cucina gnocchi

How to Photograph Food

500 Cucina gnocchi 2

I often get asked for food photography tips, and I’ve been meaning to put together a post on what I’ve learned that might be helpful. And so here I am, actually doing it. I have no recipe today, but

To celebrate my birthday I’m giving away a Canon EOS Rebel SL1. Canon Canada supplied me with a Rebel SL1 and lenses to try out myself, as well as one to give away to one of you! And just in time – my old camera was dying a slow death.

Photos are obviously a big part of what I do – food is so visual, and blogs tend to be reflections of ourselves, our personalities showing through our photographs. I shoot for my blogs as well as my cookbooks, and take photos to accompany articles in newspapers and magazines – my cameras are well used (and abused). I’ve been working as a food stylist for print and TV for years (those posters at Jugo Juice? I get paid to grill and stuff wraps and create smoothie swirls!) – but bloggers tend to have different challenges than corporate photographers, shooting in their kitchens without portable studios and stylists on set. I’ve taught a few food styling and photography sessions at the Calgary Public Library this fall, and facilitated a session at the Food Bloggers of Canada conference this spring, and after many requests for a day of playing with cameras and food and light, I had a few friends over for a food photography session on the weekend. Because I couldn’t invite everyone over, I thought I’d share some of our ideas and tips here. (Disclaimer: I am not the best food photographer I know.)

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1) Light.

Pay attention to the light. I’ve worked in studios with artificial light, and own a set of strobe lights that have not been out of the basement in 10 years. But luckily natural light is the best for food – and it’s free, and everywhere. You just need to know how to find it, and manipulate it if you need to. Sometimes you need to create your own, especially during the winter months when it gets dark before dinner. To simulate natural light, pick up a rice paper lamp at IKEA (under $10) and a daylight balanced bulb at Home Depot (around $10) and you have a portable light source that’s diffused and daylight balanced, meaning your photos will not wind up with a green or orange cast.

Avoid flash at all costs. Seriously, it just never does food any favours. If you can bounce it off something, that helps – but if you can pick up your plate and find a window, even better. The SL1 takes amazing, detailed photos in low light conditions, which are inevitable – especially in restaurants.

Pie-party-kitchen

Find a set that works. It might be your coffee table or even your bathroom – wherever the light is best. I shoot almost everything on my kitchen table. As you might have seen, it has a wrap around window, but mostly my food winds up back lit. This may not sound ideal, but it works. Side light works well too, but full frontal can flatten your food.

garlic

Direct sunlight is almost always too harsh. Look at the shadows – hold your hand over the table – if they are dark with a defined edge, that’s what you’ll see in your photos. (It can work – just make sure the shadows are what you want.) An overcast day is perfect for taking pictures if you’re outside; inside you can diffuse sunlight coming in your window with a white curtain or even a piece of waxed paper or parchment. You could make your own lightbox, but I never got around to it.

Sweet Home Bakery

Reflectors are effective ways of controlling the light. Buy a piece of white card stock from the dollar store and a couple heavy-duty clamps from Home Depot – you can use this to block direct sun (shooting in the shadow works) or to bounce the light around. Treat it as a wide, diffused light source and move it around your food, watching as it fills in the shadows.

Pay attention to what you wear. I have a red David Bowie shirt I wear all the time. One day as I was editing photos, wondering why so many of them had a pink cast, it occurred to me that the light was bouncing off me, onto my food. It does. Now I always wear a white t-shirt – if I’m standing in front of my subject, I act as a big bounce card, filling in any shadows at the front as the light comes from the back.

2) Composition.

cucina gnocchi

Know the rule of thirds. And then forget it – it’s good to understand the compositional premise but not focus too much on it, or you’ll get too hung up trying to arrange your photos. The idea is to divide your image in three rows of three, like a tic-tac-toe board, with something going on (roughly) at each intersection, because your eye naturally wants something to happen there. Essentially, it keeps things from being too symmetrical or as we food stylists put it, too samey-same.

baguette chips

Pay attention to negative space. People tend to focus so much on their food that they don’t notice what’s going on around it. A few ingredients, a water glass or the cheese that goes with the crackers you’re focusing on adds visual appeal and context. Any lines in the background can draw your eyes in or make an appealing shape for them to follow.

Blueberry-scones

Tell a story. You could take a picture of a piece of lasagna, and it could be a really great photo of a piece of lasagna, but what makes it distinctively yours? Adding context with surroundings, especially people (or even the suggestion of them, with a hand reaching for something or people blurred in the background) will draw the viewer in, make it more personal, tell a broader story.

shaunas-birthday-dinner-small

Avoid stress. (Duh.) What I mean by this is pay attention to points that intersect – don’t let a spoon sit right up against the side of a bowl, for example, leave a small amount of breathing room between items, or let them overlap slightly – it’s easier on the eye.

Pie shot - main 3

Change your perspective. Get up on a chair or put your food on the floor – Sometimes W asks for the camera, and the angles he comes up with are ones I’d never think of. And sometimes, they work.

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Play with depth of field. This refers to the portion of your photo that’s in focus – a shallow depth of field can create a more dramatic look, when just a point of an image is in focus and the rest is blurred, or you can have a deep depth of field with the whole shot in focus. Shooting top-down shot flattens the image, making it easy for everything to be in focus, as if it was on a canvas. You can control your depth of field with your lens, aperture, and the distance you are from your subject. Changing your lens can change your perspective and create an entirely new effect.

soup Collage

Have a good camera. Yes – a good camera is important. Phones are great for instagramming, but a digital SLR takes the best food photos, and the Canon SL1 is lighter than a water bottle, so not at all awkward to tote around.

4) Foodstyling tricks.

Know a few. In the corporate foodstyling world there are plenty of tricks – on set, typically you’d find at least one food stylist and even a props stylist, and an arrangement of food might sit out on the light box for hours. You may have heard of stylists using Elmer’s glue instead of milk in cereal shots or mashed potatoes instead of ice cream. I learned this spring that if you soak a tampon in water and microwave it, it will steam for ages – and you can tuck it into or behind whatever you want to look steamy. (Seriously – straight from the pros.) But most of us are shooting real food, and want to eat it afterward, so the trick is to make it look as good as it can without messing with it too much.

500 Cucina fries 1

Use white plates. Or solid ones in muted colours – and choose those that don’t have wide rims, which can create too much white/unused space in a photo. Decorative dishes can work, but can be tricky, and easily overwhelm the food.

blue background

Get a few props to play with. Buy single placemats and napkins and such – I grab vintage cutlery and little dishes from garage sales and Value Village. And if you have a recognizable tabletop, as I do, pick up some white card stock to throw underneath or some wood – rough pieces are in vogue right now, but Mike picked up a few planks at Home Depot and a small pot of sample paint and painted them, then distressed them with sandpaper to make a blue background. The other sides were stained dark – two looks under ten bucks.

Key Lime Pie

Pour beverages right before you shoot, so that there are bubbles – without at least a few, milk and coffee look like flat cups of paint.

Almond Cheesecake Brownies 3

(This shot was for the Almond Board of California)

Shoot food warm. Food just looks better when it’s freshly cooked; especially meat and baked goods, and particularly chocolate chip cookies.

Gwen's Chocolate chunk cookies

Add some action. Mike and W are used to being called into the kitchen to pour syrup or shake powdered sugar over something or other. Movement can make things more interesting.

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Create steam if you want to. This shot isn’t great – it looks a bit naked without a linen and a spoon, and the rim of the bowl needs to be cleaned up, but because it came straight from the pot, the steam is great. If it’s not hot, pop it into the microwave as soon as you have everything else set up. The continuous shooting action of the SL1 allows you to capture 4 frames per second – and all those lovely curls of steam.

soup

5) Editing.

I use Photoshop Elements – which is like Photoshop Lite – and I still use only a fraction of it. If you don’t have software, Picmonkey is online and free. Typically I crop, lighten a bit, and bump up the contrast and saturation, which makes most images look better. The editing part is not my forte. The SL1 has the option to edit in-camera, with filters and everything, so there’s that.

And the best advice, I think, is to get out there and take pictures – the more you shoot, the better you’ll get. Check back in the archives of your favourite food blogs and watch how they’ve improved over the years. You get better by doing.

While you’re at it, need a new camera? Perhaps the world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR?

Picture 1

Up for grabs: a brand-spanking-new Canon EOS Rebel SL1 with an 18-55mm IS STM Lens and a Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM Lens – with a total retail value of $1009.98! This camera has passed the kitchen test with flying colours – 4 trillion colours, to be exact. I’m very much looking forward to getting to know mine better.

To enter, leave a comment here. Say Anything. Just once per person, please – I’ll do a random draw on November 11th. Good luck!

The small print: This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec, sorry!); the contest will close at 11:59pm EST on November 10th, 2013 and a winner selected the next day. Canon is not the sponsor of this contest.

