Hello Kelby love and fellow photographers! My name is Tricia and I’m a photographer. I know, that sounds like I’m feeing myself at a Photographers Anonymous meeting and that I have some sort of obsession or craving. So true-life! Just like you, I’m a bit preoccupied, or at least passionate about photography. When I’m not filming, I’m thinking about shooting, or setting up a photograph. So much so, that it turned into a full-time career.
It’s a great honor to be here today! Thank you Scott and Brad for the summon and backing to share my photography story. I’m flattered and stimulated, and genuinely humbled to pass along a few of my favorite gratuities for immense food photos. I likewise hope I can support you to step outside your ease zone and follow the dream of capturing amazing photos of whatever your favorite subject matter might be. Scott thought you may find my pilgrimage interesting, so here we go!
Never Give Up On Your Dream
I’ve always loved photography but didn’t start shooting until I was 50 years old. Yes, “its one of” those never give up on finding your endowments and knacks posts! I hope I can support you to continue pursuing your dreams!
Let’s back up a bit … you are presented in 1985 I married a photographer. My husband Ed is a dedicated lifetime photography student, a splendid honor triumphing photographer and my favorite professor and cheerleader. While our children were growing up he hit nearly all our category photos. There was no need for me to learn how to handle a camera, other than a point and shoot. I didn’t need to know anything about limiting light-colored, breadth of realm, ISO or shutter speed.
What I did know is that I craved our photos of the kids to look a certain way. Some of our best family photos were manufactured when we worked together as a team. I asked my imagination, offered input, styled the kids and dogs and Ed did the photos happen. Looking back now, it seems I ever zeroed in on photos that had extraordinary illuminate, but I never was just thinking about what captivated me to those kinds of fires. Rim light around our children’s presidents or an incredible golden hour photo was what I longed for. I always had an idea of what I wanted from the photos but didn’t understand how Ed constructed it happen.
How I Became A Full-Time Food Photographer And Blogger
Fast forward to 2010. While working full-time as an office manager, I read an article about health food bloggers. I had never read a blog, and actually wasn’t sure what it was. When I clicked on the links I knew this fairly brand-new idea intriguing. At this place we were empty nesters, Ed traveled a good part for production and I was desiring a innovative project to fill my free time. It wasn’t long before I decided to start a menu blog of my own, “Saving Room for Dessert, a blog about saving area for the best parts of life.”
I’ve always been a weekend baker and visualized blogging would be a great way to substantiate some of our favorite kinfolk recipes and preserve them for our adolescents and grandkids. And, this was a great excuse to try my hand at photography!
It made me a month to write and publish my first blog berth. Frankly, I was afraid to articulated myself out there especially since my photos were sometimes out of focus , not feeling ill illuminated, and not unusually plea overall. I was still use full-time and for 6 years affixed recipes and photos twice a week while cooking and fire shooting on the weekends.
In 2011 I rectified, and reached, a goal of baking a different pie each week for the entire year; 52 in all. People started to follow me and comment on the recipes. I loved it! I knew the recipes were good, but the pictures didn’t do them justice and certainly didn’t tell the whole story. Out of desperation and embarrassment I decided it was time to suck-it-up and learn how to use a “real” camera.
In most cases I believe it helps if you’re passionate about what you’re shooting.
If you want to be a landscape or wildlife photographer but don’t adore being outside in all kinds of weather, carrying all your gear on your back and communing with the defects, critters and wildlife, then maybe outdoor photography is not for you. Sport photographers need to be willing and able to stand outside for hours. It’s vital to understand video games, to know which athlete is the one that compiles the large-hearted participates, and when that big play-act might happen. Must adoration sports!
You get the idea. It certainly helps to know something about your subject matter extremely if you want to make a career out of shooting it. The same abstraction applies to food photography. I’ve always adored to cook and roast and destroyed photo cookbooks as a girl. Southern Living magazine was my go-to food porn back in the working day. My grandmother taught me to compile pies when I was 10 and I last-minute went on to win a blue ribbon at a regional district fair.
Now, it seems, every person with a smart telephone and an Instagram account is a food photographer, which is a good thing. This actuality has opened up a whole new world of recipes, cultures, styling and food-inspiration for us all to see. I adore that we’re no longer limited to cookbooks, magazines and newspapers to get the best recipes or try meat from completely different cultures!
