Lesson 30 – Decide Your Goals for Next 30 Days

30 Day Food Photos Day30

Today is the last day of 30 Days to Better Food Photos Course.

I am sure last 30 days have been exhausting for you. Every day, doing a new assignment must be quite a task.

And you still did it. So thank you for taking action. As we complete this course, I hope you realize what an achievement this has been.

I hope you learned something new about food photography in these 30 days. Some of you probably found new co-conspirators in the Facebook group.

This has been a great experience for me as well. Sharing whatever little I know about food photography and answering questions in the VIP critique sessions has helped me as well.

As we finish this 30 day course, I am sure you know that this journey of learning food photography does not end here.

As part of this course, I hope you have also taken time to understand your own challenges. As you worked through these lessons, have you started articulating where you need more practice?

As today's lesson, let's talk about learning process and then plan your next 30 days by clearly defining your goals.

Your Next 30 Day Goals

As you plan your goals for next 30 days, understand the basic learning cycle.

At the very basic level, any learning can only be complete when you are actively working on three pillars of learning - Gaining new knowledge, Taking action on the knowledge and getting feedback on your action.

Food Photography Learning Plan

As we move forward, you should expect that our food photography blog will provide a platform for all these three areas.

Step 1 - On Gaining Knowledge

Step 1 of this cycle is gaining knowledge. Learn about food photography and find resources to gain knowledge. Of course, LearnFoodPhotography.com will continue to publish more food photography and styling tutorials.

I hope you've listened to food photography interviews and read previous food photography posts.

You can of course gain more detailed knowledge from several other sources. There are food photography books, e-books, and hundreds of posts on food photography tips.

But there is more coming on LFP

We are also planning two new courses - one on natural lighting and one on how to compose a food photo. It is still in the works.

(If you would like to find out more about these courses, we will share more if you continue to be receive updates on same email where you received your 30DBFP lessons).

Step 2 - Taking Action

But just gaining knowledge is not helpful. You also need to transform that knowledge into action. How will you do that?

As we move forward, we will continue to provide more opportunities for you to take action and practice your photography. Here are two ways you can still take action even after the course is over:

1) The fastest upcoming opportunity to take action is to pick up a personal project. Pick a subject and do the study of subject. I did this for oranges some time back. Garlic was another subject. These subjects are easy to find, you don't need to cook much and are convenient for taking photographs for extended time.

2) The facebook group will continue to operate but will be exclusive to 30DBFP participants. We will be introducing monthly challenges on this group later this month. So keep an eye out there.

Step 3 - Get Feedback

The last and important step of this cycle is to get feedback. Taking action and not achieving result will only push you in a wrong direction faster.

So take feedback. But take feedback from not your friends - they will too nice. Don't take feedback from family - they probably don't know what you do with that food thing ;).

Take feedback from photographers you know and respect. Take feedback from fellow photographers.

As we said before we will continue to run the Facebook group where you can take feedback from fellow food photographers. With the monthly challenge, you will be able to see what others have done and get implicit feedback.

If you would like feedback from an even larger group, submit your photo to LFP and get feedback from LFP readers. (Like this and this).

Now the assignment.

Today's Assignment

Don't skip today's assignment. If there is any assignment that's important, this is it. Designing your own plan.

Task 1 - Define Your 30 Day Goal

Step 1 - Identify just one area that you would like to improve in next 30 days. Don't be generic, be very specific. For example don't say "I would like to learn how to style." Say " I want to learn how to style a soup".

Step 2 - Share your one goal for next 30 days in the comments below.

Task 2 - Get on LFP

Step 3 - In facebook Lesson 30album, share your best photograph from this course.  (Only share in the album, do not share on the wall. Important for step 4).

Step 4 - We will pick few photographs and photographers and feature them on LFP in coming weeks :).

Task 3 – Get Feedback

The last task for today is to choose one photograph that you would like to get feedback. To get the most benefit, submit a photograph thoughtfully. Give as much information as you can to get the most out of this feedback exercise. Submit your photograph and enter the details about it.

  • In the next 30 days I would like to learn more about new techniques in food photography. There are always changes and new things to learn about so I’ll try to find more specific blogs/websites and learn about softwares or other news.

  • In the next 30 days, I will create images designed to build my portfolio. There will be 3 specific images: 1) Prep shot with ingredients 2) A meal shot with multiple food items and 3) a frozen item such as ice cream or popsicle.

  • Bam’s Kitchen

    Thanks again Neel for hosting this wonderful course. I learned so much and have so much yet to learn. Making one goal each month is a grand idea. This month I would like to practice getting my food out of the kitchen and into natural light wherever it may be and assessing the white balance.

  • Wow, what an amazing 30 days it’s been! Thank you so much for this opportunity Neel. I can’t wait for the once a month challenges.

  • Katharina

    For the next 30 days my goal nr.1 is to reshoot some of the assignments. I know now that there are definetly some that I can improve on. I want to find some inspiration photos and try to recreate them. I definitely want to do variations of a shot, some with space for copy, some closeups, some low angles and top views. For all the assignments I used my 50mm lens. I want to experiment more with different focal lenghts.

  • Thank you Neel for this opportunity. My goal for next 30 days is to learn my new camera.

  • Thank you Neel for this wonderful opportunity into learning food photography. That was an amazing 30 days and man I did learn a few things. Lots to learn still. I the next coming 30 days I would like to learn about styling my food. When I say styling I want to learn correct choice of colors, props and their placement in photo frame that would make the photo look appealing to eyes. I also wanted to experiment more on my camera settings and try my hands on new lens. Now I’m all prepared for the month challenges.

  • Squadrilla

    Thank you Neel and all fellow “learners” for sharing knowledge, thoughts, attemps and success!
    I couldn’t complete all the task, and I know that I need to improve my technical knowledge about photography in general, but this was a very good opportunities to think about what and how photograph, and maybe even why 😉
    In my blog I usually don’t take pictures of my own food but of dishes or products made by others, so it’s not always easy choose the proper styling or light. But I’ll try to find my own “style” first of all, and then to make all the dishes/products I take picture of, to tell their story!

  • Thank you so so much Neel for this course!
    I love food photography and in this course I’ve learnt more technique about it.
    I’m Happy that will be DMBLGIT once again!!!
    And I’m very very happy to read that our FB group will continue to run! fantastic!

    My next goals will be to improve my style above all about meat, fish, but i love to study about all the elements! I love Foodstyling, too 😀

    I can’t wait for the month challenge and the other news! ^_^

  • I want to say thank you to Neel who gave us such a great opportunity to one of the most beautiful journeys. He is the best that could happen to me for this new passion of mine. I learnt a lot, I have a lot more confidence with my camera as well. Many things I already unconsciously did, others were eye-opened. I will do the lessons again with more calm, in my new home the next time. And I look forward for new challenges. Hope not to loose this wonderful group I want to say thank you to everyone of you, for commenting, liking, giving feedback and also courage to go on. THANK YOU!

  • aPathite

    Thanks Neel, I learned a lot but more importantly the lessons and photos of my collegue LBF30 photographers gave me loads of new ideas.
    Next month I will work on photographing on a white background. I first have to make a better artificial light source. Then I will experiment with it. And I might think of buying a real DSRL… and shoot RAW food.

  • Janice Pattie

    Thanks Neel. My 30 Day Goal is to make meat stews/casseroles look really good and tasty, that’s going to be a styling and a lighting issue for me I think.

  • anariva95

    Thanks for all Neel. My goal for the next 30 days is to improve taking photos in rustic and vintage style, underexposed photos, with dark background, meet props and practise combining colours for this style.

  • Ann G

    Thank you so much Neel for this course! I enjoy creating and taking pictures of food,
    I thought mine were great until I began this course. When I look at my pictures
    I can see how much I have to learn. So within the next 30 days I plan to redo
    these pictures which will give me chance to incorporate the techniques I’ve
    learnt in this course. I also plan to purchase some photography supplies which
    will help to develop my skills. This
    course has been an inspiration to me.

  • flavorsandcolorsbyaparna

    Many many thanks Neel LFP for these lessons that too free … My goals for next 30 days .. first two weeks I would like to revisit Lessons on light modifiers, elements of composition and harmony and balance and practice them again. Last two weeks will be style your food with an expert: { third week I will deconstruct food photos [7 photos] take notes, and then reshoot them in 4th week]. Thank you to all fellow members for giving your feedback and posting your photos which in turn was a motivation for me to just do it … Happy Clicking!

  • Linda @ foodinpixels.com

    For the next month I would like to improve the garnishing on my dishes and in specific I’ll work on salads and soups.
    Thanks a lot Neel and LFP, this 30 days challenge was very useful and it gave me a lot of motivation! I’ll tell everyone I know about LFP and the amazing workshops you offer!
    Grazie e ciao!

  • For the next 30 days, I will practice color harmony in my styling in relationship with natural light . I will have to make salad.

    Feedback: this lesson has been very helpful . I learned to take risk in manipulating the light and not be afraid to share my amateur work because I know that I will not be judged. I realise that I still have so many things to learn . Thank you so much, Neel for this chance and please keep me updated.

  • This was a great experience – thanks to Neel and all the other participants who offered feedback and criticism. I was constantly amazed at how awesome everyone’s photos were and pleasantly surprised by my own work.

    I really want to work on my plating food – I feel like I really have trouble making good food look good. This is styling but when I think of many foods that may not be that easy to photograph I sort of give up and don’t try. Then I’ll see a photo in the Facebook group of that food and saw “wow” that’s how I should have done it. It was a great experience and I think i’ll review the lessons as well and remind myself of what to do and what not to do.

    Thanks again!

  • Karen Hall Sarraga

    Thank you for a well structured and educational course. Although I was unable to complete most of the assignments because life got in the way I did follow along, reading and thinking about the assignments and commenting with feedback too. Some assignments covered areas I felt I was doing well already (White Balance, props, napkins, post processing) and others I really want to pursue. On the top of that list is the story telling series and working on the garnishing to add that extra touch. Sometimes I do that successfully and other times not so much.

    My 30 day goal is to do at least 2 photo sessions that are preceded by working out the story and compiling a shot list.

  • Shippi p

    Thank You Neel !!! I started your course as total
    novice and learned loads of stuff. My goal for next 30 days is play with ‘light’ and ‘angle’
    I also want to gather few props that will define my ‘point of view’ I can make any food look like a feast to eyes but I am not able to capture that in photos and that will be my focus .. thank you for sharing your knowledge .. May GOD bless you !!!! Wishing you loads of success

  • Yesibeth

    I want to start by thanking Neel to create this window to teach and help us become better in this area. Thank you all for being so nice and make good comments about my work and the work of all, I think we were a good team.
    My goal is to improve my composition: use more props, better use of backgrounds, preparing food for images, use DOF … well, do a better job LOL. I’ll have to work extra lighting, but one step at a time. Best wishes to all!

  • Thanks Neel for the wonderful opportunities presented through out the course and after whilst gaining a sense of belonging to a group each working towards a common goal and yet each having our own projects. My goal for the next 30 days would be to practice DOF, plating and styling and table propping to achieve a image of great composition. Again thank you Neel.

  • Rinda Koban

    Thank you Neel for these free lessons. I’ve learned a lot about food photography which is not as easy as I thought before. In the next 30 days I would like to learn more about styling drinks like smoothie, juice (about the props,garnish;etc).

  • I would like to style photograph an icy drink—so well that it makes the viewer thirsty!

  • Sandy

    Neel, I can’t express my gratitude enough. Thank you again! Many thanks to all the participants as well, especially for your feedback. With fall and winter quickly approaching, my primary goal is to learn how to work with artificial lighting, so that I may continue to produce quality photos. However, I will continue my journey with composition and styling.

  • Elena

    Thank you Neel, you are a generous man. In the next 30 days I would like to learn more about food photography with black background.

  • Meghan

    I’d like to continue to work on depth of field pictures, playing around with the different apertures and improve. I’d also like to work on my story telling skills. The course has been great. Thank you! Thank you!

  • Sonja

    Hi Neel. Again, thank you for your time in prepping this course! I feel like I am totally a different photographer than I was a month ago, and definitely better than I was a year ago. One of my goals to start working on soon (probably 45 days because of when the sun goes down in Western Washington of the Pacific Coast of the United States of America) is how to take food pics indoors after the sun goes down.

  • Linda Thornbrugh

    I want to work on food styling for crockpot meat dishes. Crockpot meat looks so bland and brownish.

  • Natalie McDermott

    The two main areas I was struggling with before the course were lighting and styling. For the next 30 days I really want to focus on lighting. I plan on retaking photos for a work project, which including food items for lunchboxes. In particular, for the next 30 days I want to work on the photos from the recipe book and focus on the lighting.
    My goal for the next 30 days is to practise lighting.