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About Julie

1,142 comments on “How to Photograph Food

  1. Deborah
    October 30, 2013 at 1:05 am

    I love your blog, great food & wonderful photos.

  2. Rylucky
    October 30, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Great tips! Food photography will definitely be a common artifact from the Instagram generation! :S Future archeologists will know a lot about our diet.

  3. Rob Brown
    October 30, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Hi Julie. It was nice to meet you at the Woods Homes Iron Chef Day. Hope all is awesome

    Rob

  4. Raj Sharma
    October 30, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Helpful article!

    IThx Julie!

  5. Judy Bergeson
    October 30, 2013 at 1:25 am

    My camera just died, too. Your food pics always look good enough to ear!

  6. WendyJ
    October 30, 2013 at 1:25 am

    I’m finally admitting that I need to get into the digital age, much as I enjoy my film cameras – this would certainly make the transition easier 😉

  7. Lorrie Matheson
    October 30, 2013 at 1:26 am

    I promise to avoid the flash at all costs, should I be the lucky winner. :)

  8. Judy Bergeson
    October 30, 2013 at 1:26 am

    *eat!! Aargh.

  9. Fiona
    October 30, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Your photos are amazing. These are great tips. If only I could manage to focus (literally).

  10. Leslie
    October 30, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Pick me please! As light as a water bottle sound lovely!

  11. April Schollie
    October 30, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I found this completely fascinating especially since I have heard so often that fake food is often used in ad photos. Be so interesting to try some of your advice on dishes we prepare here at home.

  12. Tarni
    October 30, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Great tips, thank you!

  13. kerry bennett
    October 30, 2013 at 1:37 am

    I have been reading about food photos lately and this was a great comprehensive starting point for me. thanks Julie!

  14. Dianne
    October 30, 2013 at 1:50 am

    I’m awestruck – your post is a course in itself. Beautiful photos, great clear instructions. Now all I’d love is a camera to match :) Please include me in your draw!

  15. heather whitbread
    October 30, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Happy Birthday! I’m glad you are enjoying your new camera; you have given us great advice to become better photographers should I be lucky enough to win the other one!

  16. Roxanne
    October 30, 2013 at 1:58 am

    I have followed your blog for awhile, i love your suggestions and ideas. Your photography tips are great for many applications, not just for photographing food.

  17. Jen Goeres
    October 30, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Love this! I just started getting into photography and these are great tips! Thanks

  18. carolyn
    October 30, 2013 at 3:18 am

    thanks for sharing all your great photo tips and recipes too!

  19. Danna
    October 30, 2013 at 3:19 am

    Mmmmmm, Now I am hungry too! Thank you for the tips. I have been looking at getting into photography for a while now!

  20. Morgan
    October 30, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Awesome post Julie! I’ve been a follower for years and not only do you take awesome food pics, I’ve consistently loved every recipe I’ve tried from your blog and books :) We make your breakfast bean cookies all the time, and your banana bread recipe with the yogurt in it has become our new staple recipe. Some other recent faves were skillet jam and a recipe for caramelized onion dip in your Grazing cookbook.

    My 7 year old Canon Rebel just went to camera heaven recently so it would be awesome to win a new camera in time to capture Christmas and my daughters 1st birthday on Boxing Day!

    Crossing my fingers!

  21. Melanie
    October 30, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Happy, happy, happy birthday! Hope you truly have a most wonderful day!!!

  22. Jean Anne Green
    October 30, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Great tips Julie! So glad you are getting a new camera to keep sharing your yummy creations!
    Every snow day my daughter and I pull out One Smart Cookie and try a new recipe!

  23. Laurie Ingram
    October 30, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Love the fact that your son’s angles are good! I love to take pictures of food. These are great tips!

  24. Raj Bhardwaj
    October 30, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Love the tips, Julie! And the pictures are making me hungry, even on the other side if the world. Since I’m taking pictures if a lot of our meals on vacation, this info will come in handy.

  25. Trevor
    October 30, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Great tips! Especially the PicMonkey site – I’ll have to take a peek, and see if it’s better than Pixlr, my current free online goto for photo manipulation!

  26. Samantha
    October 30, 2013 at 4:37 am

    My boss meditates for 15 minutes every morning. I read your blog. Same difference to me. Appreciate the photo tips!

  27. Jessica
    October 30, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Great tips and I love the egg photo. Cameras are a never-ending learning experience and food is such a great subject to capture.

  28. Tracey
    October 30, 2013 at 4:55 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes (and I think your food photos are great!) thanks for sharing and being there for us!

  29. Meta4
    October 30, 2013 at 4:57 am

    I have one of the first digital cameras that came out and it’s dying fast, the battery does not hold the power any more.
    Would love a new camera.

  30. Becky
    October 30, 2013 at 4:59 am

    Oh my Julie, these are amazing tips! You have just ended years if frustration on why my pics never turn out the way I imagine. I can hardly wait to try these out :)

  31. Kaled
    October 30, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Julie I love your blog! and if you ever check out my own amateurish one in comparison you will see I need this camera! Love the tips esp the tampon one…;)

    http://kaledcsa.wordpress.com/

  32. Erin B
    October 30, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Would love to win! Thanks for the tips! You are always my first stop when recipie hunting.

  33. Meghan
    October 30, 2013 at 5:09 am

    This would be way better than camera phone photos!!

  34. Caitlin Thompson
    October 30, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I love the hint about warm food. I can see how the melted chocolate looks way more scrumptious than solidified chocolate would. Yum. Can I have one for breakfast right now?

  35. Nikki
    October 30, 2013 at 5:16 am

    These are fantastic tips! They go beyond just food photography as well. I love your blog, Julie and it’s one of my usual ‘go to’ sites when I don’t know what to make. I haven’t found one recipe yet that I didn’t like. Thanks!

  36. Carole brown
    October 30, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Great tips! I switched to Pentax but really miss my old canon

  37. Susannah
    October 30, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Hello Julie! Happy Birthday!!! Thank you for all the amazing tips and for the generous contest. Enjoy :)

  38. Adrienne
    October 30, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Thanks, Julie. Really interesting and useful post.

  39. Carolyn
    October 30, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Juilie – Happy Birthday! Thank you for these tips! You are so multi-talented!

  40. Gayle
    October 30, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Love your blog. Can’t wait to try your photo tips on my Christmas baking!

  41. erin
    October 30, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Happy Birthday! Looking forward to meeting you in Jasper.

    I laughed when I read the tip about buying wood and painting it to look like different tables – I’d been wondering how many different tables you had lying around the house.

  42. Nurse Jennifer
    October 30, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I would absolutely love a new camera. My previous camera is so old that it doesn’t hold a charge for longer than a few hours.

    I typically use my camera for shooting pictures when I travel. I love to look back at all the fun I had and remember things as though they were just yesterday.

    Love the tips. Typically don’t photograph my food, but perhaps I should be reminding myself of what I’ve been eating.

    Thanks for the chance and happy birthday!

  43. Kari
    October 30, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Those are great tips! I always find myself instagramming and wishing I had some clue how to actually make food look like something I want to eat?

  44. Heather
    October 30, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Fabulous tips! I like taking food pics but 1/2 of them never seem to capture what I want, or convey what I am hoping for so your tips will really help!

  45. Jacqueline
    October 30, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Happy birthday Julie! Thanks for the tutorial and beautiful photos.

  46. Kathryn
    October 30, 2013 at 5:37 am

    Wow. What a great primer on food photography — jammed full of tips and guidance. Thank-you.

    Sure would love to replace my old Canon: really, a great giveaway.

    Thanks and Happy Birthday!

    Kathryn

  47. Jayne
    October 30, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Happy Birthday! I can’t wait to read your blog everyday!

  48. Mary
    October 30, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Great looking camera. Love the tips on shooting the food.

  49. Robin from Frugal Family Times
    October 30, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Julie – thank-you so much for the great photo tips – I will be back again and again to study them. My food photo are pretty…meh.

  50. Kelly Bennett
    October 30, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Love your tips, your photos, and of course your blog. A new (real) camera would be so amazing. I like to share some food photos with friends on Facebook and take zillons of pics of my three beautiful daughters.

  51. Melissa Pollock
    October 30, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Good morning and thank you. Your recipes got me through the first few years of my relationship with my guy. I honestly would not know how to roast a chicken without your directions. Thanks for helping me feed us!
    Melissa

  52. Meagan
    October 30, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Hi Julie,

    I love your blog. I have never had a Julie recipe fail and I recommend it to friends all the time. Thank you for the insights above as well as your practical and inspired recipes. Yesterday you made me want to purchase a pressure cooker. Happy birthday!

  53. Sharon
    October 30, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Great information! Would love a new camera!!

  54. Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony
    October 30, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Great photography tips (I definitely need them) and photos! I’d love to win the SL1.