Doing What I Love Everyday!
In addition to shooting photos of the meat, I likewise develop many of the recipes, broil, cook and mode the food for the photo shoots. This wouldn’t work for me if I didn’t LOVE to broil, cook, wording and write all about recipes and food!
For me, part of the fun is having total control of the process starting with the basic inspiration to make a recipe and purposing with a published post. I thrive on’ start-to-finish’ assignments. My best shots are the ones that I’ve had in my chief and visualized before I ever start cooking.
There’s a lot of preparation that goes into each and every post I produce. First I start with the basic concept, then move on to SEO research( search engine optimization i.e. what parties are sought for .) Next comes recipe research and development and testing.
If I’m happy with the results, I make the recipe again, wording, photograph and revise.
I share the food to get feedback from taste testers, which is often incorporated into the blog post.
Finally there is writing and publishing, and then I thrust out my poles via social media. Some recipes take months to get just right, while others grouped together the first time I make it. I produce two recipes each week, which conveys I invest a lot of time in the kitchen and in my photo studio.
Learning How To Use A Camera
You might reckon I had a leg up on the read swerve since my husband is a photographer and could learn me everything I ever wanted to ask. Haha , not an opportunity! Unfortunately my wording of learning and his wording of belief didn’t ever coalesce; it’s a husband/ spouse thing. I was too very intimated by his mad sciences, acquaintance and abilities and panicked I would never understand how it all use. To get started he cured me decide on my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel. Then he tried to teach me about the show triangle.
Being overwhelmed at first, I scrapped that hypothesi and begin with in “P” mode since it was taking way too long for me to’ get onto .’ I defended the idea of shooting in RAW and would only use a simple Windows-based photo editing platform that exclusively tolerated cultivating and adjustments to the brightness, color, comparison and shadows. No interest how many times Ed would try to explain and representation the showing triangle, it never sounded until I started experimenting with camera positions myself. As a hands-on learner this step is critical in my growth.
In addition to our polar antonym ways of learning and teaching, we have a mixed marriage: Ed’s a Nikon guy and I’m a Canon girl; very similar, but not the same. Fortunately Ed had the foresight proposed that we watch KelbyOne categorizes together, to learn more about my camera. This is when the quality of my photos genuinely started to improve. Thank goodness we subsisted this marriage evaluation and Ed continues to be my best friend, photography spouse and SRFD Chief Taste Tester.
Ed’s a great teacher and while I now understand most of what he was attempting to educate back then, I didn’t really get wise until I started asking questions about how to get that a certain look I wanted to create. Little by little I learned, and step by step I improved.
Learning How To Create The Kind Of Photos I Want To Publish
As mentioned above, I’m a hands-on learner so when I saw there was plenty of room for improvement in my photos, I knew it was time to step outside my ease zone.
It all started to’ come into focus’ when I moved my camera mode setting from “P” to “M” and from there all the fragments started to fall into place. Ed intimated I set up a simple shoot with a single piece in the make and adjust the adjusts to see how it feigned the photo.
Since I primarily hit still-life this was a pretty easy exercise, with a big impact. I situated a salt shaker on the kitchen counter and started changing the ISO, shutter moved and hole to see how it altered the subject in the photos. After experimenting I pointed out that I loved the shallow extent of realm misty seek, and that’s when it all’ started to click.’
Since I affix two recipes each week on SRFD, I hit regularly which gives me plenty of rehearsal. Each post and the 5 or 6 photos I produce demonstrated improvement week after week, year after year. I don’t recollect I would have ever improved if I didn’t have a commitment like post twice a few weeks. If you don’t have a place to share your photos, get one! Feedback feeds inventive beings. We all want someone, somewhere to enjoy what we create.
Another change that made a huge impact was moving to Lightroom to revise my photos. It wasn’t long after learning a few things in Lightroom that I recognise photographing in RAW makes all the difference in what kind of changes you can procreate to your photos when editing.
Getting The Photos I Can’t Wait To Share
The quality of my photos took another large-scale rush after I attended Scott Kelby’s “Shoot Like A Pro” meeting in Washington D.C. Among tons of other helpful tidbits of information, Scott mentioned this little gem: “Go buy a$ 5 Walmart shower curtain liner; it makes an excellent light diffuser.”
