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 Tastespotting. I 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.