  55. Marcie Plishka
    October 30, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Love the tips. Have a great birthday.

  56. Lana McKenzie
    October 30, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Love your books – we made your oven fries last night. I would love to have a new camera to practice being a Momarrazi and take better photos of my son and his surroundings (and food).

  57. Lauren O.
    October 30, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Happy Birthday Julie! Thanks for the tips – I am now inspired to take more good pictures!

  58. Colleen
    October 30, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Thanks for the tips! You’ve created a feast for the eyes (and tummies, I’m sure!)

  59. joann
    October 30, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Love your pictures. Inspires me in the kitchen – Thank you !

  60. Anne
    October 30, 2013 at 6:06 am

    I love your kitchen! And the tips. Thanks!

  61. Julie @ WolfItDown
    October 30, 2013 at 6:06 am

    This post is brilliant! I have recently been asking some friends about tips for food photography, and here I got a little bit of extra knowledge, so thanks! 😀
    My flatmate actually also mentioned the cheap lamps in Ikea, ingenius ^ ^ I particularly liked the sections on the different backgrounds and the layers, inspiring! x

  62. Laurel
    October 30, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Great post , Julie! Love your blog and all the yummy recipes and wonderful stories! A new camera would be amazing….would love to catch our 9 month old daughter in action. I think she’s a future cook for sure!

  63. Murray
    October 30, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Great tips! Your photos are gorgeous.

  64. Meg Van Rosendaal
    October 30, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Fabulous post. Too bad it’s not kosher for your mom to enter your contest!

  65. angela
    October 30, 2013 at 6:13 am

    great post, i’m DROOOLING with each photo.

  66. Angela T
    October 30, 2013 at 6:16 am

    i would love to win a gorgeous camera, i take all my food pictures with my iphone.

  67. Sharlene
    October 30, 2013 at 6:22 am

    what a great bunch of photo’s. yumm.

  68. Krista McCann
    October 30, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Julie, happy birthday! What a great contest! I love your site, and hearing you on CBC radio. Thanks for the tips above too, many sound like they apply outside of food photography too.

  69. Jill M
    October 30, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Love your cookbooks and hearing you on cbc radio! Happy birthday!

  70. Rosalind
    October 30, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Your pictures make me so excited to get into my own kitchen and start cooking! Thanks for all the tips.

  71. Jill M
    October 30, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Love your cookbooks and hearing you on cbc radio! Happy birthday! Cheers!

  72. Bernie
    October 30, 2013 at 6:22 am

    happy birthday julie. love the website.

  73. Angela M
    October 30, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Your pictures in this post are gorgeous, food porn at its best. ha.

  74. Ursula
    October 30, 2013 at 6:26 am

    These are great tips, I’ll use them for taking pictures of the snacks I serve for my dayhome. If I win though, I’ll give it to my daughter who is a baking and pastry arts chef.
    Thanks for the contest Julie.

  75. Trinh
    October 30, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Man this would be such an upgrade from current method of taking food pictures…. My iphone.

  76. Nicole
    October 30, 2013 at 6:28 am

    These are great! As I’m just starting out in the food bloggin’ world, I’m learning all this as I go. The light one is the MOST frustrating – why must Canada have such dark winters? But I will definitely try the IKEA light trick!

  77. Joanna F
    October 30, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Thank goodness you said say anything because I haven’t had my coffee yet, my brain isn’t up to anything witty. Happy Halloween eve!

  78. Amy
    October 30, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Thanks Julie for the great tips! I like the painted wooden blank idea.

  79. Maya
    October 30, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Giveaway or not, I just love this post! Great photos and great tips. Thanks!

  80. Christa
    October 30, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Thanks for all the wonderful tips and happy birthday!!

  81. Silvana Wilson
    October 30, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing these amazing tips. Your photos are beautiful. I would love to win this camera as I only have a point and shoot.

  82. Erin Cavallin
    October 30, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Happy Birthday, Julie! Thanks for the photography tips, can’t wait to try them out!

  83. Andrea
    October 30, 2013 at 6:40 am

    I do enjoy reading your blog and I love the creations you make. Your site is my first point of contact when looking for something to make for dinner.

  84. Ashley
    October 30, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Beautiful photos!

  85. Lori Ray
    October 30, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Thanks for the great photography tips! LOVE your blog!!

  86. Erin
    October 30, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Keep loving what you do. It makes it easy for your audience to love what you do. Your passion for food is contagious. :)

  87. Marlene
    October 30, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Amazing post, Julie, and one of the most instructive food photography posts I’ve seen. Thank you! My food photography has come a long way, but has much farther to go. I’d love to win this camera and continue my journey of improvement!

  88. Nancy S
    October 30, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Great tips! Happy Birthday!!!

  89. Heather M
    October 30, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Happy birthday, Julie! Thanks for sharing! I’d love to test out your tips and tricks with a new camera! Keep up the great work!

  90. PaT
    October 30, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Great article! Thanks!

  91. Barbara Thirlwell
    October 30, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Have been following for awhile – Live this blog and your food philosophy~

  92. James
    October 30, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Your blog is so inspiring!

  93. Chantal Leblanc
    October 30, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Now I know why your photos are so beautiful! I will practice with my little digital camera.
    Thanks for the tips.

  94. Sarb
    October 30, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Love your blog!

  95. Ella
    October 30, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Wonderful post! You’ve covered all points to photographing good beautifully.

  96. Melissa
    October 30, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Happy birthday! Delicious pics!

  97. Laura
    October 30, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Great tips – I have an orangey-yellow kitchen with hardly any natural light, so I guess I’ll be taking my photos in the living room from now on!! Thanks!

  98. Taryn Carpenter
    October 30, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Those were awesome tips, thank you!

  99. Katie
    October 30, 2013 at 6:57 am

    It is amazing how simple little things can completely change the look of your pictures. Thanks for the tips! And you have a BEAUTIFUL kitchen!

  100. Sandy
    October 30, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Great tips for great pics!

  101. Kay
    October 30, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Awesome :)

  102. Minnie
    October 30, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Great article!! Loved this

  103. Parm
    October 30, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Love reading your posts. Thanks!

  104. Heather
    October 30, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Fantastic tips Julie! I need to step up my photo game big time.

  105. Sharon
    October 30, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Now I’m hungry.

  106. Chris Demler
    October 30, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Happy birthday Julie!

  107. Jaime
    October 30, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Happy birthday! Great tips!

  108. Chantal
    October 30, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Those are all amazing tips. I would love to be able to take photos like that. Or even just nice shots of my kids. my Blackberry camera just isn’t cutting it :)

  109. Julie V
    October 30, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Great tips and your food photos make me hungry AND inspire me to cook. Thanks for that and the opportunity to win such a lovely camera.

  110. Nicole Genereux
    October 30, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I enjoy drooling over your blog photos and reading your anecdotes.

  111. Kelsey
    October 30, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Great shots and tips Julie!

  112. Laura Grace
    October 30, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Great post, so many useful tips in here! I tried, most unsuccessfully, to take some photos of a soup I made last night. With this advice (and perhaps a new camera!) I know I’ll get the shot I’m looking for! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win!

  113. Pamela Coulombe
    October 30, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Very useful tips! Thank you!!

  114. Joy Donovan
    October 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Hope I win! I’ve been trying to photograph my pottery with a point and shoot and “shoot!” (or similar) is what I usually say when I see the results. Great tips and info in this post for me to try. Thx :>).

  115. Amie Nemecz
    October 30, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Great article Julie! Always enjoy reading your posts!

  116. Lisa
    October 30, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Love this and it explains so much about your gorgeous shots. Still can’t believe the tampon trick 😉

  117. PatW
    October 30, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Thanks for the tips Julie! My kitchen would be really boring without you.

  118. Kathy Kilshaw
    October 30, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Love your colorful photo’s! And your recipes continue to be amazing! Thank you :)

  119. Allison Burkart
    October 30, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Happy birthday julie. My 13 year old daughter who loves to cook is also obsessed with taking pictures. We went to Europe last year and she took over 3000 pictures in 3 weeks she took pictures of every detail that most people would miss. Her birthday is November 24 and she has asked every family member and grandparent to please just give money so she can add to her savings and buy a good camera! Wow she would love this camera. Cooking and photography……. Sounds like 2 people with the same passion! Hope you have a great day filled with great food and lots of pictures to capture the memories.

  120. Alicya
    October 30, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Great information, thank you

  121. Sam
    October 30, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Thank you for these great tips. And also Happy Birthday!!

  122. Tyrel
    October 30, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Fantastic tips on photography. Agree so much about using natural light and avoiding flash. Fingers crossed for the camera giveaway.

  123. Susan Bernstein
    October 30, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Happy Birthday!

  124. Trisha
    October 30, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for the great tips! And happy birthday!

  125. Glenn Wilkinson
    October 30, 2013 at 7:30 am

    These are great tips, Julie! My daughter is at SAIT in the culinary arts programme and in the past she has had me photograph her accomplishments. Your tips are really helpful.

