This page is devoted to the resources I use to power my cooking and food photography. I hope fellow food bloggers and home cooks alike will find it useful. I’ll be updating this list periodically as I find new products and resources that I love. In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions in the comments, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Most photos published before November 2014 were taken with a Nikon D3000. Most photos published after that have been taken with a Nikon D750.
- I use a Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR FX Lens for the majority of my photos.
- I occasionally use a Canon PowerShot ELPH 310 HS 12.1 Megapixel Digital Camera, especially for photography at restaurants and on-the-go. I bought this camera because it was purple, but it’s actually turned out to be a great little tool for the money.
- And of course, the occasional Iphone 5 / Instagram photos pop up, some of which are actually quite nice.
- I shoot with 100% natural light, usually in the early afternoon. If my schedule doesn’t allow for that, I will occasionally take food out into my yard in the late afternoon or early evening and shoot outside. I’ve never taken a good photo with anything other than natural light, so I stick with what works for me. Plus, there’s no lighting set-up required. Thanks, Mother Nature.
PHOTO SHOOT PROPS
- My most beloved “prop” is my double-sided fake tabletop (seen above) built using this tutorial. I use this because my actual dining room table is very glossy, and the glare coming off of it was making for bad photos. These fake tabletops can be painted or stained whatever color you want – one side of mine is stained dark brown, the other side is painted blue-gray.
- I use mainly my everyday dinnerwear and flatwear, but I occasionally scour the clearance rack and bargain bins at Pier 1 Imports, HomeGoods and Kohls for interesting, cheap props.
- I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 for basic lighting, white balance, color, contrast, saturation and sharpness edits.
- I occasionally use the downloadable Picasa program for quick cropping and collages.
- I use PicMonkey to add overlays with recipe titles to my photos. I also use this program to occasionally add watermarks.
GENERAL FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY RESOURCES
- The resource that has helped me most since I’ve started this blog is the Tasty Food Photography e-book. It’s taught me so, so much about lighting, composition, props and editing. I would recommend it to anyone looking to take better food photos – you won’t regret buying this book!
- I also admire and study food photography I love from other bloggers like Damn Delicious, Joy The Baker, Pinch of Yum, Oh She Glows, Spoon Fork Bacon, Kitchen Confidante and Bake Your Day, as well as photography aggregate sites like FoodGawker and Tastespotting. When I see a photo that makes me drool, I study it and try to figure out what it is that makes it so appealing (The food styling? The lighting? The simple backdrop?), and try to apply that principle to my next photo shoot.
You’re about to discover that 99% of my personal wealth is held in kitchen equipment. I don’t buy cheap stuff. My belief is that with kitchen equipment, it pays off in the long run to save your money and invest in quality pieces rather than bargain items. I’ve accumulated my kitchen collection over the years by receiving gifts, and saving money and gift cards until I’ve been able to afford the pieces I want.
- Almost all of my pots and pans, as well as many of the smallwares and some of the appliances in my kitchen are All-Clad. Pricey to be sure, but worth every penny in my opinion. I love them because they are an American company, and all of their products are expertly crafted. I have not had a single problem with any of my All-Clad items (and believe me, they are all used heavily), and I hope to pass them on to children and grandchildren when I’m older. I started my collection with a 10-piece stainless steel set (a wedding gift from my parents), and over the years have added a saucier, large and small nonstick pans, a wok, a baking sheet (no longer available), a slow cooker, a waffle maker, measuring cups & spoons, a whisk and a ladle.
OTHER POTS & PANS
- I have a beautiful orange Le Creuset Dutch oven that I use for braises and stews.
- I save a tiny bit of money by buying ultra-cheap baking sheet pans from my local restaurant supply store. These are total workhorses – I don’t just use them for baking, but for storage, organization and transportation as well.
- I use Wusthof. My collection includes a French knife (“Chef’s knife”), 2 Santoku knives, a paring knife, a bread knife, a set of steak knives, and kitchen shears.
- I use a Cuisinart food processor, immersion blender, coffee maker, toaster and ice cream maker.
- I have a beautiful blue Kitchenaid stand mixer.
- My husband uses an electric Presto griddle to make me breakfast every weekend (these things are always on sale at my local Macy’s for like $10).
- I use an Escali food scale to precisely weigh ingredients for baking and pastry.
- I saved and saved (and saved!) and am now the proud owner of a Vitamix blender. It’s one of the great loves of my life.
- I have a set of Anchor Hocking glass mixing bowls that are shockingly sturdy for being made of glass.
- I use two Epicurean cutting boards for all of my cutting needs.
- I reach for my Peugeot pepper mill constantly, because I’m addicted to black pepper.
- A Microplane is by far the best kitchen tool $14 can buy, perfect for zesting all types of citrus, and grating ginger, garlic, chocolate and the like.
- Williams-Sonoma makes my favorite silicone spatulas.
- I have a set of Bambu spoons that have been used and abused (and run through the dishwasher countless times) for the last five years.
FOOD STORAGE & ORGANIZATION
- I use Anchor Hocking glass refrigerator storage containers to refrigerate leftovers at home.
- I also have Snapware Glasslock containers with plastic lids that are environmentally friendly and perfect for packing lunches to go.
- I use IKEA storage jars to store pasta, rice, grains, nuts and seeds that I buy in bulk.
- I have small Crate & Barrel Outlet spice jars to store spices that I also buy in bulk.
- I bought myself a Tivoli Audio Model One Radio (with an iPod jack) as a celebration of scoring my first recipe testing job, and it’s been cranking out Spotify songs and Detroit Tigers baseball in my kitchen ever since.
Please note that this page contains affiliate links, and I may earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These commissions help me pay for the costs associated with this blog. All of the products listed here are ones that I love and use often.