The next day I bought that shower shroud and moved my put in from my kitchen with mixed light sources, to a apartment at the breast of my house which comes lots of bright afternoon sun. I hung the shower curtain in front of that bright and sunny window and immediately received my photo-mojo! Controlling the ignite in that way was the key to achieving my best photos.
The next “Aha!” instant came when I started watching KelbyOne food photography classes. I certainly experience the class by Nicole Young and have watched it multiple times. I’ve learned so much about composing shootings, food styling and the overall set up needed to create the kind of quality photos I want to share.
Next, I picked up two inexpensive small grey sud boards to return sunlight just like Nicole showed me in her KelbyOne grooming videos and work, Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shooting. Nicole’s simple way of excusing and revealing her process reverberates with me and was just what I are essential in order to take it to the next level.
Several of Scott’s bibles have become my frequent remark attendants, as have KelbyOne lessons on Lightroom.
Upgrading My Equipment
Next I refurbished my paraphernalium to a Canon 7D, a better tripod, a simple remote and a 60 mm macro lens. To learn about my new camera I watched a tutorial about the Canon 7D by Larry Becker and Mia McCormick on KelbyOne. Sitting with my camera in one hand and the remote in another, I must have watched the tutorial at least 10 eras. I learned tons about the camera’s features and locations, some of which I had no impression existed!
I began to get more positive feedback from my blog books about my photos, and I even sold a few for coin! Through a chance encounter I started doing photo shoots for a neighbourhood timber supermarket on the weekends. The accumulate expanded their attendance online and needed “catalog” styled shots of their products. I filmed everything from cutting boards and wine bottle stoppers, to coat racks and furniture and all things in between. This was also a gig, which bolstered my creed that I could make a go of this photography thing. This was all while still working full-time as an office manager, and blogging twice a few weeks. I was putting in the hours and my dues and then some!
Since then I’ve improved my equipment again to the Canon 5D Mark iii and supplemented Canon L streak lenses to by purse. The 100 mm macro lens is my absolute go-to for menu shots.
Taking A Leap Of Faith
After more than six years of blogging just for fun, I started thinking about leaving my government job and becoming a full-time blogger and food photographer. My blog traffic had grown over the years, even though at that point I’d never shared my berths regularly on social media. I was lucky enough that I could take a cut in pay if I must be given to, so I grabbed my dream.
Deciding to become a full-time freelancer was really a no-brainer for me. All I shortfall was confidence. I was never fulfilled working in an office, cleaning up other folks mess and doing mindless data entry. Nonetheless, everything I learned in those office environments over the years about formation, commitment and industriou has helped me get where I am today in my photography business.
I was very motivated to succeed as a blogger. Six months away I left my work as an office manager, I committed to learn more about the social media aspects of blogging that I’d never placed much effort into before. By the time I escaped the cubicle farm in July 2016 I was already making enough from the blog to oust my income. That was more than three years ago and I’ve not had a moment of sadnes since!
My Style Of Food Photography Has Evolved Over The Years
Most often I go for a high key vogue with lots of bright backlighting, This is both because I personally like the examine but also because research and experience has shown that high key photos catch the eye on social media and often get more seems than dark and lugubriou.( But I LOVE dark and irascible very !) Bright and light photos do much better on platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook which all drive traffic to my locate. More traffic conveys better income.
While I affection setting up involved films with abundance of props and styling, it’s the simple up-close, drool-producing, make-you-want-to-lick-your screen type images that do best.
Pinterest has been a game changer for me. It’s as much a search engine as Google. People searching for recipe ideas want to see the menu, so up close glisten chicken skewers or dipping sauce that screams’ feeling me !’ is what they get from Saving Room For Dessert.
As a general principles, I never use inedible products or ruses to spawn my nutrient looking better. I’m not a snot about it, it’s simply that we want to eat the meat and need to taste test the recipes. That’s probably the main difference between food bloggers and commercial photographers who shoot for advertising agencies or meat symbols. I’m all about building recipes that my readers can build, eat and desire sufficient to move them time and again. It’s important that my readers’ decisions turned off looking like the photos in my upright. If it’s too complicated or over-styled they won’t be happy with their results.
I’ve been known to brush on a little extra gravy, liquor, or a irrigate and olive oil mixture on a burger that may look dry. Other than that, since we eat all the food I shoot, everything is natural and edible.