  126. Koren
    October 30, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Happy Birthday! Thank You for sharing so much of what you do with all of us, your photos are beautiful and although I love blogs from all of this wonderful world, it’s so nice to have a fellow Canadian.

    Looking forward to more from you….

  127. Lenora
    October 30, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Your photographs always make me hungry! Thanks for all the photography tips, love your blog!!! Happy Birthday to you!

  128. Lea
    October 30, 2013 at 7:32 am

    These are great tips for everyone- thanks so much for sharing. Happy Birthday too

  129. Courtney
    October 30, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Love the food photo tips – thanks Julie!

  130. Karen
    October 30, 2013 at 7:33 am

    everyone needs to learn how to photograph food as every other post on social media is food related. thanks for the tips

  131. Jeanette Runions
    October 30, 2013 at 7:34 am

    This would be awesome for taking still lifes that I can paint! My fingers are crossed! (And thank you for all the photo hints…. lots of good info)

  132. Lauren Armstrong
    October 30, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Thanks for all the helpful tips!

  133. Laura Chutny
    October 30, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Please let me win the camera! And ps I love the pic of those cookies the best.

  134. Katie
    October 30, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Great tips and tricks!

  135. Cory Lievers
    October 30, 2013 at 7:38 am

    wow, camera upgrade would be awesome.

    per your comment “I am not the best food photographer I know.”, for myself I would beg to differ, you are the best food photographer I know. lol. Your pictures always look so amazing, and I’ve definitely mentioned it before. My biggest issue would be the styling. I have white plates. That’s it. lol

  136. T. Nahra
    October 30, 2013 at 7:39 am

    You inspire; thank you.

  137. Mama B @ My Edible Journey
    October 30, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Thanks for the tips. I love my Nikon, but as great as it is, it’s still only a high end point and shoot. I can’t do “depth of field” things with it, for example. I’d love a DSLR, but the only way that’s happening is by winning one. Thanks for the opportunity!

  138. Nathan Tremblay
    October 30, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Hi Julie, e have been listening to you on CBC for awhile now and thoroughly enjoy it. Now that you have your blog it’s even better, being a vegetarian your cook book about beans is on my wish list this x-mas . Hope you had a great birthday! All the best in the future and look forward listening and reading about your creations.

  139. Christie
    October 30, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I love your photos and recipes! This is exactly the camera I want for my birthday too! Happy birthday to you!!

  140. diana
    October 30, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Always love your pics, comments and stories. And your recipes! Have tried quite a few and they always turn out! Will see you at Christmas in November this year!!

  141. Bethany
    October 30, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I laughed out loud at the steaming tampon idea. That’s pretty funny! I just use my iPhone for my photography and it would be great to have a real camera!

  142. Jeremy
    October 30, 2013 at 7:44 am

    I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for the tips! Oh and Happy Birthday!!

  143. Colette
    October 30, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Always great pics on your site. What a great gift idea!

  144. Daniella Petrucci
    October 30, 2013 at 7:46 am

    thank you for the information on this post – I would love the chance to improve my food photography skills with the canon ! and happy birthday !!!!!

  145. Dorte Iversen
    October 30, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Your photographs always make the food look mouthwatering. Thanks for the tips.

  146. Amanda
    October 30, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I didn’t realize there was so much to it! Thanks for the tips Julie!

  147. Erin Q.
    October 30, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Julie, what a great giveaway! After reading that post, I’m hungry now!

  148. Nicole Boyhouse
    October 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Happy birthday! You’re my hero, seriously, you are. I think you’re amazing – both photography wise and just in general. Have a great day!

  149. Beth
    October 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

    I always love your blogs Julie! Great photo tips too!

  150. Anonymous
    October 30, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Happy Birthday Julie!
    I love to read your posts and drool over your fantastic food photos!

  151. Lisa
    October 30, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Great tips, love your blog!

  152. Heather Bell
    October 30, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Great tips and tricks Julie’s, thanks. You made it fun to learn.
    Hope you have a good birthday!
    H

  153. Kendra
    October 30, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I love your blog, I have been following it from the beginning. Great photos, suddenly I’m craving scones and pancakes!

  154. Kristin
    October 30, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Great tips! Thanks for making me more brave in my own kitchen!

  155. Meaghan
    October 30, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Beautiful pics….makes me hungry to see them!

  156. Angela Lewis
    October 30, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Love your blog and have tried many recipes. Thank you for the great tips on photography. Keep up the great work!

  157. Kira
    October 30, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Rule of thirds, light, good food, and a good camera! Great ideas and Happy Birthday.

  158. Jen
    October 30, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Love your blog, love your recipes, love your photography, and am really appreciating the food photography tips.

    And I love that you are Canadian, keep up the amazing work.

    Jen

  159. CathyH
    October 30, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I would LOVE this! Love your blog too!

  160. marilyn
    October 30, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Great points, thanks for sharing!

  161. Arlene
    October 30, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for all the photography tips!

  162. Lee Finell
    October 30, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Great tips and ideas for background and propping.

  163. marilyn
    October 30, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for sharing the points on photography.. love your Kitchen

  164. Mitch
    October 30, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Happy Birthday Julie!!!

    This is a great post.

    I so need to take better photos of my food/creations. Of course, maybe a lesson from you on how to cook would be better solution – lol

    But a new camera to replace my first generation DSLR that is 13 years old would be a big help too :-)

  165. meagan elizabeth
    October 30, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Thanks for the wonderful photography tips, Julie. Will definitely put them into action with my own baking!

  166. Danielle
    October 30, 2013 at 8:08 am

    What an awesome and informative post! I’ve sort of gotten away from food photography because I got really frustrated but your post has inspired me to try, try again! The camera would be an awesome way to get a jump start on my learning! :) Thanks so much.

  167. Deb
    October 30, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Love this – going to be looking to buy props at the next estate sale!

  168. Colleen
    October 30, 2013 at 8:10 am

    I am making your Orzo Feta Spinach salad for our Hallowee’n potluck at work tomorrow. I’ve made this salad 3 times and it is definitely a winner. Yum. and as other people seem to know it is your birthday – Happy day from me too!!

  169. Sheila
    October 30, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Thanks for the tips. Great!

  170. Barbara
    October 30, 2013 at 8:12 am

    People don’t understand why I take photos of food. We eat with our eyes first! The camera would be fab!

  171. leah leitch
    October 30, 2013 at 8:13 am

    This is an amazing post. I have bookmarked it so I can refer to it often. Thank you for the giveaway too!

  172. Denese
    October 30, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Happy Birthday, Julie!

  173. Sarah Burgis
    October 30, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Point, shoot, click!
    Thanks enjoyed this

  174. Laura
    October 30, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Awesome giveaway! And helpful post! Some of those are just plain old good tips, whether you’re photographing food or not.

  175. Margaret@KitchenFrau
    October 30, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Those are really useul tips. Thanks so much. I am going to go play with my food now (and my camera).

  176. Kathy
    October 30, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Thanks for this post. Excellent ideas and a lot I’d say are applicable to all types of photography. And your photos are gorgeous and make me hungry!

    I’m a photographer but my camera is dying a slow death too. I’d be stoked to win this! fingers crossed etc.

    And, more importantly- Happy Birthday!

  177. Brian M
    October 30, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Thank you for these tips, and your right just keep
    taking more pictures!

  178. Kirsten
    October 30, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Thanks for all the tips – I don’t photograph food all that often, but I struggle to even get a decent picture of the birthday cakes and cupcakes that I slave over so hopefully I will do better now!

  179. Carrie
    October 30, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Fantastic contest — you make food photography look sooo easy !!! I know there have been recipes (on dinner with julie) I have tried because of the picture, we eat with our eyes !!!

  180. Cody
    October 30, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Happy Birthday, Julie!

  181. Meesh
    October 30, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for the tips! Also bookmarking for future reference!

  182. Gena
    October 30, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Happy Birthday! I love following your blog.

  183. Marilyn
    October 30, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Julie always check your blog first thing in morning, makes my day, have it bookmarked for quick referral. Your pictures and recipes are an inspiration.

  184. Hollis
    October 30, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Hi Julie! I LOVE your blog and have cooked many recipes from it! A new camera would be fantastic and hopefully improve my photography skills.

  185. Chris
    October 30, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Happy birthday! And thanks for the tips. What a great giveaway!

  186. Karen
    October 30, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Great tips! Thank you. I’d love a new camera!

  187. Simone
    October 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

    This post made me hungry for brownies and chocolate chip cookies!
    My toddler’s life has been documented almost exclusively with phone photos. A proper camera would be awesome!

  188. Jen
    October 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Some really great tips, thanks Julie!!

  189. Laurel
    October 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Loved seeing all of the support you provided following the yyc floods. You rock!

