In this interview, Ellie O’Brien from Hungry by Nature, shares blogger photography tips, how to use your iPhone to take quality pictures, and a cool way health and wellness bloggers can connect with local brands.
Note: This post contains an affiliate link to Ivory Mix stock photos.
#Fitpreneur interview w/ @hungrybynatur - Food photography + working w/ brands! #bogtips #fitfam Click To Tweet
Whether you are a fitness blogger, food blogger, health and wellness expert, or fit pro… if you want to be taken seriously in the online space, you need great looking photos. End of story.
When I go to a blog or website and the pictures are dark, unclear, or just not very appealing, I immediately dismiss the writer’s credibility as a professional and expert in whatever they are talking about. I know, it is not fair. BUT, we are so used to seeing amazing pictures (thanks fancy shmancy food bloggers on Instagram), that we just don’t want to settle for less-than-pretty pictures.
For many of us though, taking a professional looking photo does not come easy!
Here is a round up of a bunch of free and stylish stock photos. ((I LOVE using IvoryMix’s free and paid-for stock photos for blog and social media graphics!!))
Whether you use stock photos, prefer to snap your own, or like to use a combination of both, this post is for YOU!
Ellie shares some really fabulous blogger photography tips and give us a glimpse inside her blog and business.
In this interview, Ellie and I talk about:
- What exactly recipe development is and how you can totally offer this service
- Photography is soooo important when it comes to your blog, brand, and working with companies
- How anybody can do food photography with practice and Google
- Top 3 tips to taking quality pictures with your iPhone
- How to taking pitching food photography services to a company one step further
Where to find Ellie:
On her blog: Hungry by Nature
Facebook: Hungry by Nature
Pinterest: Hungry by Nature
Can you share a little bit about what you do and the services you offer on your blog?
I am the founder of Hungry by Nature – a gluten free and paleo food blog dedicated to inspiring others to live a healthy and balanced life, starting in the kitchen!
I find joy by creating delicious foods on a restricted diet and sharing them with my readers! My recipes are paleo, meaning they are entirely gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free, and free of legumes. I offer recipe development, food photography, freelance writing, and brand ambassadorships/affiliates when I feel that the brand is a good fit.
What is recipe development and how does someone get into this?
Recipe development is really all about experimenting in the kitchen. For me, recipe development does not come easy. As an engineer and someone whose strengths lie in their left brain, being creative in the kitchen is something that I have had to work very hard to do.
Once I have an idea for a recipe, I look on Google and Pinterest for some ways on how to bring that recipe to life. Most often I take bits and pieces from multiple recipes and combine them to make them my own. And then depending on how well something works, I will tweak the recipe and try again.
For those looking to get in to recipe development, just start experimenting!
When you work with brands, do you provide the photos and how important is having quality photos?
Whenever I work with a brand, I provide the photos. The food industry and the food blog world is completely visual and high quality photos are key. No one wants to look at ugly pictures of food and bad photos do not convey how delicious your recipe is!
How did you learn about photography since you are self taught?
Practice. Practice. Practice.
I learned photography simply by practicing. In order to learn about ISO, aperture, shutter speed, etc, I would set up a shot and then change one thing. I would start with my ISO at 100, change it to 200 and see how the image changes. Then change it to 400, 800, etc. Then I would do the same for aperture, shutter speed, and so on. I have also read and watched tons of online resources for food photography and photo editing.
Do you have any easy tips for bloggers who just use their iPhone for photos?
My top 3 tips for shooting with an iPhone are
- use natural light – always
- use the rule of thirds – divide your screen with two vertical and two horizontal lines and try to place the item you are focusing on in the intersections of those lines and
- try to have 3 items in a shot – the eye tends to feel that 2 items is harsh and 4 makes it look like a square.
How would a food blogger find companies to work with online?
I pitch to companies who I have found on social media that seem to struggle in the area of food photography.
For example, if there is a local bakery whose Instagram is lacking, I will go purchase something from the bakery and go home and shoot it, post it on my Instagram and tag them. Then I will reach out to them and offer my food photography services and show them the valve of having professional photos.
Of the many services you offer, which do you feel is the most successful for you?
I’m still growing as a business, but right now I am really enjoying partnering with brands and creating unique recipes using their products!
Do you have any great food photography tips?
Have you ever reached out to a company you follow on social media and asked to work together?
I have really been trying to improve my food photos as well. It’s challenging sometimes thanks for the tips
Agreed! The natural light tip is such a great one – and usually fairly easy to execute. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this! I just got my blog up and running and could use all the tips I can get! You’re the best! here I have tried some food photography