I think I might be more than a little nosey.
I really like knowing how other people go about their lives. I like going for walks or riding in the car in the evening and seeing who left their curtains open with the lights on so I can see how their home is laid out. I like to look into the cart of the person behind me in line at the grocery store and think about what they’re going to eat that day. I live for “A Day in the Life” stories chronicling how others organize their time and what kind of activities they partake in.
That being said, my nosiness is more about me than it is about other people. I want to know what you’re eating because it makes me think about what I’m eating. I want to hear how you spend your day because I hope to heck that it will tell me what I’m doing wrong in mine (there’s never enough time!!!). On the chance that there are others out there like me, I thought it would be fun to put together a behind the scenes look at food blogging, The Live-In Kitchen style. I know I do things a little different than some other bloggers, but it works for me in this crazy season of life. Here goes!
It all starts in the kitchen. I may have the ugliest, messiest kitchen you’ve ever seen. I’m working on it.
A food blogger needs to be prepared for any kind of chocolate emergency.
Also, nuts. I have a lot of nuts.
My prop closet is precariously organized. Most are pieces I’ve found at Goodwill or a few antique stores and garage sales. All of my fabric is scraps I’ve bought on sale at Hobby Lobby or Hancock Fabrics with the exception of a couple nice napkins (splurge!) Here you can see this is also where I keep my large bag of stone fruits that are ripening. Super classy.
I usually take photos right after I make something. God bless summer light and the ability to take pictures at (or after) dinnertime. Still, the best light in my house just so happens to be right inside or outside my front door in the early afternoon while my kids (usually) nap. I’m a big fan of my wall there too. I often wonder what people walking by must think of me.
I set the food up on a little table and cover it with some fabric.
I shoot everything on my Nikon D60. I like it as a middle ground between a regular point and shoot camera and a top of the line DSLR. I do a lot of things differently photo-shoot-wise than other food bloggers primarily because of time constraints. I don’t take the time to set up any reflectors to bounce the light (although I should and it really wouldn’t be that difficult). I also shoot in shutter priority rather than manual mode. I don’t get a ton of light in my house so shooting manually might leave me with an underdeveloped photo. I generally know how low I can go with shutter speed holding the camera (I definitely don’t have time for a tripod) without causing visible blur. Since I’m usually going for a shallow depth of field anyways, this allows me to keep the aperture wide open and set my exposure through the shutter. I try to plan out my food styling while I’m making the dish so I don’t have to take a lot of time making decisions and setting up when it comes time to actually take the picture.
If the kids are awake while I’m taking pictures they’re usually sitting on the couch watching me or prowling around waiting for a bite of whatever it is they see. Once I’m done we all get to indulge.
I’ll usually make and photograph something (or several somethings) one day and write up the post and edit the photos another. Almost all blogging takes place during nap time or after the kids are in bed, so time is limited. I don’t have a desk or workstation, I just sit on the couch with my laptop to write and edit. If I’m just working on pictures I’m probably listening to a Homefries podcast. I’m lucky to have a husband who owns Photoshop for work, and that is what I use to edit my photos. Because of the limited nature of my photo shoots I usually end up doing extensive editing to my pictures.
I schedule my posts to go live early the next morning. That way I have time to hit social media sites while I eat breakfast. If I’ve taken the time to prepare a photo for sites like Tastespotting or Foodgawker I’ll submit them at that time as well. I’ve found that Foodgawker accepts more of my photos than Tastespotting. If you keep getting rejected don’t feel bad, they can be pretty picky/arbitrary/ridiculous in their selections. I think my most popular post ever was rejected by both sites, so you can figure that one out for me.
If for some reason I don’t have any blog work to do I’ll usually spend my kids’ nap time going through Pinterest or my RSS feed for inspiration and to support other bloggers I love. I don’t always get around to as many other blogs as I would like, but there is only so much time in the day.
That’s about it for my food blogging routine. Leave a comment if you have other questions about what I do or how I do it. Also if you’re a food blogger let me know how you fit it into your life! Definitely leave a link if you have a day in the life post so we can all stalk the heck out of you!