I get loads of questions about the tools we use for food photography as well as questions about what has contributed to the growth of NatashasKitchen. I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that food bloggers can use to see the products and services that we use with our blog. The list will be always updated as we find different resources that are worth mentioning.
Food Photography & Video Tools
Adobe Lightroom – Adobe Lightroom is reasonably priced and has loads of options for editing & re-sizing photos before uploading them to WordPress. We learned to use it through YouTube and trial/error.
Tasty Food Photography– Photography is one of the key aspects of any food blog. You should see some of my early posts vs recent ones… definitely learned a thing or two :). There are many resources online to help you in selecting a camera and taking great photographs. One of my favorites is the Tasty Food Photography ebook by Lindsay at Food Blogger Pro because it is specific to food and easy to follow. Ebook is full of tutorials and information about photography basics, lighting, Photoshop, and is nicely laid out.
Final Cut Pro 10 – This is a Mac program and we use it to edit all of our videos. You can start with i-movie which is free on macs but we’ve found that final cut pro is one of the easiest to learn if you want more professional video options.
Canon EOS 6D – We upgraded to the 6D camera after using a Canon Rebel XSi for a few years. Not only does the 6D shoot great pictures, but it also shoots really incredible HD video. It’s an expensive camera, so if you’re just getting started to look first at purchasing something like the Canon EOS 70D SLR Camera.
Canon EOS 80D – This is our second camera, used for filming our recipes. It has amazing auto-focusing and very easy to use touch screen.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens – This is our main food photography lens that we use to take step by step photos or our recipes. Lens has excellent image quality, and is great for shooting videos.
Canon EF 100mm 2.8L IS – This is our latest macro lens that we use to capture food up close. We like this lens because it has fast autofocus, great image stabilization and allows us to photograph all the details.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L IS USM Lens
We purchased this for videos but it is a really good all-around lens that gives you nice blur in the background and you don’t have to be as far away from the subject to get everything in view as with the 100mm which is really more for closeup food shots.
Manfrotto Tripod – Tripod can be very handy when shooting indoor pictures or videos. This tripod is extremely versatile and ideal for our use. We also use Manfrotto Video Head, which works great for video recording.
Rode VideoMic – We use Rode VideoMic for all of our video tutorials. It captures the audio really well, can be attached to any camcorder or DSLR.
Light Reflector – Reflectors can be used to fill in shadowy areas of dishes, particularly by the window where you may have strong light and high contrast. If you don’t have a reflector, a white card might do the job.
Bonus Material: Building Your Brand
Driving Traffic to your Site:
Here is a list of the food photo submission sites I like to use. It takes a little time to enter, but the traffic you gain from getting a submission accepted can be great! It’s not uncommon to see 1,000+ visits to your blog in a day if you get a submission featured on the right site at the right time. Our best source by far has been Pinterest, but there are others to consider:
Mad Mimi Email Marketing – We’ve switched over to Mad Mimi from feed burner for all of our email marketing and we absolutely love how customizable, reliable and pretty our emails have become. We recognize the importance of personally connecting with our readers who deserve better than generic, boring emails.
Vaultpress – Vaultpress is the company we use to backup Natasha’s Kitchen WordPress account. We have lots of pages and posts that we’ve written over the past few years. The blog has also helped us generate some extra income as well. So it would really stink if something happened where our site was wiped out and we lost everything. Vaultpress ensures that if that something like that did happen we’d be able to recover everything from a backup.
– Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. I recommend to keep the number of plugins to a minimum or they might slow down your site or overload the server.
The Plugins I use are: Akismet , Google XML Sitemaps, W3 Total Cache, Easy Recipe, Pin It Button, WP-Smush.it.
Another common mistake that new bloggers make (and we were guilty of this) is not properly resizing photos prior to uploading them to their blogs, which results in a really slow loading site. We didn’t realize it when we were on the free WordPress platform, but as soon as we went to a paid host, it was painfully obvious that we needed to re-size and re-upload every. single. image. Ouch! Resize to the way you want your photos to appear in your blog; i.e. if your photo is being inserted 600 wide by 900 tall, re-size it through your Lightroom or whatever image editing software you use and then upload it. We also limit the file size of our photos to no more than 200K. We use Lightroom to easily accomplish all of this.
Camera Guides For Beginners:
Check out this page to learn your DSLR camera settings for video capture.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed above and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products.