  190. Hillary
    October 30, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Thanks for the tips. The camera looks amazing. Happy Birthday to you. It’s my birthday too.

  191. Lindsay
    October 30, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Those are awesome tips! Thanks for sharing.

  192. Laurel
    October 30, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Loved seeing all of the support you provided following the yyc floods. You rock!…

  193. Lisa
    October 30, 2013 at 8:35 am

    What a great contest! Thanks for the tip about the simulated natural light option – I’d already discovered that flash makes food look horrible, but that just meant that I stopped taking food photos in the winter!

    Great contest, my old camera is definitely about ready to retire…!

  194. ML
    October 30, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Mmmmmm……food. Mmmmmmm…..camera! Thanks J!

  195. Linda
    October 30, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Hi Julie,

    I wait hungrily for all your posts and now I know why. Your food photos are so intriguing and mouth watering. Having the right tools (camera) makes such a difference. Happy birthday.

  196. Nancy
    October 30, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Love your blog! Thanks for the photo tips.

  197. Kim Page Gluckie
    October 30, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Fantastic post Julie! Your lessons are awesome. I am a Canon lover. My old prosumer Canon 10D is ancient and sloooooow. It needs to retire. Happy birthday!

  198. Bonnie Vockeroth (aka Shiny Tomato)
    October 30, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Julie, these re the best food photograhy tips I have read. Thank you for these.

    Cheer and happy birthday!

  199. Candace
    October 30, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I have a 6 month old and am interested in documenting her first adventures with food. Now that she’s so active the iPhone camera just isn’t cutting it anymore, winning this would be great!

  200. Jennifer
    October 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Happy birthday! Thanks for the great tips!

  201. Joy
    October 30, 2013 at 8:43 am

    This was a fascinating post! Excellent advise for photographing non-food items too! Thanks

  202. Ginny
    October 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Really great tips here! Not just for photographing food, but for photographing anything really! Thanks so much!

  203. Chris
    October 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Julie you’re amazing! Keep up the great work.

  204. Knittinchick
    October 30, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Oooooh! Pick me! Pick me!!!

  205. Misty
    October 30, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Your food photos (and descriptions) are always drool worthy! And you make it look so easy!

  206. Jaclyn
    October 30, 2013 at 8:53 am

    What a great post! I love all the natural light in your kitchen!

  207. Kathy H
    October 30, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Happy Birthday, wonderful photography lesson! You’re an inspiration, as always :)

  208. Jean-Anne
    October 30, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Love your recipes, your food, your pictures.
    Happy Birthday.

  209. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)
    October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

    First of all, happy birthday! Secondly, this is a great piece. I have read a lot of articles on food styling and you pretty much summed it up. I guess the other factor is your creativity. Like you say, just get out and take pictures. Thank you.

  210. nancy
    October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Always love reading your blog…..pictures are so tempting!!! Keep up the GREAT work!!!

  211. Cheryl
    October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for the inspiration – always love your work! Epic birthday wishes to you!

  212. Ryan J
    October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Spectacular photos, Julie! My stomach growled throughout this post. Always a treat to tour through your website. Oh, and I could reeeeeeeeeally use a new SLR. Like, REEEEEEEEALLY. xoxo

    rpj.

  213. Teresa
    October 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

    :) Absolutely Incredible Article & Photo’s!!! :) Thank you for sharing the tips of the trade! I LOVE to take a ton of photo’s with my old slr camera, unfortunately it has had its better days. I desperately need a new one to use all your fabulous tips. Thanks for all you do, I love your posts & wish I could sample all the wonderfully photographed food dishes, they look absolutely Divine! :) God Bless YOU!

  214. stacey snacks
    October 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I think it’s time for me (5 years of blogging) to upgrade my camera from a point and shoot little thing to a real camera!
    Your photos are beautiful and you are still my favorite blog!
    Happy and Healthy Birthday!

    Stacey

  215. Rabiya
    October 30, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Great photographs, and excellent tips! Learned a lot. I would love a new camera–mine broke a few months ago and haven’t been able to replace it, and I miss it a lot. Thanks for the draw

  216. bellini
    October 30, 2013 at 8:58 am

    My problem with food photography is shooting in the winter. I work every day except Sunday, but I cannot make all of my meals on Sunday for the blog. Taking photo in low light skills is what I need.

  217. Jessica W
    October 30, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Thanks for the opportunity to win! Great post, the pics have made me hungry!! Cheers.

  218. Cam Hoff
    October 30, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Love your blog, keep up the great work.

  219. Alex
    October 30, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Great post Julie: I’m coming up on my 50th column and was just thinking of a giveaway. Not being “quite” as popular as your column, I suspect it might be a pinhole camera kit!

  220. Neil k
    October 30, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Amazing article, thanks Julie!

  221. Tanja
    October 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Wow, those photos are fantastic and great tips. I am going to share your post with my following who travel and well, we ALL take photos of our food when we travel! I love that kitchen too!

  222. Janice Grajauskas
    October 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Great pictures, they are making me hungry!

  223. Lindsay
    October 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I love all the textures you use for the background of your photos. These are great tips for and I’m officially hungry!

  224. Tara
    October 30, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Wow. So great! ! My camera just kicked it….

  225. Mike Swan
    October 30, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Wow! Very cool tips!

  226. Rhi Myfanwy Kirkland
    October 30, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Great post. Lots of helpful tips.

  227. Natasha
    October 30, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Thank you for the photo tips! Very helpful.

  228. Shirley
    October 30, 2013 at 9:03 am

    These tips are amazing! Thank you so much. I have been taking photos with my iphone as I don’t have a camera and they photos were horrible. I had to hire someone to do a few shots for me. I would love, love, love to win this camera and sign up for photography course, wish I lived in Calgary. Good luck everyone!

  229. Laura Ritchie
    October 30, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Love your blog Julie! I’ve made many of your recipes and always enjoy the great photos.

  230. Sonja
    October 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

    What a awesome prize :)
    I would love to win this
    Thank you

  231. Lara Murphy
    October 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Great article Julie!
    I love food, photography and this post. Than for taking the time to put it all together.
    I’m learning all about the ins and outs of interior photo shooting as each job site we complete I muddle the efforts to use my SLR and get the best images possible. We built the Gravity cafe and are currently in the midst of the Bite Groceria reno.
    Fun times!
    Thanks again

  232. sue b
    October 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Julie, I was in your kitchen for one of your cookie exchanges a few years ago. Admired the wrap around windows then and knew most of your shots were taken there, how lucky you are. A food blog is just as much about the photographs as it is about the recipe. Well done.

  233. Leanne
    October 30, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Julie you are such an inspiration! Since meeting you and reading your blog, I like cooking again. Your blog is so fun to read! Happy Birthday!

  234. emily jurgens
    October 30, 2013 at 9:06 am

    That one photo of the bread trays – beautiful! That lighting!

    Thanks for the great post + entry.

  235. Geoff
    October 30, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Love all your food (and life) reporting. Thanks for all the tips on photography as well – they can apply to other subjects as well, not just food. Thanks!

  236. janny
    October 30, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Lovely post and pics as usual!!

  237. Liz Swift
    October 30, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Your photos always look so amazing!!!!

  238. Jessica @ Just a Mum?
    October 30, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Hey Julie! Your pictures are gorgeous… and I’m very glad to pick up some tips for making my food photos look less… barfy, would be the appropriate word.
    I’m crossing my fingers so hard for this one! :)

  239. Joelle H.
    October 30, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Great post, your photos are fantastic. :)

  240. Heather
    October 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

    This is a great post Julie! I never really realized how what I wear could be affecting light bouncing around. Your recipes are always delicious so I keep coming back for more!

  241. Helene Oseen
    October 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Happy Birthday Julie. Looking forward to seeing you at Christmas In November next week.

  242. Jessica
    October 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Thank you for the tips! Love your site. I visit it weekly.

  243. Jan
    October 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Just love your blog Julie! It has inspired more dinners at my house than I can count. Not saying that I always follow the recipe exactly… but your ideas get me going. Thanks!

  244. Lauren
    October 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Great post. I’d love to win that camera!

  245. Brent
    October 30, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I love your photos, Julie. And your energy!!! :)

  246. Maegan
    October 30, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Hi! Happy birthday :)

  247. Jean M
    October 30, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Great tips for photographing anything! Would love to win the camera for my hubby! thanks for a great blog and recipes that turn out all the time!

  248. Jeff Leroux
    October 30, 2013 at 9:15 am

    So hungry.

    Love the tip about natural light (but not too much)

    Happy Birthday!

  249. Dare
    October 30, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Congrats on your book and all of your success! I love seeing how active you are in the community.

  250. Brigid
    October 30, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Ever the genius Julie. Happy birthday 😉

  251. Jeannette
    October 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Hi Julie! Great tips, thank you. Freelance writers (like me) are being asked more often to provide photos, and although I do my best I know there’s always room for improvement. Happy contesting!

