I shot that sh*t!

Over the past two years I’ve developed an addiction to food photography.  The styling and the mood.  The subject and the props.  The lighting.  OMG the lighting.  I’ve drooled over photos in magazines, on blogs, and in cookbooks and I’ve snapped thousands of food photos trying (and hoping) to get shots that looked half as good.  I can count on one hand (that’s five fingers, folks) the number of photos I have taken that I truly loved (one of them being the pic I used for my header on the blog).

That is downright sad.

Unless I had pristine diffused natural light, my photos were crap, and I had no idea why.  I felt like an angry golfer.  Oh, you know.  That golfer who approaches the ball with confidence, settles into his stance, and then swiftly and confidently swings only to have the ball go nowhere near its intended destination.  Yeah that guy. The one who promptly snaps his club over his knee, tosses it in the lake, then hightails it to the clubhouse for a cocktail.  That’s me and my camera.  Minus the lake, double the cocktails.

I swear if there was some sort of algebraic equation that would result in a beautiful photo I would have this all mastered by now.  Better yet, if I could somehow incorporate an Excel spreadsheet into the process I could totally quit my day job. *sigh*

I’ve wanted to get a DSLR camera for a looooong time, but I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t make that sort of pricey investment until I had sufficient time to dedicate to learning how to use the camera properly.

After a mere two years of “I’m too busy,” I found the time.

I bought my new DSLR camera, the Canon Rebel T3i, online on Black Friday and used the money I saved on the purchase to sign up for the Food Photography Overhaul seminar with Taylor Mathis.  I’ve had the camera for a few weeks now, and the photos have been… well, CRAP.  Having a fancy pants camera does not equate to gorgeous photos…  especially when you have no idea how to use it.

Thank god the Food Photography Overhaul seminar was today!

All I can say is holy cow.

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I shot that sh*t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The seminar was AMAZING.  I walked into that room knowing nothing.  I even brought my camera manual… just in case.  Taylor walked the group through all of the basics including lighting, contrast, shadows, fill,  aperture, shutter speed, ISO, backgrounds, props… the list goes on and on.

And then we got to play 🙂

Here are some of my favorite shots from the day, which were taken with my own two freakishly large hands.  These photos have not been edited in any way:

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This workshop was by far the coolest thing I have done in a long freaking time.  I learned an incredible amount of information and got the opportunity to ask a professional photographer an abundance of silly questions.  I am even MORE excited and even MORE in love with photography now.  I can not wait to put all of this knowledge to use!

Learning is cool, kids.

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25 Comments

  1. You have short-changed yourself on past photography which in my opinion was very good. Do you want your pictures to be perfect like Martha Stewart’s? I like the “funk” rather than “sterile”.

  2. These photos are gorgeous!! They are definitely magazine worthy 😉 I got my big girl camera in March, and I’m still learning. I did have a huge gap in using it because I didn’t have the time, and it definitely takes patience and practice! But I finally signed up for a Groupon photography class and it helped so much! I’m still no pro and have a loooong way to go to learn more, but now I finally get shots I like more often than I used to! My biggest hurdle is that no matter what time of year I never have good light in my kitchen, because it faces a forest. And going downstairs to the parking lot of my condo is kind of embarrassing 😉

    1. Haha I know the feeling… people in my neighborhood probably refer to me as that crazy lady who takes pictures of her food on her balcony while wearing pajamas and a towel on her head 🙂

  3. Mary they look awesome! It was an absolute pleasure having you in class and I am so glad to see your pictures turned out so well! I can’t wait to see what new food photos you now create! Great job!

  4. Very nice! I would love to do a photography workshop again. I need to remember all my SLR settings. Right now I have been mainly using my phone for photos (so convenient, but not always pretty). 🙂 Really great shots!