1) Food Photography & Lighting: A Commercial Photographer’s Guide To Creating Irresistible Images
2) Custom Camera Strap from ten8e
3) Canon EOS 70D Digital Field Guide
4) Custom Smartphone cover from iMaketheCase
One of my goals for 2015 has been to improve my photography. So far the process has been neither easy nor inexpensive. As a visually minded person with a self described ‘good eye’, I’ve been pretty frustrated at my lack of photographical prowess. Putting what I see in my mind into a snapshot has been difficult and time consuming. BUT I also love reading blogs with beautiful photographs and I’ve known for a long time that better images are paramount to providing quality content. I am nothing if not determined.
I started with purchasing my first DSLR camera. I went with the Canon 70D. Canon was recommended to me by Jo-Anna of A Pretty Life and she told me that she loved her EOS 60D. By the time I went shopping the 60D was on the outs and hard to find (a pity because it would have been a great deal if I’d found one!) because the 70D was just hitting the shelves. Overall I’m loving this camera. It has built in wifi which allows me to send images to my phone so I can Instagram / tweet / Facebook them immediately and for a social media addict, it’s a fun feature.
This camera can do pretty much anything you can imagine. And that means fiddling with settings can be complicated and by the time you fuss and twiddle about the moment you hoped to shoot can be gone. I knew I needed to get a handle on the technology I was holding in my hand so I bought the Canon EOS 70D Field Guide. This book is amazing. It walks you through all of the settings and which ones you need to worry about to achieve the effect you’re desiring. I am sure I’ll read it 10 times over and I’ve been studying it weekly.
The guidebook had me ravenous to read more and so I admittedly bought Food Photography and Lighting blind and on a whim without setting hand or review upon it. It left a bit to be desired. I knew it was written by a commercial photographer and so my experience would be quite different as a blogger. Teri Campbell even speaks to the difference between commercial photography and blogging in saying “if a food blogger doesn’t like an image, she can just choose not to post that story and move on…” HA right. Newsflash Teri – I have clients and deadlines too, and a family who wants to eat my food for dinner.
Anyway, if you want to start up a commercial photography business with a studio and stylist and a supply of gadgets to help you then this is your book. He’ll even help you with estimates and other biz tips. If you just want some pointers on composition and lighting then there’s probably a better book out there for you. If you can suggest one for me, please do!
In the top right corner of the photo above is a camera strap I bought from Etsy’s ten8e. It’s a simple item but it will really come in handy when lugging the camera around for hours (I wish I’d had it in California!) It’s well made and I love the handy little pocket! I bought the longer length and I’m glad I did – as a somewhat tall and ‘chesty’ gal, the shorter one would have been awkward on me – just a note incase you’re similar :).
Lastly in the center, my trusty Smartphone has a new coat from Etsy’s iMaketheCase. It’s custom laser engraved with my busy bee and as I still rely on my phone for photos quite often, I’m pretty excited to have it looking fine. It’s not the most rugged case on the market and I can’t yet speak to durability as I haven’t had it for long, but the engraving is great and I love the bamboo wood look.
A bit of randomness I know, but I wanted to share my thoughts on these items. Photography has taken up a big chunk of my blogging time lately and I’m kind of obsessed with getting better at it. I really hope that once I become comfortable with the technology and basics then the artistic bit will fall into place. It’s hard to focus on artistry when you just need to get the damn setting to capture what you see with your eye. Maybe next year I’ll take a class, I’m positive that this is one of those things that the more you do, the better it gets. Here’s hoping that I’m right on that one!
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