do you edit your photos? If so, what program do you use?
I started editing my photos in August last year after learning about Picasa, a free downloadable program offered by Google that makes editing pictures a breeze!
I haven’t played around with it too much and generally just import all of my pictures into Picasa as I upload them to my computer. I will then often select the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button for each photo which helps correct colors and make the pictures look more vibrant and natural.
The “I’m Feeling Lucky” button takes pictures from this…
Let there be light!
Prior to using Picasa, I generally “edited” my photos in Windows Live Writer and selected the “Color Pop” button underneath the “Picture effects” tab.
I wanted the color in my pictures to stand out, but I definitely overused the “Color Pop” button.
Using “Color Pop” can be great but, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have used it as often… and especially not for people. I cringe when I look back on some old photos and they look neon orange.
Case in point:
I look like a flippin’ Oompa Loompa. Or Snooki.
- What tips do you have for food photography?
Oh gosh, I don’t even feel kind of qualified to answer this question. Please check out Ashley’s blog or the Pioneer Woman’s food photography section for awesome photography tutorials that will be much more detailed and educational than any tips I could hope to provide!
A couple of super-simple tips I’ve picked up along the way include:
- Say NO to the flash whenever possible. If you can snap a picture of your food in natural light without a flash, do it! Using a flash makes your food look washed out and alters the natural colors.
- Get on eye level with the food. Snapping an overhead picture is good to capture the scope of a meal, but it’s the pictures that are up close and personal with the food that make me drool!
- Use pretty linens and props! I rarely do this because food styling just doesn’t interest me a ton, but I always notice it when other photographers take the time to really complement their food with linens and props that make sense. Jessica does this so well and looking at her pictures makes me want to run out and buy a vintage wooden table, chalk board, antique dishes and other random things I’d never use just to make my food look fancy.
- Food looks best on white plates and dishes… Says the girl who owns Fiesta dishes and takes nearly all of her pictures on colored plates.
- How many pictures do you typically take of one meal?
For every one picture of food you see on the blog, there were likely three rejects. When I go out to eat or eat with people other than Ryan or my immediate family, however, I usually only snap one photo of my meal. I don’t want photographing my food to take away from the company or experience at hand.
- How do you organize your photos? Do you save all of them?
I delete the vast majority of the pictures that pop up on the blog. I save pictures from photos taken of fun adventures with family and friends (people photos), pictures I love of Sadie or photos of my original recipes and freelance recipe projects.
When it comes to organizing photos, I first organize them by date, and then label the photo folder with the event or recipe so I can easily locate the pictures I’m looking for if I forget when they were taken.
- Do you take photos with your phone?
Rarely. Most of the time I use my point and shoot when I’m out of the house. Occasionally pictures I snap at the gym or on a walk with Sadie are taken from my phone.