I wish I was one of those people that had a natural talent for photography. But, no….
True Story: I used to be a TERRIBLE food photographer– yet somehow thought I was good? lmao. You know those people who post food pics that are SO dark and shitty that the food literally looks like shit? (But is probably really bomb)? Yeah… that was me.
Today, I’m going to show you just how bad I really was. Yes yes… there are pics below to show it.. just promise you’ll be nice, K? *Cue the self-shame* <—not even playing haha
I really didn’t even get “good” at food photography until a year AFTER I started the CynEats Instagram and former blog. Prior to it all, I didn’t take a real photography lesson or class (still haven’t)… Yet for some reason I still thought my shit was legit though!
Hell, my photos weren’t even worth a damn post on YELP back then… aka home of the shittiest “foodie photos” we’ve ever seen. I’m not exaggerating you guys, you’ll see.
So lets backtrack and explain how it all started….
It was circa 2013. My good friend, Jed, whom most of you already know as @dailyfoodfeed, started his own Marketing/PR company in SoCal.
I was his right hand woman.
My title? “Princess of Marketing”- I shit you not. Exact title on my business card and everything lol.
One of the services we offered was social media management. This was when restaurants didn’t know what Instagram was… or the importance of it yet. You could say we were ahead of the game.
Anyways, we had a handful of clients between LA and San Diego. Jed would sometimes send me and my iphone 4 off on my own to take these photos for clients.
Many of the photos I took were unusable. TERRIBLE actually. It took months and months of training to get it right. (Jed- if you’re reading this… I applaud you for dealing with me!)
…Now here’s a peek into my skills BEFORE I started working with Jed and on the old @CynEats blog.
Uhm. What was I thinking?? You can’t even see inside the deep dish pizza. #fail
Most important part of food photography? The lighting. CLEARLY I DID NOT KNOW.
Back when I used to think the actual Instagram filters were the shit…. *smh.*
And here’s a throwback to one of the first photos I ever posted on IG. Not even sure what the middle picture is. And while chocolate covered strawberries almost always look divine, I apparently found a way to make them look damn near disgusting lol.
Now fast forward to today… I’m the girl who takes a million pictures of my food before I eat it.
I’m also the crazy person running outside with a burger in my hand- stuff just dripping everywhere (Snap: CynEats). Sometimes it’s for work. work. work. Sometimes it’s because I have a particular shot in mind that I just HAVE to get. (#goals)
So if you were to ask me two years ago what I would be doing today, I definitely would not have said “I TAKE FOOD PHOTOS for a living” … or any photos for that matter. But I worked my ass off to learn.
Now I go on photo shoots at least 3-5 times a week and manage 9 different Instagram accounts… some of them you might already be following. If not, you might like some of these @Roam_Burgers @Samovartea @dinospizzaSF (<– shameless plug). 😛
My OVERALL point: There is no over-night success. Just because you aren’t good at something now… doesn’t mean you won’t be BETTER in the future. If you keep at it, you will always improve no matter how big or small. If you truly have a passion for something, don’t give that shit up.
Ok, now let’s get started with tips for YOU.
+ If you want to start a foodie account, blog, or whatever… NOW is the time to do it. Especially if you are living in San Francisco/ Bay Area. The reason I say this is because the market is currently not saturated like in LA or NY. (Let me know if you guys want me to elaborate on this in another post).
+ The first thing to remember is lighting. See all the pictures above? Those are all examples of TERRBIILLEEEE lighting. Anytime you need to reference “what NOT to do”… just book mark this page. Look at those photos. hah!
+ Speaking of lighting… if a place has bad lighting, then don’t bother. I refuse to take a photo under bad lighting circumstances only because I know it won’t make it on my feed. Know when to cut your losses and not annoy the hell out of people lol.
+ Follow other people/blogs/instagrams for inspiration, but don’t copy.
+ People WILL stare at you, pay them no mind. Legit don’t even look them in the eye, just do your thing.
+ Read THIS article on “How To Take Bad Ass Food Pics With Your iPhone” <— good starter tips!
Hope y’all got a good laugh out of this and possibly some useful tips too! This journey with you guys has been a fun one. 🙂
Cynthia || ESFJ || Founder/Director of Violet Fog || Extrovert, loves making to-do lists, and always down to eat.