OHC Philosophy on Food Pictures

It seems that some of the more popular and common panels at a food centered conference are on educating bloggers about how to make your food photos seem professional looking.  Gorgeous food porn that could rival that on the covers of Martha Stewart, Real Simple, and so on.

I will be the first to admit that I love a great photo of food.  And in fact, if I’m looking at a recipe, a picture must be included.  If there is no picture to go with the recipe, I won’t make it.  I will skip that recipe.  I’m a visual learner.  I need to see something for it to register in my wee brain.  I can read a recipe and gain an idea of what the outcome will be, but if there’s a picture then I know for sure.  And everything will click into place.  I have a much better understanding.

But for me the picture doesn’t have to be magazine perfect.  Although, in all honesty, I will say that blurry photos drive my nerves.  If the photo is blurry, I say do not post it.  Seeing a blurry photo on a food blog is a bit annoying.  That’s just my unprofessional opinion.  But getting back to the topic, if I’m reading a magazine then absolutely I expect that food picture to be amazing.

But that is not what I look for in food blogs.  And that is not how I approach pictures here on OHC.  My favorite types of pictures are ones like these:

Scott's smoothie in the background Scott in the backgroundWhatever food happens to be the focus is pretty obvious. It stands out and is easily recognizable.  But in the background there are little slices of life going on.  In the first picture, along with my smoothie you can see Scott’s smoothie.  You can also see my tablecloth and from that learn that I’m eating at my kitchen table.

In the second picture, while that chocolate muffin looks mighty fine, in the background you can see Scott and the glass of wine I’m about to have.  There’s a coffee pot back there and perhaps this means I’m in my kitchen snapping this photo.

I like these types of photos and will choose them every time.  Maybe Rocky will be in the background or maybe I caught Scott’s hand in a picture of my lunch.  I will choose those photos if the picture is not blurry.

Why?  Because this is my life.  My photos not only represent my eats but also my everyday life.  I am not a professional chef.  I’m not a professional photographer.

I’m an everyday person living my everyday life that I just happen to want to share with you.

To me, pictures like the ones above represent everyday life.  I live with my husband and my dog in my suburban home.  I eat and cook a lot and I want my pictures to reflect not only food but how I live.

Having magazine worthy pictures on my blog is not my goal.  I do not strive for this.  Yes I want my pictures to look nice and yes I take multiple shots so I can pick the best one.  But the idea behind this blog, and therefore my pictures, is sharing with you how I live.  This is my life.  Occasional crap lighting, background images, and all.

15 thoughts on “OHC Philosophy on Food Pictures

  1. I’m with you! I find food looks more “edible” when it’s shot in a more realistic environment too. I mean, I appreciate a flawless shot. But that does’t mean it looks as tasty! P

    • Thanks guys! I’m so glad you all like more organic pictures too! :D Even in magazines, I like pictures to look more organic and real because then it seems more genuine. As opposed to sterile and cold like some of the pictures.

  2. I hate blurry photos!! Ugh they bug me soo much. Love your food picture philosophy. Picture perfect food pics are nice, but I do like more “real” pics for food blogs–as long as the pics aren’t blurry ;)

  3. I love this…thank you! I sometimes wish my pictures could be professional looking, but then I remember that my blog is my hobby, I’m not doing it to make a living, and I’m happy with my pictures!

  4. OMG love this post!!!! I agree- haha slash have a running mental list of blogging pet peeves (3 pictures of a meal, then the cleaned plate after!?? ughh)
    I like clear simple pictures, and esp when I feel like i’ve known the blogger for a while and their style becomes familiar! Also, the term “food porn” really grosses me out :D

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