12 Rules of Food Blog Photos

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Want to run a food blog? Pictures can make or break your site.

  1. Have a decent camera with a flash.
    Photos with your phone don’t usually cut it.
  2. Ensure pics are in focus
    An amazing number of blogs don’t do this. If you come home to find all your photos are out of focus, DO NOT post them because that’s all you have. Concede defeat and try again. Practice taking better pictures… If all else fails, it’s time to get a camera with a better autofocus function.
  3. Ensure proper lighting
    Use a flash if there is insufficent natural light. Ensure the whole dish is well lit and not just one side. Daylight photographs almost always look better. If your photos have a yellow cast from indoor lighting, it’s time to get photoshopping.
  4. Don’t take pictures of half-eaten food
    Unless you are a pro, it is hard to make these look good.
  5. Take varied shots
    Don’t take every dish from the same angle.
  6. Ensure sufficient definition
    Small pics don’t make for a nice user experience.
  7. Don’t include photos of your dining companions
    If you are a blog focused on food and food reviews, you won’t be taken seriously if you includes pictures of your boyfriend, buddies, etc.
  8. Photoshop
    Ensure pics are properly cropped and that adjustments to exposure levels and color saturation are made as necessary.
  9. Take it easy on the Photoshop
    Colors should look natural. Don’t go overboard on saturation and the soft filters.
  10. Only post one pic per dish.
    No matter how nice it looks, don’t post several pics of the same dish.
  11. No composite pics
    Doing a photo collage of food may be fun but it makes it hard for viewers to really see the dish. Not worth the effort.
  12. Watermarks are OK but keep them small
    Ensure your watermark does not obscure the dish or dominate the photo.

Caveat: if you are an amazing food writer and people are coming for what you say, then you can put any image on your site and they will come. But people are rarely as good writers as they think. Play it safe: until you’ve established a good reputation, do yourself a favor and have nice pictures.