Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm Not One to Brag, But....

So, I woke up this morning to some pretty awesome news: I made the Foodbuzz Top 9!   The Foodbuzz Top 9 is a photo-driven collection of top-buzzed posts within the Foodbuzz community and the editors deemed my scratch-made pound cake photogenic enough for the honor.  Needless to say, I'm really proud of this.

The fact that Foodbuzz, a major food site, found my image awesome enough to make the top 9 among all users, brings me to the subject of the food photography and the food porn gods, you know...foodgawker and TastespottingI have yet to get a single photo of my food on either site.  My normal feedback explaining rejection is "Lighting/Underexposed" or "Food Composition," both of which I consider to be unhelpful, generic, and in many cases flat out untrue.  I guess I should be thankful, because Tastespotting offers no feedback at all, womp womp.

I used to be hard on myself and re-examine submitted photos looking for technical errors and room for improvement, but given the fact that others enjoy my food photography and that I've made noted technical improvement in my photography (lighting, exposure, focus, composition), I (along with Steven, non-foodie boyfriend) have concluded that I do not take photos for the style of these sites.  I don't shoot in a light box or a totally sterile environment; I refuse to make food look fake, er...I mean appetizing, in photoshop or picnik;  and I don't position 18 spotlights on food to make everything overexposed and too white as if it descended from heaven, or...well you get the point, before I enter a full blown rant.  Basically, I feel like these sites accept images that are stylistically similar, not necessarily a good, clear, or well composed shot of a dish.

My food photography style is simple: shoot the food and tell the story.  I want to create emotion, I think food starts looking creepy when its too heavily edited, and I don't want an empty or sterile background because food is not just a pretty plate to me; its love, culture, family, friends, and good times. This is not to say I will not continue to submit to the mentioned sites, it just means I'm not going to be depressed when I get declines.  Instead, I'll just chalk it up to my image not being overly edited or conforming to/fitting in with the layout of the site.

So hooray for my Foodbuzz accomplishment! And pardon my brief rant, I just had to get it out and I'm sure many others share my frustration.


  1. I think your pictures look great. I wouldn't stress too much about the food porn sites and what they like or don't like.

  2. Thanks! That's what my boyfriend keeps telling me. Maybe I'm glutton for punishment, but I feel like I have to, at least once, make it on one of these sites. We'll see if it ever happens...I must say I find it super gratifying when other food bloggers like my photos. Have a good one :)

  3. Congratulations on making the Top 9.

    And don't be too concerned about making it to the food-pr0n sites. Keep submitting, but not obsessing - sooner or later you'll take a picture that satisfies both your artistic sense and the arbitrary qualifiers at Tastespotting.

  4. Thanks Dave! That's what I keep telling myself, and I get the feeling it will be a photo that I don't like very much that would make it...I'm just so analytical (its the political scientist and economist in me) so I'm just trying to figure out their method! Oh well...

  5. When I started food blogging, I had a brief moment of wishing I'd chosen white plates for my wedding registry, as opposed to the colorful orange & yellow pattern I did choose. I also wished desperately for better lighting in my kitchen. I've kind of stopped that. I figure that I can at least show my food (as non-gourmet & not-always-healthy) as it is, because it's more real to me. My husband & son don't care that it doesn't look like it comes from a magazine--They're happy it smells good, tastes good, and that I'm willing to take the time to prepare a meal that we can share as a family. All that being said, I meant to congratulate you on the day you made the Top 9, and tell you that I think your food photos are awesome! :)


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