My best photos are the ones I see in my president room before I ever pick up the camera. Food styling can be tedious and takes a lot of effort to keep it fresh and new. I can’t style my affixes the exact same way every time, but I have developed some tried and true layouts. Again the goal is to highlight the food and clear people want to go to my blog and taught to become the recipe.
I own various continuous light-colored soft boxes which I use for food videos but I ever killed my stills in natural light-footed. I can be said when and where the sunlight is going to be in relation to my studio window every day of the year. I adjust my cook schedule accordingly so the meat will be at its crest of purity, at the same time the dawn is best.
Shooting near my figurehead space on a pleasant period with my$ 5 shower curtain liner as a diffuser is my favorite put together. Sometimes a cloudy epoch can be great for hitting too. Don’t cause a few cases shadows stop you from making. In my view, shadows add more theatre so don’t be afraid to use Rembrandt lighting–with one place of your topic brighter. I adore the dark and cantankerou photos with lots of food styling, but the high key said shut up accomplish best on SRFD.
I took a couple of inexpensive lily-white foam-core cards and videotapeed them together like a book binding. These DIY bounce cards can be situated anywhere I need to fill in light on the side, front, or both.
I own a variety of backgrounds and tabletops for food styling. When in doubt, my go-to is a braved white-hot wooden garage sale table I are caught up for $5. I frequently use a simple but pretty brown antique wooden counter, a barn lumber table top procreated for just for this purpose, and a few other depicted councils. Sometimes I hit on an old-time gloom cookie expanse or on a small piece of lily-white marble. My goal is to pick something that will provide immense compare. Compositions are equally important for computing interest to hits of plain-looking food. It’s easy to get into a groove and end up shooting brown food, in a chocolate-brown container, on a brown counter and all I end up with is a brown mess!
99% of the time I photograph with a tripod. For me, it’s just as important as my camera. I don’t know how food photographers get it on without one!
I love my simple, inexpensive hard-wired remote. It’s one of my favorite implements. Consuming a 2-second delay on the shutter helps foreclose camera campaign, giving you sharper images.
As a rule I taken to avoid desegregated light sources. If I’m shooting under fluorescent dawns, near a window with an incandescent bulb burning in a lamp nearby, I have a frightful season rectifying the complexion temperature. Stick with one light source and use bounce cards to replenish where needed.
Gratuities To Grow On
Learn how to use Lightroom. There are countless KelbyOne routes to help you become a Lightroom ninja. Watch them all! Visualize your photos- but haunt opportunities to change it up or challenge yourself.Make sure each photo has a ” hero .” I’ve been guilty of this mistake many times. I sometimes get hung up on food styling and end up with a photo that had not yet been primary focal point or clear subject. Books won’t know where to appear if you don’t have a hero! Join the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk in your region. Stretch your wings and try shooting something new! Set aims and stick with them. Practice regularly and commit to completing a few personal assignments each month.Find a acces to share your photos with the world. Facebook, Instagram or a blog are all easy ways to get them out there. Share your talent! Find great photos you adoration and try to replicate them. By experimenting with new techniques, we become better photographers.If you’re going on vacation search your destination on 500 px.com and look what kind of photos are posted for huge intuitions, a little inspiration and new locations to shoot from.Practice, experimentation and germinate and…above all else, be intrepid!
I may not be the best food photographer in the nations of the world, but I’m so much better than I used to be. I see improvements with almost every post. Of route I “ve got some bad” days when I need muse and ability, but that’s okay, life happens. I deter get up and trying time and again. I’ve been known to make and shoot a recipe 3 or 4 different times because I know I can do better. That doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Sometimes I lose my mojo, and have to work to get it back. We’re all human! Inspiration is important so feed that animal!
I continue to learn and feel compelled to master new techniques to capture a dribble, shower, splashing or pulverized carbohydrate snowfall in mid-air. I haven’t perfected it yet, but get better every time I hit.
It’s tough to do this at home alone. I’m often holding the remote in one hand while reaching around the camera drizzling sauce with my other mitt. Getting the camera pre-focused on the right spot is the hardest task to master.
Finally, delight follow Saving Room For Dessert and feel free to get in touch through my contact page if you have questions or if I can help you in any way.
Thanks so much! Tricia
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