Balance With Self · Goodies

Photo Ops–What I’ve Learned

Thank you guys for all of your wonderful comments on my last post! I absolutely adore reading every single one of your comments; each one of them means so much to me and I truly appreciate it! 🙂 Also, I’m so glad that all of you are as determined as I am to take care of your bodies! 🙂

AND, I’ll be making my Pumpkin Ice Cream again soon…haha…I can’t take my mind off of it. 😉


Does taking good pictures matter?

A Blissful Reese’s Pizzert

To me, the answer is yes. Especially when it comes to taking pictures, the presentation of my recipes is important to me. When I take pictures for my recipes, I strive to take the best pictures I can.

I am definitely NOT kidding when I tell you that I take a lot of pictures of food (you should see my food-folder — it’s HUGE!). Through all of my Photo Opportunities, I have learned that presentation is important.

Almond Joy OIAJ (Oats In A Jar)!

When I first started blogging, I just wanted to take the picture to get it over with and get it posted, not truly caring. But now, I know the importance of taking my time and putting in my best efforts to make my presentation as good as I can. 🙂 

I am far from a professional, but when I take pictures for my recipes, I focus on using NATURAL LIGHT, exploiting the use of SETTING/COLOR, and not being afraid to TAKE LOTS of pictures.

Here are pictures of some of my recipes, using different techniques. Some with, some without.

Presentation through– 

Natural Light

Almond Joy Pizzert Babies

A–Sun shining on it:

B—in the Shade:

At first, when I would bake something at night, I would take the presentation picture then even though it was in the dark.

Now, if I can, I like to wait til the morning to take the presentation picture.

Carob Walnut Muffins




They turn out so much better in the light! 😀


After reading a post on Kath’s Blog about her photography, I started incorporating color and setting in my pictures.

Almond Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies


I feel color enhances the colors of the pictures. 🙂


Even the number of item I show makes a difference–

Not Being Afraid To Take Lots Of Pictures

Sometimes the first picture is PERFECT, and other times it take a few more for the perfect one. So, I have learned to not be afraid to take lots of pictures.

Kat’s Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

A–one cookie (picture 11)

Odd numbers are pleasing to the eye.

B–three cookies (this one was the 46th picture I took that day)

Taking a lot of pictures gives me a higher percentage of picture that look nice — and more chances of getting a nice picture.

Chocolate Date VEGAN Cake

A–38th picture

B–41st picture I took that day

Taking a lot of pictures, some each in different ways, gives me a more variety of pictures to choose, so I can decide what kind of picture I like.


Indubitably, taking the time and effort to take good pictures IS worth it.


Have you ever gone back and retaken pictures of your recipes? I know that when I first started my blog, my pictures weren’t the best. But now,  I’ve improved my picture taking skills and have been wanting to retake those pictures — not the steps, but the Main-Finished Product Photo presentation.

How do you feel about taking pictures? Do you have a lot of Photo Ops? What have you learned over the years?



84 thoughts on “Photo Ops–What I’ve Learned

  1. Thanks for taking the time to present beautiful food. I’m new to your site and looking forward to trying your recipes. Just for fun, check out the pictures taken by professional photographers, who make a career out of shooting food. 123RF is one website, and the work of Carl Warner is magical.

    1. Hey Jennifer!! 😀

      I should totally do that! 😀 It would be so much fun to learn from all of those professionals by examining how they take pictures! 🙂 I want to check that out! 🙂

  2. aside from swtching over to wordpress, photos is the one area that I want to improve. I dont have a fancy camera AT ALL, and I dont have access to the outdoors to take my pictures just yet. We are moving in 3 weeks though so now I will have a backyard. So excitied for natural lighting!! I always love your pictures, they never cease to make me drool 🙂

  3. Love this post!
    Beautiful photos! I also try to use natural lighting without flash, it makes a huge difference. I take a lot of pictures too because sometimes when you look at them on the computer blown up you realize that the one you thought you liked, really doesn’t look that focused and clear!


    1. Thanks Whitney! 🙂

      I find that too! Sometimes my favorite picture on my camera doesn’t look very good on the computer. 🙂

      I try not to use flash too! It makes such a difference.

