So you love food, and you love cooking, and you want to share those passions with the world? Great! Well let me tell you a few things I have learned along the way in the past 5 years of trying to make this food blog thing into a reality:
1. iPhone photos can be great with a little help.
We all know that the iPhone (or any phone) camera has gotten better over the years, but they still are no comparison to the real thing. But let's be honest - cooking is my thing, not photography, so I will stick with my phone camera for now, because there are some great apps and tricks out there that can turn any ordinary photo into extraordinary!
My favorite tool is a ring light. The lighting in my kitchen is drab and a dull yellow, so the ring light provides great white lighting for any photo. My second favorite tool is backdrops. You can check out these backdrops from Amazon that I use and love. Lastly, my favorite app for editing photos is Snapseed. There are so many different tools on the app that you can use, but the two things I always do are: correct the white balance and use the Curves tool to apply a consistent filter to my photos.
2. You can find great props in unlikely places.
One quick way to enhance your photos is to use a variety of props in the background and some elegant, colorful dishes for plating. Often times these props are not things that you would use everyday and the dishes are maybe not something you want to pay for the whole set so the best places to find mismatched or one off kitchen items are garage sales, second hand stores (like Goodwill), Big Lots and HomeGoods. I have found some cute colorful dishes and bowls at Big Lots that otherwise I would not want to buy a whole set for. And we already know HomeGoods packs in some elegant mis matched kitchen and baking ware. I try to go once a month to peruse those sections and find one good items to add to my prop collection.
3. Try and try again.
Too often we only see the final product from food bloggers, but what you don't see are the numerous tries that it took to get to the recipe correct, the 50+ shots it took to get the picture to exactly how you wanted it, and the tears and frustration that came after doing everything the same for the 3rd time, somehow the results are different. But don't give up! You might need to step away from that recipe for a day, a week, hell, maybe even a month, but whatever you do, keep trying!
I made this frosting at least 5 times before I got it right. And then it took at least 3 tries to get the piping correct.
4. Be prepared to spend some money
I don't remember where but somewhere I read that food blogging is the most expensive type of blogging, and boy were they right! Between all the trials and errors, you could run a grocery bill of what would look to be a household of 10 people. And not to mention all the food props, cookware, bakeware, gadgets, kitchen tools, and the list could go on. So if you are going to do this, make sure you are serious about it. Unfortunately, full time food blogging is not just some hobby on the side, it can cost some serious coin. But the upside is if you do it consistently and find your target audience, it can also really pay off!
5. You will get discouraged - and that is ok!
I couldn't tell you the number of times in the past 5 years that I have lost the joy of cooking or just had a week where I couldn't find the inspiration to create something new. And you know what that is ok. We're all human and we have our good and bad days. What I want you to know is that it is ok to look to others for that inspiration. Find a new blogger to follow and try one of their recipes. Order take out and try to recreate the meal. As with any creative outlet, it will ebb and flow, but the important thing is to not get discouraged. Just because you had a bad week in the kitchen doesn't mean this isn't for you. Hell, I've been at this for 5 years and only just now starting to really take it seriously so if I can do it, you can too!
If you're thinking about taking the leap, just go for it! What's the worst that can happen? I would love to hear from any other food bloggers out there, what are the things you wish you knew before starting?
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