  252. Patti Shea
    October 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Your photos make me want to photograph everything I eat from now on. Also, I am starving now.

  253. Lance Titchkosky
    October 30, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Great tips, always love it when we try out your recipes.

  254. Adrienne C
    October 30, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Happy birthday! These are great tips! I love reading your stuff, and I’ve had success with every recipe I’ve tried! Thanks!

  255. Anne
    October 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Hi Julie,

    Love reading your blog and try your recipes all the time! Thanks for the great food photo tips! Happy Birthday!!!

  256. Patti Dawkins
    October 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Great to see you combining your photography skills with your cooking skills Julie. Always enjoy what you post.

  257. Paula Pituskin
    October 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Thanks for the great tips! Love your blog.

  258. Christin Dewald
    October 30, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Love the rice paper lamp from IKEA tip! Happy Birthday!

  259. Brenda O'Neill
    October 30, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Great tips for photographing food, even if it is just to help someone who posts the occasional foodie photo on Facebook!

  260. Kate
    October 30, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Thanks for all the great tips

  261. Christina
    October 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Gorgeous pics! I wish I had this when I shot my cookbook! :)

  262. Anonymous
    October 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

    SHOOTS… EATS… LEAVES. :)

    Happy Birthday, Julie!

    xo

  263. Sarah S
    October 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

    What fantastic tips, thanks so much for sharing your expertise. Can’t wait to have my own practise session in the kitchen and try these out!

  264. Carrie
    October 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Excellent tips. I will try some out next time I photograph food.

  265. kathy
    October 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I’ve been looking on kijiji for a rebel…. please send it to me….. I really really really want one.. thanks
    I’ll be waiting…..

  266. JULIE BOYER
    October 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Great tips! People keep asking me for pictures of my kitchen creations and I have stumbled in so many ways… this should help!

  267. Bonnie
    October 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

    oooooh pick me! pick me!!
    I have been wanting a digital Rebel for years!

    and Happy Birthday!

  268. Eileen
    October 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Love your food photos, Julie. Great photos truly make the difference in a great food blog. And happy birthday!

  269. Sheri
    October 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Hi Julie, I love these tips and I never thought that what I wear could have an effect on my photos. I’ll be picking up a big white t-shirt the next time I’m out. Your photos are always fantastic. I currently use my phone for mine and you are right, I’d love to own the Canon to improve my photos.

  270. Carolina Mateus
    October 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Great post! Btw love your Alice Eats!

  271. Cindy W
    October 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

    What great tips and tricks…love your blog!

  272. Cathryn
    October 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

    SHOOTS… EATS… LEAVES… and forgets to add a name!! lol.

  273. Lara
    October 30, 2013 at 9:27 am

    great tips and not overly technical, which is great when you are learning how to make a food photo look as delicious as the food tastes! thanks.

  274. Les
    October 30, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Great and easy to follow food photography tips. Thank you for the giveaway. Happy Birthday!

  275. Another Julie
    October 30, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Excellent article – very informative. Now you’ve made me want a digital SLR camera.!! I’ve been a lazy photographer since I got a smartphone.

  276. Nicole
    October 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Such a helpful article Julie! And I need to shoot with more than an iPhone these days so that Rebel would be lovely.

  277. Nancy Miller
    October 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Loved the article and could put that camera to good use.

  278. Beverley Kolt
    October 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Wonderful photos and so many great tips .
    Have an amazing day … Happy Birthday Julie :)

  279. Cathlin H.
    October 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures, delicious recipes, and this lovely post on how to photograph! I can’t wait to try these tips out!

  280. Jennifer D
    October 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Those Garlic Cheese Fries are KILLING me! And your Naan on a pizza stone n the BBQ is delish! I have dabbled in the Food Photos but they never turn out quite right. Now I know I need to get to HD to get some new light bulbs, now that its winter, I’ll rarely get to shoot in the daylight. Oh, and a new camera too. I hope the person who stole mine (on Thanksgiving no less) is enjoying looking at the photos of my kids first day of kindergarten. For now I am using my phone to capture the memories.
    Happy Happy Birthday!

  281. Ann
    October 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Happy Birthday Julie!

    Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve always admired your wonderful food pics. Like all things done well, it seems effortless (i.e., when you look at the pics). It’s great to know a few tips for taking pics.

    Thanks also for all the great recipes you’ve given us over the years!

  282. Christa @ Edible Balance
    October 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Gosh, my camera is SO old my iPhone takes better pictures! I desperately need a new one to get into the nitty gritty of amazing food photos… I LOVE all the shots you’ve included in this post!

  283. Melissa
    October 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Thanks for the great tips! I love your little nook in the kitchen.

  284. Laura Bain
    October 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Awesome tips! I love taking photos of Holiday meals, or my dining table when it’s all set up for a party, but they rarely capture the true experience. Thanks for sharing!

  285. Heidi M
    October 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Genius idea to wear a white shirt and become a human light-bounce! I’ll do that from now on.
    Thanks for the great tips. I do photoshop – quite heavily.
    Sorry I missed you in Langley – so near, yet so far.
    Heidi M.

  286. Gwyn
    October 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Think of how great my cupcake photos will be!!!

  287. Scott Timmons
    October 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Some great tips here- I would love to have an slr camera- all my pics are now with a phone!

  288. Kellyann
    October 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Wowee! so much to know and so much to learn. Looking forward to seeing more pics now that I know what’s happening in the background!

  289. Kierra McIntyre
    October 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for the great tips! I love taking photos of my meals and the meals my amazing boyfriend makes and these tips are really helpful. We eat with our eyes.

  290. Tara O'D
    October 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

    OOH – I could so use a new camera! My girls pulled mine off the table while the lens was open – and bam – no more nice digital pictures of my food creations or the twins – just good ole iPhone photos.
    Thanks for the tips!

  291. Vanessa
    October 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for the tips. I see so much beauty in food pictures, and find it is a form of art. Sadly I broke my good camera, so iphone photos is all I do at the moment.

  292. Laina Wong
    October 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Thank you so much for the food photography tips! I’m bookmarking this page and using it! GOLD I say :) All the recipes I’ve tried from your website are amazing! Thank you for doing what you do! Happy birthday!!!

  293. Merry120
    October 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Great tips. I need to start using my camera more. I default to my phone more often than not. My photos don’t suck but they aren’t the best. Oh and Happy Birthday!

  294. Joan L
    October 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Anything!

    I’m trying to teach my two boys to cook, and your blog and books are fantastic tools.

    Have you seen this? People only use their iPhones to take pictures of food. http://youtu.be/uIRBxRlsYR0

  295. Jennifer
    October 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Happy birthday! You do amazing things, I love following your adventures in food.
    Cheers!

  296. Donna
    October 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Heh- these tips fit for garden photography as well. Good job

  297. Avery
    October 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Happy birthday, Julie! My nephew is in the Photography Club at WCHS, and he’s got an amazing eye for things, already. He’s already shot a wedding! I think a new camera would make the greatest Channukah gift (and solidify my status as Greatest Auntie Ever). Great post.

  298. Steve Glavicich
    October 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Great tips, thank you!

  299. Teri
    October 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

    This blog post just made me very hungry. Love the photos and thanks for the tips Julie!

  300. Leslie
    October 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Wonderful tips!

  301. Rhonda
    October 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I celebrated my birthday last week so both born in a good month! I think you have to have an innate ability to understand how to compose really good photographs. You have the “eye”.

  302. SoberJulie
    October 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I had the immense pleasure of attending your session at FBC and my photos have improved dramatically. I will be sharing this post with tips…

  303. Rick
    October 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Happy Birthday Julie!
    If I don’t win the camera can I get some of your sourdough starter ; )

  304. Gail
    October 30, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Julie,
    Love this site and look at it daily. Your food photos are always fabulous. I have always owned Canon cameras and have had great success with them over the years and am now in desperate need of a new one.

  305. Jennie
    October 30, 2013 at 9:37 am

    How do you not eat it
    BEFORE you shoot it?? It all looks soo yummy!

  306. Keith
    October 30, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Great article and great photos!

  307. JaniceT
    October 30, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Happy Birthday. I love your accessible view on both food and blogging.

  308. Mieka W
    October 30, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I’m doing a painting series involving food. Would be great to get some decent photos.

  309. Janice Nelson
    October 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Julie – Happy Birthday! Thank you for such a detailed description of photographing food. Your photos always make the food so delicious and have caused me to make many, many of your recipes.

  310. jennifer
    October 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I have been following your blog for years and have made countless number of your recipes. Also love hearing you on CBC.

  311. Kelly
    October 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Hi Julie – just want to say I love your blog. I enjoy following your adventures which are so “close to home” in places that are familiar (I live in Central AB). I so enjoy your recipes, which are comforting, homey and obviously created with love – which is the only way to cook! I have made several of them, most recently your Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It was a hit!! Thank you!