  4. Sometimes my pictures turn out well, but sometimes they don’t. I like to take the picture outside, but sometimes I don’t get the chance. I feel bad when some of my pictures are ugly….but oh well. I was hungry and wanted to eat 😛

    1. LOL – that’s what I think. It just takes too much effort (and makes me feel a bit obsessed) if I have to photograph it perfectly especially cause I’m eating while standing up …:(

      But LOVE your photos…and now I just have to decide which of these recipes to make first…!

  5. It wasn’t the best idea for me to click on your website…I see that vegan cake…and I want it =( hahahaha

    I’m glad you are having fun playing around with photography =)

  6. I would agree that photos matter, I just wish I had a better camera! When I don’t have my digital camera, I resort to my phone (though it’s actually 8MP and decent).

    1. Since I don’t have a cell phone (yet– I will soon), if I forget my camera, I can’t take pictures. I can’t wait to get a cell phone so at least I have a backup plan like you! 🙂

  7. My pictures used to look so horrible. Now I work more to use natural light or different color plates to add some pop to my pictures. I also try to take pictures at different angles so they look more interesting. Your pictures look great!

    1. I love colored plates!!! They are so awesome! 🙂 Angles are so much fun to play with! It is so amazing how taking the picture at a different angle changes the whole view of the picture! 🙂

  8. So saddest thing ever, I live in the basement of my building and get no natural light at all whatsoever in my room, and there isn’t really anywhere I can go to take foodie pictures in natural light other than outside. However at home (I’m away at uni atm) I’ll have plenty of natural light. I just want a nice camera now… =)

  9. I’m just starting out with taking food pictures for my blog, so thanks for the tips! I actually find it pretty fun!

  10. I agree with you about taking a lot of photos, it’s all about exploring your subject with the camera. The more you take, the more angles etc you can discover. I’ve done photography training years ago and now starting a food blog has given me a good excuse to relearn everything from then 🙂
    Waiting for my studio light umbrella to arrive so I can take some portraits of my and my partner next, and some more food of course!

      1. Somewhat, I did 4 years training to part way through diploma level. While it was fun at times it was also extremely draining on my creativity unfortunately. Luckily naturopathic training is fun AND nurturing to my wellbeing 😀

          1. Well it did then, I’m not sure how the courses are structured now. I did the cert 4 at the time and 3/4 of the dipolma course. It just got too boring and stifling unfortunately 😦 and I didnt end up wanting to work as a wedding/product photographer.
            It’s only now, 5 years later that I’m excited about art and photography again and now I’m looking forward to doing more landscape and found art photography like I once used to 😀

  11. I love your pictures AND they make me drool. Not kidding.

    Btw I adore your last post – I’m loving all the heartfelt posts like that and the comments.

    Enjoy your evening 🙂

  12. For me, photos are a huge part of a blog, especially a recipe blog. There is nothing that irks me more than blurry, poor photos. Kat, your photos weren’t bad to begin with, but now they are amazing! I love all the colors! 🙂

  13. I think pictures are soooo important! Pretty pictures of food are so fun to look at in my opinion. I don’t have much time to set up and go outside for pictures, especially in the morning, so I have a light box set up for dark mornings and a little photo station set up by the window for bright mornings (which should come more often now!)

      1. Not really, and it is so helpful at night! It’s definitely worth making. Mine is actually really small and I just hold a flashlight above it to light it up. I store it under the table! Kind of unconventional, but it really improved my photos.

  14. Wow! That’s so amazing that you work so hard to get your pictures to look great! They quality of your pictures is awesome!

    There’s a spot on the counter of my kitchen where I take most of my food pictures because it’s right by a huge window and gets great natural lighting! I don’t have a fancy camera (just a point and shoot) but I love using macro mode!


  15. Omg I have a blog folder and I have so many pictures! Lol I take like 15 pics of the same thing and then I can’t pick one. Luckily I’ve gotten better at taking pictures and getting some decent lighting. I wish my kitchen were brighter tho 🙂

  16. This is just my opinion, but, here goes . . .

    Part of my day job is wearing the hat of Art Director at my company. I’m guessing I am older than anyone reading your blog Kat! I have taken countless classes in design, photography, typesetting, art, craft–so I do come at blogging from a different level of experience than many people do.

    As a reader of other people’s healthy food blogs, I do have some opinions. Maintaining a blog about food is as much about the photos as it is about anything. I personally do not enjoy looking at poor food photography. Nothing is worse than seeing almost the exact same photo (usually a poor one) over and over on a blog. One great shot is all that is necessary. And taking 25 or 50 or 100 shots to get the one great one is completely normal. We’re just lucky that we are living in the digital age. Imagine taking 50 shots and having to develop all of them to find the one great shot!

    There are some really great articles on the Internet about how to take food photos. I have learned a ton over the past year. Of course, I started out with a point and shoot and my photos were poor. I learned not to do flash photography. Natural light right by a window is always FAR better than any light box. I go to the same window every time because that is where the light is best. As I saw that this food blogging thing was going to be something that I wanted to continue doing, I knew I had to get serious about the photography. And that meant investing in a DSLR camera with a macro lens. Even if you have to get an afterschool job just to earn the money, it is worth every penny if you are serious about keeping a food blog.

    I hope that my comment does not rub readers in the wrong way, but somehow I think it will. I know that I have high standards for the appearance of a blog because I consider them an art form. Maybe I take this all too seriously!!!! I can laugh at myself right now as I finish this comment!

    1. Hey Wendy!

      Maybe I can take a Photography Class in College — that would be so much fun! 😀

      I totally agree. Natural lighting is SO much better than flash. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment! Your comments always mean so much fun me! 🙂

  17. I appreciate these tips! I wish I had more access to natural light but my apt windows are terrible for it! Maybe in the summer I’ll just start taking dishes outside to snap! I agree..nat’l light looks SO much better!

  18. Ahh I hate night photos!! Mine always look so terrible!! I laugh when I go back to when I started my blog. My pictures were crazy!!
    Your photos always make food look so appetizing! And I meant to tell you that I made your Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin cookies but ate them all before I could take any pictures 😀

  19. You have REALLY nice photos. (also, new blog name : )

    And I thought I was the only one who took 2109384203 pictures of food just so I could get the perfect picture! It’s nice to know I’m not alone. : ) I guess it’s the perfectionist that lives inside us.

    I’m ready to try your almond joy pizzert babies!

      1. I went from befitbefabulous to moveovercelery!

        I wrote down all the ingredients I need on a grocery list. Can’t wait!

  20. Pictures are hard! I always take plenty, but I have poor light in my apartment. But thanks to daylight savings time, it’s at least light out now when I get home from work.

    You’re totally right though about color! Your pictures were so nice to look at because of the pretty colors you incorporated into them.

    This is definitely something I’m working on…

    1. I am still getting used to Daylight Savings! It is so much easier to adapt when you “gain” an hour than when you “lose” an hour. 🙂 Yah, I love that it doesn’t get dark until later too. 🙂

      Thanks Allison! 🙂

  21. Girl, ALL your pictures are beautiful!!!! 😀 Each and every one of them makes my mouth water! 🙂
    But I agree that natural light makes for the best pictures! I think that’s why mine aren’t that great – for some reason, I’m always photographing in the dark! But I’m trying to work on taking more outdoor pictures, and this post is my inspiration! 😀
    I really want to make a light box…. it sounds like so much fun, and then I can do setups and the works!! Then maybe my pictures would turn out as gorgeous as yours! Actually, I don’t think that possible – really!! 🙂

    Have an amazingly fabulous weekend!! 😀

  22. I agree that pictures are very important-it is what sells the recipe! I am constantly trying to improve my photography. There have been numerous recipes that I love and have not posted on my blog simply because I could not get a shot that I liked. 🙂

  23. Awesome post! Totally agree about the natural light and different colors. I have been considering buying different plates and serving platers that I see in stores, but then I would have an mass amount of mismatched plates. 😉 I guess two of each one would not be bad. Your recipes look wonderful!! And I, too, am going to check out a light box for those evenings when my mad-dash skills for cooking are not quite as fast as the sunset. 🙂

  24. This is SUCH a great post girl! You can tell when people care about their posts or not. I don’t like when people do a quick snap. I mean I want to go and drool! You Almond Joy oats had me cleaning my keyboard they look amazing! Yes it does take time to get the perfect angle sometimes. AND yes, you have to take the time to learn whats best. It gets so much easiar but I find myself taking around 10-20ish pics each meal, bowl, etc!


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