This is the kick off  to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year and make blogging easier. This is Day 22.

31 Day Blog Challenge Day 22: Revisiting Approaches to Food Photography

Do you love your food photography? What about your video work?

Better yet, do you love doing food photography or videography?

The original version of the Day 22 task was challenging everyone change up their photography and break out of any ruts they might be in. We're still going to talk about that but we're also going to talk about some other trends when it comes to food photography for bloggers.

And we're going to have you ask yourself a big question: do you really need to be the one to do your photography?

Photography Ruts

It can be so easy, especially when we're in a hurry to get a post up, to stick with what we know and what's been tried and true for us. It's fast and reliable. It might not be our best work but it gets the job done.  One day we'll find some time experiment - you know... when we have more time.

We hear a lot about developing our own photography style but, don't confuse style with... well... being in a rut.  Being in a rut happens when you don't challenge yourself or try anything new.

Photography has trends - just like fashion, television shows, etc.  For a long time it was high key (over exposed) light, airy images.  And then, just like that, we all went dark and moody.  Then light and bright came back. And then we went all dark and moody again. Now we're in the midst of the harsh midday sun overhead look that channels the 1970s.

For a while we all shot food at a bit of an angle.  And then the trend went to shooting directly overhead. Now we're seeing the return of the angle and the hero closeup.

Landscape oriented photos dominated for ages.  And then Pinterest boomed and we all started shooting in portrait - and started leaving empty space for text! Then we had to do square images for Instagram.

Understanding photography trends is important if you're trying to land photography work.  You need to know what art directors and editors are looking for.  But we have a little more room for experimentation on our own blogs.

The Photography Basics You Need To Get Right Every Time

We should all know this but, there's a few basics you need to get right with every photo:

  1. make sure the food is in focus
  2. make sure your scene is well lit
  3. adjust your camera's white balance to suit your lighting conditions
  4. avoid your on camera flash at all costs - off camera flash is fine if you know how to use it
  5. make sure the scene is properly exposed
  6. all photos should have some minimal editing: contrast, saturation, vibrance and sharpening
RELATED:  The FBC Weekly News for November 2, 2015

Got The Basics? Now Mix It Up

If you've got the basics down, give yourself some time to experiment:

  1. photograph at a different angle
  2. take the camera off auto (or whichever mode you default to)
  3. move or change your light source - try experimenting with artificial light (this gives you options when your natural light options are lousy)
  4. swap out your usual setup - if you do light and bright try dark and moody, go for ultra modern or rustic chic. Change your props or your backdrops.
  5. get in close or move faraway
  6. try some different editing techniques - take a class on editing
  7. try making your photos stand out - most food blog photography tends to look much the same! Don't be afraid to do something dramatically different!
  8. try video if you haven't yet
  9. check out print magazines for inspiration - print may seem old school but they still tend to set the trends when it comes to food photography!

More Ideas For Inspiration: Food Photography 101: Kickstarting Your Inspiration

If You Need Help With Your Photography, Videography or Styling

If you need help we have lots of resources for you to learn from

Do You Need To Be Behind The Camera?

What if food photography just doesn't float your boat? What if you can't wrap your brain around shooting video?

Did you know you don't need to be the one behind the camera?

It's not longer uncommon for food bloggers - especially those who treat their blogs as a business that significantly supports them - are starting to work on collaborations with people who love doing the photography or video but don't have as much enthusiasm for recipe creation or content writing.  Others are hiring contractors to style and shoot the recipes rather than billing it as a collaboration.

If photography or video are not your strengths, don't be afraid to consider outsourcing it. It's no different than outsourcing your bookkeeping or your pinterest management. It's a smart business decision to focus your time on your strengths and to hire others to do the things that you're not so good at or that you don't love.

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