  312. Leanne
    October 30, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Long-time reader (but first-time commenting I think) here. Wonderful tips.

  313. Lindsay
    October 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Very exciting to see how you work :) Love the info.

  314. Jennifer
    October 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I just love taking pictures of food! My instagram friends love it too.
    Thanks for the tips!

  315. Anonymous
    October 30, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Thank you so much for those helpful food shooting advice, especially the action shot tip!

  316. Owen
    October 30, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Your photography is great! Thank you for sharing!

  317. Kate
    October 30, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for the tips! I missed your talk with the Calgary Public library on this, so getting to hear what you had to say was awesome!

    (and please please please pick me for the camera draw. Mine is quite literally falling apart)

  318. Sybil
    October 30, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Wonderful tips – thank you Julie! You should teach a class about food photography!

  319. Frankie
    October 30, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Hi Julie!
    These are fabulous tips and I can’t wait to put them into practice.
    I’m dying for a camera!!! I currently use my crappy phone to take even crappier photos.
    Love your site!

  320. Monica
    October 30, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Awesome tips! I am always trying to take good pictures of my food that most of time it gets cold before I get a good shot! Thanks!!

  321. Mary Claire
    October 30, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!!

  322. Lisa
    October 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Thanks so much for the tips! I’m a big fan of yours and appreciate all the food tips you offer. All of the recipes of yours I’ve tried have always been a huge success at my table. Cheers!

  323. Heather Wighton
    October 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Happy Birthday Julie! A Scorpio like me ????. Love the tampon in the microwave idea!! Great article.

  324. Ev
    October 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I love taking great photos of food. My birthday is on November 9th, this would be a rad gift!
    Cheers Julie, love your blog.

  325. Christy
    October 30, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Love your blog, and lots of your recipes!

  326. Ev
    October 30, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Great information! I’ve shared this post on Facebook for my friends who are interested in photography.

  327. E Mott
    October 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I take most food shots with my iPhone (because it’s always with me), but would love to up my game with a real camera. Please put me in the draw! Thanks :)

  328. Lorna
    October 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Hi Julie,
    I just love your blog and I really could use a new camera. BTW saw you on Global TV when you were in Vancouver last week.

  329. Jaclyn Spencer
    October 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I love shooting food, though most of my work is nature and wildlife, with a little portrait work thrown in. Thanks for the awesome tips!

  330. jane cannon
    October 30, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Lovely photos all the time.
    Great food, great pictures, great lady!
    What more do you need?!

  331. Leah
    October 30, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Cookery books/food blogs are my story books! Lovely photos of even lovelier food. Bless x

  332. Tanya Stogre
    October 30, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I love your blog – your recipes are amazing! Also, thanks for the photo tips – I like to take pics of food when I’m out and about, so will keep your ideas in mind! Thanks so much!

  333. Keysha
    October 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Love your blog <3

  334. Kelsey
    October 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Loved this! Such good ideas; I’ll definitely have to go find a few props for myself.

  335. Heathers
    October 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

    This post made me hungry!

  336. Marina
    October 30, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I’ve been thinking about starting my own food blog for quite some time. If I get the camera I might actually do it! Thank you for the tips and your great recipes!

  337. Elle
    October 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Excellent post, really informative.

    Also, pick me!

  338. Bev
    October 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Thank you for the excellent tips!
    Love your website!

  339. Larry Brodie
    October 30, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I’ll throw my hat into this ring. I enjoy the blog with all its great information and especially your great personal style!

  340. Paul Gordon
    October 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

    My digital camer’s CCD broke and now makes everything look like The Scream…a new one would be great :-)

  341. Katie
    October 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Great tips, Julie! I can use them for non-food photography too!

  342. Cathy Bernard
    October 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Wow Julie – what a great post, really informative and inspiring! And … now I am hungry :)

  343. Karla
    October 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Happy birthday! Love your blog and your segments on cbc radio. Great tips for photographing food. Thank you Julie!

  344. Michelle
    October 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Say anything? Would a lot of flattery work, beautiful lady? :)

  345. Sarah
    October 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Hi Julie,

    I just wanted to say how much I love your blog and cookbooks. Although I love cooking and am really getting into photography, I haven’t thought much about photographing food until I saw your blog today. Thanks so much for the tips!

  346. Larissa Mark
    October 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Great tips Julie! Thanks for sharing!

  347. Jeanine
    October 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Happy Birthday, Julie! Great tips!

  348. Jill
    October 30, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I’ve been refinding my love of cooking lately after school cramped my style for many years…I’ve been taking photos using a camera phone but they aren’t very good. I’m excited to use your tips to get better! Although I suspect no amount of tips can help a picture of greyish risotto look good….

  349. Greg Curtis
    October 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Photographing food runs a very distant third to eating and preparing food, yet I find myself doing it on large family occasions or whenever I am full of hubris regarding my culinary creation. Thanks for the very applicable tips.

  350. Celina
    October 30, 2013 at 10:19 am

    avoid flash at all costs & ‘steaming tampon’ are my favourites! but great tips overall! thanks for the insight.

  351. Cindy
    October 30, 2013 at 10:19 am

    You are such a generous and beautiful soul.

  352. Sarah Trudeau
    October 30, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Hi Julie, great tips for us amateurs who just like to post pictures of our delicious adventures. Cheers!

  353. Sharon
    October 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

    as always, beautiful photos and fantastic recipes!

  354. Mary Oxendale Spensley
    October 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for the helpful tips. I must get one of those rice paper lamps.

  355. toby
    October 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Would love to win that camera!

  356. gwendolyn
    October 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Great tip about wearing a neutral shirt. I never thought of that!
    Also, I bought some foam-core board from Staples, which has proved very useful at bouncing light. I duct taped two pieces together so they stand up on their own and can bounce light from two different directions. Super cheap and easy.

  357. Denise
    October 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I love the advice you laid out here!

  358. Julie
    October 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Julie! I’m glad to see a well written “How To” Article.. you offer really great practical tips that are feasible for just about any photog- from consumer to pro. As a foodie who spends lotsa time shooting food photos while traveling, its a passion that many don’t understand when they see me languishing over a photo…sometimes letting my food get a bit cooler, but when the photo communicates how amazing the meal is…then they get it.

  359. Dave
    October 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Steamy article! Thanks for all the “bright” ideas! Hope it’s the Happiest Birthday Ever!

  360. Marlene
    October 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

    now i know how you do such a good job of photographing of food. :)) Thanks for sharing!

  361. Voula Martin
    October 30, 2013 at 10:31 am

    You’ve seen my photos and you know I need the help! Thanks for the tips and pulease pick me! 😉

  362. Marco
    October 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Great photo tips, great photos, and a great camera!

  363. Jacquie
    October 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Happy Birthday Julie from a long time Lurker. I really enjoy your blog and read it daily.

  364. Julie
    October 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Great photography tips

  365. Joni
    October 30, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Great photo tips. Thanks!

  366. Tim
    October 30, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Happy birthday! I wish Canon would give everyone a free camera for their birthday.

  367. R Jim R
    October 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Oh Julie!! Pick ME! Pick ME!

  368. Juliana Helene
    October 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Very helpful! Thank you Julie.

  369. Erin
    October 30, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Thank you! I love reading your blog and trying your recipes!

  370. Charles
    October 30, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Great tips Julie! Thank you!

  371. Maija
    October 30, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I have more recipes bookmarked from your blog than any other. I just added some scone recipes after being inspired to search thanks to the photo in this entry. Happy birthday, and thanks for the photography tips!

  372. Megan
    October 30, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Great blog, Julie. We have birthdays in the same month!

  373. Janice
    October 30, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Hi Julie, I enjoyed your tips and tricks that you shared on the art of photographing food. I recently made your easy strawberry jam and it was devine! Thanks for the contest!

  374. Kelly
    October 30, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Awesome giveaway! Our camera has also shuttered for the last time.

  375. Shelley
    October 30, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Happy birthday Julie.
    Love the article on photo tips – simply awesome.

  376. Vivian
    October 30, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Dear Julie,

    How typical and kind of you to offer up a “present” or at least a chance at one on YOUR birthday! Your many tips on shooting food are very helpful, even to those of us in other fields that use photography as a visual resource…think “still life” etc. I would love a chance to try the Canon EOS Rebel SL 1. My film camera is a Canon EOS and it has proven to be a workhorse even though digital is leaving it “in the dust”.

  377. Marissa
    October 30, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Love your cookbooks and blog!

  378. Stephanie
    October 30, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Great tips for photos! Always look forward to your blog…your recipes have never failed me!

  379. Kathryn
    October 30, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Not a week goes by that we don’t eat something courtesy of a JVR recipe (the name you go by on my menu plan)!

