Author Archives: Kitchenette Coquette

About Kitchenette Coquette

Hello! I'm a 20-something, avid lifestyle photographer based in Philadelphia. I love photographing people but my secret unprofessional love is photographing food.

Is your Kitchen Ugly? Cheap Backgrounds for Food Photography

Is your kitchen ugly? Are you upset you don’t have 1,000 exotic locations to shoot in? My kitchen is very ugly. It really is. Not only are the counter tops made of glittery, yellow Formica, but they match the backslash and the floor. Any photo taken in the kitchen has a sickly yellow cast. It’s very unappealing for food photography.

ImageNever fear. Those of us stuck with cringe worthy cooking arrangements don’t have to let that get in the way of our photography. There are cheap and easy tools that can be used to transform your photos.

Use other rooms: Try taking photos in rooms other than in the kitchen. Many people have pretty wood tables in their dining room that make for nice backgrounds. Alternatively, some people take great photos on the tiles in their bathrooms.

Don’t use tables: We always think about keeping food on the table but great photos are to be had when you think off the tables. Your deck, chairs in your house, carpets, or floors can look great in a photo. Few people will even recognize that your photo was taken someplace strange.

Use paper: A nice, cheap way to have dozens of different backdrops is to buy a book of patterned scrapbooking paper. These can be bought for under $10 and offer hundreds of different color combinations. Wrapping paper can also be a good backdrop. If you find a pattern you really like, buy multiple sheets of it as it is likely to be ruined being around the food.

Image
Utilize the hardware store. The photo at the top of this page was taken on two stick-on, 59 cent flooring. Individual tiles, wood paneling, wood scraps etc. can be used to mimic nice tables.

Use fabric: Those $2 quilt squares can be very helpful in mimicking tablecloths. Also cheap placemats can quickly change the look and feel of an image.

Hope this was helpful! Any tips or tricks you use?

The Best Camera for Food Photography

What camera should I buy? That’s a question that gets asked a lot and unfortunately, there’s no simple answer.

Cameras can be divided into 3 basic groups:

  • “Point and Shoots”
  • DSLRs, and SLRs
  • Bridge Cameras, Mirrorless cameras, Micro 4/3, Super Zooms

Point and Shoots

A Point and Shoot camera is one where you just aim the camera at the subject and click the shutter button. The camera figures out what it believes to be the best setting for your shot based on the data it receives. Most of these are consumer grade cameras, designed to fit in your pocket. Many of these cameras have settings such as “macro,” “landscape,” “portrait,” etc. and are getting more sophisticated every year. These cameras typically have a small sensor, the part that records the image, which means image quality can be affected. The main advantage of a Point and Shoot is the convenience and potability. Price: $

DSLRs

DSLRs are digital cameras that have manual settings so that the photographer chooses the best setting for each image. DSLR stands for “Digital Single-Lens Reflex” which is just the method used by the camera to reflect the image into the viewfinder. The main draw of these cameras are the manual controls and bigger sensors. Most professionals use DSLRs. DSLRs are must haves if you will be wanting to print your photos large with high resolution or shoot in low light situations, like a dark restaurant.

DSLRs typically give better image quality due to their large sensors, manual controls and better lenses and accessories that can be used with them. For some people extra lenses and accessories can be too much of a hassle and too costly. If you want to shoot sports, you might will need a different lens than if you want to shoot portraits. Price: $$$$

Bridge Cameras

Bridge cameras are a new group created in recent years. These cameras fall in between Point and Shoots and DSLRs. These are a good choice for bloggers who want better photos but can’t spend upwards of $1,500 on a low end, consumer DSLR.  Many bridge cameras have a sensor bigger than a Point and Shoot but smaller than a DSLR so quality is usually good enough for web purposes. Price: $$-$$$

Mirrorless cameras and Micro 4/3 cameras works similarly to DSLRs, they just lack the viewfinder system. You still need to buy separate lenses and accessories for these. If you are only doing one type of photography, like food photography, you probably can get away with just using one lens so these don’t have to be too costly.

Superzooms have all of the lenses you might need in one. They are very advanced point and shoots with some manual controls. If you are only using your camera to shoot food a superzoom may be overkill in lens reach, but if you are also using it for trips to the zoo and photos of your family, this one is probably the best type to get. Image quality is not typically as good as a Mirrorless camera but it is good enough for web content.

Other things to look for:

Megapixels don’t always matter. To photographers this is known as the Megapixel Myth. So don’t feel pressured to buy the latest and greatest based on the megapixel count.

Make sure the camera will be able to do everything you need it to do. Make a list of everything you will be taking photos and see how each individual camera model can accommodate your list. Remember, you should go a camera store and test out the models to see what you like best. Don’t feel pressured by the salesperson. They will likely try to sell you “more camera” than you need.

Here are some good camera review sites to help you get started:

Hope this was helpful to the beginner. If you have any questions, please comment them in the box below. Also, if you are someone who already shoots food, please comment what you shoot with below.

The #1 Way to Improve Your Photography

ImageThere are a thousand ways to learn new things in photography. Plenty of photographers are eager to share their tips and even more are willing to sell their tips–for a price. Honestly, the price is probably worth it. If you can find a photographer who you admire, try to take their courses and read their books. This is one way to learn photography but not the only way.

Photography is about seeing better and improving your skills. When I say “seeing better,” I mean improving your discerning eye. As photographers improve their skills their discerning eye has to keep one step ahead. Without a discerning eye, it’s difficult to improve.

 

 

How do you train your eyes to see better?

Study photographs that look the way you want yours to look. What makes them so appealing? Is it the color, use of line, subject matter, shallow depth of field, ect.? Are there any techniques you see there that you don’t know how to do? Make sure you bookmark the pages of your favorite photographers, a great site to use for this is Pinterest.

You can follow my Pinterest boards here.

Be critical when you view photos.Think about why you like them and what makes them work. This is the #1 way to improve your photography. Want to take it to the next step? Try the practice exercise below.

Practice:

1. Choose a photo from a photographer you really admire. Ask yourself these questions and write down the answers.

  • What is the overall mood of the photo? Is it dark, happy, fantasy, sad?
  • What is it that makes the photo appealing to you?
  • What draws your eye?
  • Are there any techniques that you don’t know how were done?

2. Now, do this exercise for two more photos from the same photographer. What do the photos have in common?

3. Try to create a photo in the style of this photographer. You can try to reproduce an image exactly or try making an original photo in the style of this photographer. If you plan to display these, it would make good sense to attribute your inspiration.

4. Repeat with many photographers until you develop your own style. You don’t want to be a carbon copy of your photography idol. Learn new tools for your photography arsenal by observing and copying then use these tools in your own way.

Welcome to Kitchenette Coquette!

This blog is designed for serious photographer amateurs. This blog is about lifestyle photography. It’s about documenting your life. Like to take photos of your kids? Your food? Your kids eating food? You’ve come to the right place.

Image

Here you will find:

  • Ways to make your dinner look better in photos.
  • General photography tips for the livin’ it up kind of person. 
  • My thoughts on life.
  • Et cetera.

I hope you:

  • Learn a lot.
  • Make new friends.
  • Take better pictures.