  380. Crystal Reynolds
    October 30, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Thanks so much for the tips Julie. I see a trip to IKEA this week!

  381. Stephanie
    October 30, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for sharing all these tips, Julie! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find myself some key lime pie to satisfy a sudden craving…

  382. Adam Chiasson
    October 30, 2013 at 10:55 am

    excellent photo tips! Can’t wait to try them :)

  383. Sue Wilmot
    October 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I would love to be a food photographer!

  384. Heather
    October 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve been wanting to get more into food photography – a new camera would be a great starting point!

  385. Lisa G
    October 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for all the wonderful advice and the tricks great advice!!!

  386. Valerie
    October 30, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Very useful tips, Julie. I hadn’t even thought about the effect your clothing colour could have a on a shot. Thank you!

  387. Stephanie
    October 30, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Thanks for all the tips Julie!
    I love taking pictures of my creations and looking to get into basic photography as a project for my 30th year!
    I will be asking Santa for a new camera or my 30th birthday in January 2014!
    Perfect article to keep for my reference!!

  388. Korena
    October 30, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Great and informative post, especially the tampon trick, haha! I’m jealous of all the beautiful light in your kitchen, and those wooden counter tops.

  389. Michelle
    October 30, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Thanks Julie! Your food photos are always gorgeous and enticing, and probably 95% of what makes me decide to make your recipe! Sadly my photos never match up, but I hope I can get better with your tips and an awesome new camera 😉
    -Michelle

  390. Rebecca
    October 30, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I’ve been using your recipes for a long time, some many times over. My husband will now never look at a photo of steaming food the same way!

  391. Renee
    October 30, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Happy Birthday fellow Scorpian! I loved your article, very informative and great job on the photos.

  392. gayle
    October 30, 2013 at 11:05 am

    great post – thanks! I wish I were canadian -!

  393. Ben
    October 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Happy freaking birthday! Somehow over the past year your blog has replaced my Joy of Cooking as my first stop when looking for any recipe whatsoever. Usually with success unless I fall into it for too long and have to serve cereal for supper. Sorry family.

  394. Julie Saindon
    October 30, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Thanks Julie for the great tips.

  395. Glenda L
    October 30, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I am still chuckling about the steaming tampon!! :) Thanks for all the tips – you always do such a fabulous job, both cooking and photographing. Love it! Maybe A new camera will help me out but you’ll still have to come cook for me :)

  396. Solita Work
    October 30, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Oh Mia would love the camera. I’ll show her this blog. She could incorporate your tips into her flower photography. Thanks for posting and Happy Birthday!

  397. Brooke
    October 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I’m sure that this camera is amazing, but Julie, you’re pretty awesome yourself! Having said that, I’d certainly love to win! 😉

  398. Shannon
    October 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for the great tips!!!

  399. Kelly
    October 30, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Umm… amazing post, JVR!! Not only are you an expert chef, but it turns out you’re an unbelievable writer, teacher and photographer too. I just love what comes out of your brain (and your kitchen), particularly on your birthday. Mad props to you.. :)

  400. Crystal
    October 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Love your blog! My favorite website to try recipes from…

  401. Amanda Paa
    October 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

    These are all great tips. I’m enjoying watching my own food photography get better, looking back on some of my old blog posts and seeing the improvements. You are right, you learn by just starting to take a lot of shots. And I love how you mention the part about each picture being in thirds. That’s really helpful. I would love to win this camera to up my game! Thanks for your insight.

  402. Sheri
    October 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I would LOVE to win the camera, how awesome would that be, I have a small point and shoot I use for my website now and it does an ok job, but a wizzy wow camera would be great. Pick me, pick me.

  403. ginette4
    October 30, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Great camera, would love to take great pics like you took I guess the secret is a good quality camera, thank you for the chance.

  404. Suzi Vickers
    October 30, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Very useful tips! Your food photography makes everything look so yummy!

  405. Natalie
    October 30, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Julie – this is an amazing post!!!!! One of the best ever on how to photograph food. You are an inspiration woman!!!

  406. Fanny Martin
    October 30, 2013 at 11:34 am

    What a lovely sunny kitchen! Thanks for these tips, I find them useful for other subjects than food, actually.

  407. cj
    October 30, 2013 at 11:34 am

    We do love your recipes and your down home style of blogging. These are fantastic tips and it sounds like a fantastic camera too. I haven’t had a decent camera in years now so it would be fun to get back into photography.

  408. HB
    October 30, 2013 at 11:36 am

    As your photos show, food definitely is art!

  409. Lana
    October 30, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Wow! Am I the 400th comment? Cool. Loved the tips and would love a camera! Happy Birthday, dear Julie! (btw- that steaming tampon tip is the funniest!)

  410. Kristin
    October 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I love how your tips are actually a great metaphor for life in general. Especially the part about avoiding ‘flash’ at all costs.
    xo

  411. Kristi
    October 30, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I really enjoy your blog. I always get lots if great tips. And the recipes I’ve tried have been fantastic.

  412. Bonnie
    October 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Appreciate the tips. I’m going to try and photograph some of my kitchen successes, a great many of which come from your recipes.

  413. Danielle
    October 30, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for the tips! Love your pictures and inspires me to make a family recipe book for the kids with pictures.

  414. Patrick
    October 30, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Some great tips! That camera would be much better than my smartphone photos.

  415. Kevin
    October 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Great tips!

  416. Pauly
    October 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Happy birthday, Julie! Quit playing with your food, wouldya?

  417. Stephanie
    October 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Great post with some fantastic tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

  418. Kim McD
    October 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

    your pictures make my mouth water, in a good way. WOW

  419. Gail
    October 30, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Another fantastic post – just like all the rest.

  420. Giselle
    October 30, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Ooooh, those are great tips – I’m going to try to use some of these in future posts on my vegan/gluten-free blog.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Julie!

  421. Ethan
    October 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Happy birthday and I think you qualify on giving a tip or two on photography;)

  422. Jan
    October 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    So many great tips here! And practice really does make perfect. My photos were TERRIBLE when I first started blogging 3 years ago, but they’ve come along way. And it’s funny because people assume I must have a fancy setup or a really expensive lens, but I don’t. I learned to use the buttons on my camera (read that manual! It really helps!), and I have a white piece of cardboard to bounce light and reduce shadows. That’s pretty much it.

  423. Laura
    October 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Love your food! Make your recipes a lot!

  424. Trevor Nawalkowski - tjthefooddude
    October 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Great tips! I’m all for keeping it real. Did a few photo shoots with fake stuff – paint, food colored balls of dough etc. I hate it when the pictures don’t make me feel hungry looking at them and those fakey pictures I did made me feel sick.
    Thanks for awesomely sensible thoughts on this Julie!

  425. Siri
    October 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    First timer on your blog and whattay a superb giveaway that is :-) Thanks for the information you shared about food photography. It is like an never ending ocean and every day I learn some nifty tips that go a very long way.

    Siri

  426. Saima Ahmed
    October 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Love your site and recipes! Pretty photos :)

  427. laura @ scribbles and sass
    October 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    i love these tips, thanks! i’ve been trying to improve the quality of photos on my blog and food is always so difficult. keeping my fingers crossed! -laura

  428. Susan
    October 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I love your blog, have been reading it for several years now. I lived in Canada as a child so its kinda like a little memory for me!!

  429. NicoleT
    October 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Love your blog and cookbooks!

  430. Julie
    October 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks for the photography tips! I love reading your blog and cooking from your recipes – always delicious!

  431. Jeremy
    October 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Great tips!

  432. Michelle P
    October 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Hi,
    I love the pictures of your kitchen. You can feel the family love through the photos…

  433. Katharine
    October 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I love your blog, tweets and FB updates.
    Thanks!!

  434. Deanna
    October 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for these great tips. We are currently doing a student cooking show called BITE ME at the University of Calgary and these will be very helpful for us!

  435. Sharon
    October 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Julie;

    I love your recipes and most of my tried and true favourites come from your kitchen to mine.

  436. Marcy Collins
    October 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for all the food photo tips and all the great food inspiration over the years!
    Marcy

  437. Eva Smith
    October 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing your food photography tips and great doable recipes! I can’t wait to try out the photo tips during the upcoming Christmas cooking/baking marathon at our house.

  438. Stephanie
    October 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    These tips are great — thanks so much for sharing!

  439. Miyoshi
    October 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Julie, your recipes never fail me and your pictures are always inspiring!! Love your blog!

  440. Roxie Laverty
    October 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I love listening to you on CBC, your passion for food is infectious. I am not a culinary master by any means, but love experimenting with flavors and textures. Plus I have a minor obsession with photography, so this blog post was right up my alley!

  441. Michelle
    October 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Thank you for doing this Julie,I am looking forward to getting your new book “Alice Eats” for our 8 yr old daughter…

  442. Caitlin
    October 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Love your blog and all your recipes!

  443. Erica
    October 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm