Lesson 7 – Week 1 Wrap Up

Welcome to Day 7. One week is over and we’ve discussed many ways to improve your food photo.

In this 30 day challenge, every seventh day is a catch up day. This will give you a chance to look back and review what you have learned.

If you have missed any of the assignments or want more time to complete them, today is a good day to do that.

Today is also a day to take a break from learning anything new and to make sure you that in last 6 days you have made progress. Today is also the time to discuss a topic with your fellow participants and teach each other.

Oh yes!! There is a Day 7 assignment. The purpose though, is not to make you take more photos, but rather to make you think and discuss with other participants.

To start today’s day let’s recap what we learned this week:

Lesson 1 – Study Outstanding Food Photos

Lesson 2 – Decide Food Photography Subjects

Lesson 3 – Find the Camera Angle 

Lesson 4 – Tell Your Story with Depth of Field (dof)

Lesson 5 – Construct the Frame 

Lesson 6 – Write Your Food Photo Story

Let’s look at the assignment and tasks associated with that.

Today’s Assignment

Time estimated – 15-20 mins

Today’s assignment is focused on making sure that whatever you’ve learned, you are able to internalize and digest it before we move forward. So this assignment does not involve taking a food photograph, but rather making sure you are taking the right steps, and day by day getting better.

Today there are three specific tasks each with a different purpose. Let’s look at them one by one.

Task 1 – Progress Update

The purpose of this task is to make sure you are spending few minutes and reviewing the progress you’ve made and the challenge you’ve encountered.

To start your own progress update, go to this link.

Task 2 – Weekly Discussion

The fastest way to grow your food photography skills is to learn with a group of friends. Weekly discussion will help you learn from each other. The purpose here is very simple – discuss one topic with other readers.

In the comments below, share your thoughts on this week's topic: The food subject that is challenging for me… and why? Share what type of dish is challenging for you and what makes it challenging?

As you start this discussion, read what other readers are saying and what is challenging for them. If you have experience in that subject, share how you have approached this subject.

Task 3 – Your Photo of The Week

This past week you’ve taken lot of photos. The last task this week is to upload your best food photo from this last week in the facebook album.  [Important: You will need to be a group member to see the album page. Please make sure you have requested access for the Course Facebook group, without this you won’t be able to see any of the lesson albums].

  • Fernando

    So far I think this is my best photo for this course.

  • Sharon

    This course has been a real eye-opener for me. There have been several days that I’ve struggled with, most notably composition and story-telling. I see other people’s pictures and I can see a story in them but trying to create my own story is quite difficult. Anyway, as they say, practice makes perfect. I think this is my best photo from Week One. I don’t think it’s a particularly great picture, but it is an example of how much I’ve learned this week. Thanks everyone for sharing your pictures and creating such a supportive environment. It’s been a great week and I’m looking forward to the next three 🙂

    • Sandra

      Great pic – and yes we’re learning a lot here! It’s a good course! 🙂

  • julietaarias

    My friend Emilse gave me this super healthy tart as a gift so I don’t have to prepare dinner because I had my second child one month ago. She is a chef and has a new business of healthy lunches in SF and, I work as her food photographer. The tart looked so beautiful and natural that I took a photo outside on a tree trunk with some leaves moving with the wind and a zucchini flower that pairs with the pumpkin flowers of the tart. I also tried to show that the tart is very natural and healthy by placing it on a trunk where the cracks share the same nature pattern of the flowers on the tart.

    • …Lovely! were in San Francisco is her place?

    • Sandra

      I love how you have presented this – it looks so rustic and inviting!
      And how lucky you are to have such a good friend 🙂

    • Claudia Briandi

      Very nice photo, invited to lunch

    • Kris Giamouridou

      Hi Julie! I like the consept of a natural looking scenery.Can I ask you a question, cause I realy love pumpkin flowers. Aren’t they getting dried if you place them on top of the tart as your friend did with the recipe? Thank you

      • julietaarias

        I think that she previously cooked the dough so when the filling with the flowers on top were not a long time in the oven. The filling has eggs and milk and the flowers were in it, so that may help keep them from drying. Hope it helps!

        • most of the time with tarts you par bake the dough then add the filling. That way you avoid soggy dough on the bottom.

    • One let me say Congrats on the new baby addition 🙂 Second I LOVE SF! lol – I wish I could live there, and to the subject on hand haha – I love your picture. it’s rustic and absolutely beautiful. The tart looks amazing, so give your friend major kudos for that 🙂

  • I’ve always struggled with the “overhead” food shot. They never look appealing to me…. I very rarely want to dive into what’s being presents. Any suggestions on overcoming this??

    Also I felt kind of “rushed” this week but now knowing the timing on when the assignments will be coming in (or approximately anyway) will help in my planning for the coming weeks.

    I like the onions that I took the first day, altho the lighting needs work.

    • Guest

      Hi Debi. Either your light bulbs are ”yellow” and they ”bring” a yellowish effect or the white balance should have been changed to avoid this. About the overhead shoots… practice makes you perfect… 😉

      • it’s the lighting in the kitchen, hurrying to get this done and not checking the white balance vs the lighting. I know practice will make things better but I guess it’s also the setup which I’m never happy with. any tips there??

  • Sandy

    While all of this is new to me, I have to agree with Sharon, this class has really been an eye-opener. I have learned a lot within this week and look forward to learning more. The pictures posted for the first week were great, so I can not wait to see what unfolds for the remaining challenge. As I continue to practice, I look forward to my skill set developing further. Here is my best picture for week one. Although I found the last lesson somewhat challenging, the end result was beautifully communicated.

    • Sandra

      I love this.. looks like my sunday afternoon 😉

      • Hi Sandra, Delicious colours. and imaginative composition. I would like to see the photograph without the wine bottle in the background.

      • Sandy

        Thank you for your kind words…..I am glad you can relate to my story! 🙂

  • Sandy

    I appears that my picture did not upload, so here it is again.

  • Guest

    Hi everyone!
    Firstly, thank you Neel for such a lovely space for us all. I have been super busy and just caught up with the first week now. I started this journey in order to learn something new so that could improve my food photography skills for a tiny blog i started on instagram, and boy have i learnt things i never thought of before. Here’s a shot of an almond and coffee cake we made this week, and a lemon drizzle cake that we tried out too. (Yes, i chose cake for my subject. Hehe). I thought these were my best shots, would love to hear the feedback in order to improve myself more! 🙂

  • ApaAli

    Hi everyone,

    Firstly, thank you Neel for such a lovely space for us all. I have been super busy and just caught up with the first week now. I started this journey in order to learn something new, and boy have i learnt things i never thought of before. Here’s a shot of an almond and coffee cake we made this week, and a lemon drizzle cake that we tried out too. (Yes, i chose cake for my subject. Hehe). I thought these were my best shots, would love to hear the feedback in order to improve myself more! 🙂

  • Well, pretty sure I’m NOT taking the right steps, but I am very pleasantly surprised at how much I am getting out of the “challenge” – Thanks Neel….

    Shot of the Week:

  • Ambrosia Pardue-Lee

    The food subject that is challenging for me: Shooting food with a white “table”. I am still learning about light so I’m not sure how to photograph food on a white “table” well. One of my posts was with a white “table” with a lot of color on top, but I still wasn’t that pleased with the results.

    • Ambrosia Pardue-Lee

      I also really liked this photo, feedback on both are appreciated!

      • Kris Giamouridou

        Hi Ambrosia! Your subject is delicious. I like quinoa, avocado wraps, but it could have been more appealing if you tried to use different props. First of all this textile is really-really distracting. The eye goes ”boom” there… 🙁 and the way you placed your subject is like a huge pile of ingredients. The think I love in your pic is the plate, the textile and the food–>individually! Pls do not misunderstand my comments, I bet next time you can do better… 😉

    • Kris Giamouridou

      As you said, light is the key and you really have to practice. I can understand from this picture that the ”problem” is the bulbs you use and how you manipulate the room’s light. Did you take this picture in the afternoon?

      • Ambrosia Pardue-Lee

        No, I only shoot after I make dinner.

        What would yo u suggest?

        • Kris Giamouridou

          Since your are shooting only after dinner (dark), you have to think the option to use artificial light. Cheap equipment in affordable prices is saled on the internet. Maybe a soft box, or 2 lights, a diffuser. These are the basic you will need to enhance your photography. Or ”play” with the ISO and your composition settings. Higher ISO number in dark situations help, but it creates grains. Hope I helped you a bit…

  • Katriina Mueller

    This would be my favourite from this weeks challenges: Construct The Frame – lesson 5.
    I love the colours with the vein and barnacle looking details on the pumpkin. I would definitely change the DoF to include more of the stem though.

    • I love the simplicity of the photo. The colors are just perfect.

    • Hi Katrina, really nice. I just want to keep looking at those barnacles. The image have a warm autumn feel to it and a sense of abundance.

      • Thanks Annalisa, I agree; the barnacles are are a nice distraction I think.

    • Kris Giamouridou

      I disagree… the barnacles is part of the pumpkin’s nature and every subject can’ t be perfect. Those small little details make the difference.

      • Absolutely agree Kris, it’s the idiosyncrasies that can transform a simple image.

    • julietaarias

      I love the lighting, it soft but it has some drama also

    • Sandy

      Really like the simplicity and color of the photograph.

  • Anne Livingston

    My favorite from the week: Lesson 6 — Writing Your Food Photo Story. I like the angles, the textures, and how the colors are moody and restrained and rustic. It’s a different look than I’ve done in the past, but one I have admired. It feels good to move out of comfort zones!

    For the other part of the assignment (task 2), regarding my most difficult subject, I’d say in general it is beets, and specifically beet soups/borscht. Getting the color true can be tough for me, for some reason. As a soup, it reads like blood sometimes. (!)

    • I love the improvised plates. For me it evokes some grape harvesting women who have a break to eat some selfmade cheese.

    • I love the fall mood of this shot. Nice textures and lovely colors! Well done!

      • Anne Livingston

        Thank you, Aniko!

  • For me the most difficult so far have been the overhead shots and composition of the food on the picture. I am hoping practicing the story of the picture will help overcome this. Normally I have taken the picture with a small dof and from one side, and that is also still my favourite shot from this week as well – lesson 6, telling the story. So in the end I still went with what I know I could make look good. I tried couple of overhead shots with this composition too,but they just weren’t good. I am hoping by the end of this course I have practiced and practiced and get good with those as well.
    Thanks everyone

  • Alain Meessen

    I choosed a picture that i didn’t post but i like it because of the point of view and the shadow of the red basil.

    • shikha Bhatia


    • Sandy

      Simple but absolutely beautiful!!!

  • Challenging for me was taking photo of bolognese. Just look how many bad photos are there on the internet. I love to eat it, but it looks like s… on my pictures. So I think this is my best from last week: I have not post it jet here.

  • Sandra

    Hi, well we have completed week one.. I did fill in the questions and gave my opinion of this course so far.. which has been awesome for me – I am learning a LOT.

    I also mentioned.. that I feel somewhat left out.. ie are a lot of you ‘friends’ outside of the course? I am noticing some threads are really long.. and some of us who are struggling are not getting any feedback. I would love feedback, as it will help me to correct my mistakes, and see where I could be improving.

    This isn’t a whinge.. it’s merely a suggestion – and I’m sure I’m not the only one here who is feeling this. Any ideas? BTW keep up the good work.. I am loving seeing what you’re all doing.. and trying to comment but feeling like perhaps I shouldn’t.. 🙂

    • Sandra

      Oh and my favorite pic.. really isn’t much to do with food and wasn’t taken this week – I was not proud of any of them.. but here is a wine glass photo I took a while back that I do love.. with water and food colouring being dropped into it. The reflection in the glass is my outdoor patio area – I took this from my kitchen.

      • Alina Kun Gazda

        I think I would have loved to see the glass on the kitchen table or somewhere in your hues not on a white background and the frame around it is a bit to much it takes your eyes away from the subject.

      • Sandy

        Reflections are great! Love the picture but I think your frame is a bit distracting. However, depending on what the picture is used for it would be appropriate. Also, I totally agree with your previous post about everyone needing feedback. I certainly understand how you as feel because it seems as if you were reading my mind. Anyway, keep up the good work!

    • Alina Kun Gazda

      Totally agree with you Sandra. Everybody should get some feedback, we are all struggling with something at some point. Why else did you sign up for this?

    • Chantal Tellier

      I totally agree with you we are struggling

  • OM

    Good morning! Of all the photos I took, I like this one, featuring my yesterday waffles 🙂 Have a great sunday, everyone!

    • Sarah Linden

      Great shot! I was sharing some of our class’s photos with my sister and mom–both of them said a shot from this series that you took looked like a photo from Southern Living. Huge compliment. I believe it was the first one you published in the storytelling assignment.

  • Kairit

    Hi everyone! I really, really enjoyed this first week, and learned a lot. Your comments to my photos were so helpful. And I learned watching your photos and reading comments to those too. Telling a story with a photo was new and a struggle to me. I always wanted to do that, just didn`t know how. The trick is – just do it! And you will get better at this eventually.

    This photo was taken during the day 4, depth of field assignment. All pictures were taken, I was cleaning the kitchen. As I removed these glasses to the other table, I noticed this beautiful glow of morning light through them. And I took this picture.

    • Hi Kairit, I really like this, cool and refreshing. The lighting is lovely.

      • Kairit

        Thank you Annalisa 🙂

    • Kris Giamouridou

      I agree with Annalisa, but I have to add a small detail. First of all I love the freshness captured on the glasses. On the other hand this little hole on the bottom left of your wooden board is a bit distracting… 🙁

      • Kairit

        Thank you Kris. I thought about this hole – whether to let it be in the picture or not, However, I decided to leave it there. Because in my opinion, this shows that it is a cutting board not a table, and explains all these splashes of lime juice around the glasses.

    • Katharina

      I really like this photo. But I have to disagree with Kris. That hole of the cutting board for me is part of the story. It tells me the glasses are actually still standing on a cutting board, the lemons are freshly cut and the drink is just prepared.

      • Kairit

        Thank you Katharina. This was my thought too. 🙂

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      Love the light that you captured here. Soft and airy. This shouts summer time, very refreshing drink! Now I want some to wet my whistle!

      • Kairit

        Thanks Mary. This picture makes me thirsty too 🙂

  • Tina

    This is my Photo of the week – although it was a very tricky one, with all the different shades of white and different textures 🙂

    • aPathite

      Beautiful composition! What is written on the ‘straw-signs’, makes me curious 😉

      • Tina

        😉 as this was a thank you gift – there was exactly this written 😉

        • Lovely! A very beautiful shot, and the cake looks just amazing. Well done 🙂

    • HI Tina, Good job with white on white. This is something I am interested in. I tend towards lots using lots of colour so I am looking forward to testing myself with more neutral tones and I think you have done a great job here. One thought I have is that there could have been a little breathing room between the white currants and the cake plate.

      • Yeah agree just slightly more breathing room.

      • Tina

        Thank you- i have also another one with more Space, but this Looks to me a Bit empty

    • Alina Kun Gazda

      Great job.There’s not much to comment on it because is absolutely gorgeous

    • Yeah absolutely fantastic shot, however, just slightly off.

      • Tina

        Off the Center???

        • No the angle – it’s not straight. From the left – the first wooden section differs in width from the top and the bottom, the bottom being wider. For those of us (me and Harrison Ford hahah!! ) that have a plum eye, would find that totalling distracting, we would see that before the cake, that’s how bad it is – I had to write you, hope you don’t mind, otherwise. 10/10.

    • Totaly amazing ! The compostion, colors, the way I feel when I look at this picture is so great. This is a perfect shot !

      • Tina

        Thank you so much!

    • Kris Giamouridou

      Congrats Tina, I really like your photo!
      Could you pls give me some advice on photographing subjects like cakes, cookies, bread, anything baked with golden brown colour. For example what type of white balanace you’ve chosen for this pic, what kind of props you use, etc. Thank you in advance…

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      Lovely color combinations, great job!

    • It came out great, and I love the background

  • I like this course very much because it – as said before – an eye-opener (A story? for cheese?) And besides that I see so many beautiful photos of all of you. And they influence me a lot.
    My photo of the week is the one with the flying blackberry. I shot at least 50 pics to catch a flying one 🙂 My son was really very patient. (Thanks David!) And I want to show another one I like very much, here I wanted to catch that “Old-Master”-feeling, which I have see on some of your pictures.

    • Lovely whimsical photograph.

    • Alina Kun Gazda

      I like the idea of this shot but I think is shot a bit too tight. Did you tried a bit wider?

  • It was a wonderful first week, sometimes eye-opening (A story? For cheese?) and most of the time inspiring. I saw so many good photos which I try to reach. So I started to read the manual of my camera 🙂
    My photo of the week ist the one with the flying blackberry. (Thank you David for your patience. It took me about 50 shots to catch a flying one. Why didn’t I use photoshop?) And I wanted to show you my try with the garlic. I am still working on that to get this “Old-Master”-feeling.

    • aPathite

      It is worth the 50 shots. I’m also in doubt if I should use post-processing. I you can shoot it perfect why not do so? I would like to see replies of other participants about photoshop, Lr development tricks and other digital darkroom tricks. When should we use it? and should we mention it if we post-processed the image?

      • For me, post processing can help me to make my subject more appealing and more stand out. That means,

    • Elis, wow.. your flying blackberry is a great idea.! I love it! If you do have a flash, it would be easier to make such flying pic 🙂
      .. or shoot with a quick time.
      But hey, your 50 shots worthed!

    • Beautiful, noticed the reflection of the garlic has more texture than the actual garlic itself, could try reflecting a black card onto the garlic to bring out more of the textures.

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      Wow! You did an amazing job to freeze motion with your blackberry!! I also LOVE your burst of red on the dark surface with your garlic and onion image, and the reflection is awesome!!

    • Kairit

      Love the garlic picture. I haven`t seen this before. And this flying blackberry is still my favourite!

  • I find two subjects particularly challenging when taking photos of food. One of them is homemade ice cream: you have to arrange the setting in advance, try the lights etc., because there is not much time for arrangements and for experimenting with several angles once the ice cream has been scooped. You have only some minutes when the ice cream has the ideal consistency: it is not frozen hard, but still not melted completely. The other challenging subject for me is moulded filled chocolates that are very shiny.
    You can find my favourite photo of the week attached. I like its colours, I think the background with its interesting texture and the lilac clay plate match the cocoa beans and nibs nicely, while the lighter colour of the old books can emphasize the small plate to some extent.

    • I love the colours in your image. Just lovely.

    • Kris Giamouridou

      I can’t agree more… ice cream photoshoot is really challenging. What advice would you give to a person who is struggling with photos that the subject is dark and brown (light, props, etc….) Thank you.

      • I think it all depends on what mood or feeling you want to capture. Darker brown subjects (like chocolate) combined with darker props can achieve a more rustic effect, while darker subjects with lighter props seem to me more elegant. For example, here I have darker subjects (desserts) photographed on white background as part of an elegant setting: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pralineparadise/11055155285/; while here the composition in all dark colours has a more rustic effect: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pralineparadise/13958723879/.

        • Kris Giamouridou

          Thank you Zsuzasanna for your information… You’ve been really helpful! I saw you blog and will try to make this recipe and translate it in google… 😀 https://www.flickr.com/photos/pralineparadise/9322629744/in/photostream/

          • Great shot 🙂

          • Guest

            It Zsusasanna’s photo 😉

          • Kris Giamouridou

            It is Zsusasanna’s photo 😉

        • Very true. Both pictures are great, but I am a sucker for rustic so I love picture number 2 heh

        • I like both. They convey different moods. In the first one the food stands out and in the rustic setting it combines with the rest of the props. Beautifully done!

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      Great composition. I like all the elements of textures that you brought to your image.
      I don’t think I will ever try ice cream….well not just yet!! I’m not too sure which is harder, whip cream or ice cream. I tried to capture whipped cream on my cappuccino and the cream deflated so quickly. it was not a pretty site LOL

      • Yeah, you are right, whipped cream is another tricky subject or a souffle!

    • Oh my Gosh, it’s amazing Zsuzsi!!! I’m in love with these colors 🙂

  • When I look back on this week, I think this is my best photo. A big thank you, to Neel, for this amazing learning course, I really love it:)
    My biggest challenge is to style a photo and tell the story… And i found another thing, I need to deal with. I dont know, what is my style of photography. Do you think, you have your own style? If yes, what is typical for you? How did you find it?

    • I like think of style more of what I like, what I like is my style if you get me – I know what I defiantly don’t like – that’s just my style. I like your style, the complimentary colours – grey and red, green and red. The different textures you use the dish and onion. I like the balance of your composition too.

  • aPathite

    My biggest challenge was to use props in photos and get away from the 0 degree angle. Normaly I just take pictures to illustrate my ‘kitchen lab food science’ papers. I can make them more interesting with some variation in props and angles.

    I choose the picture I made in lesson 6 that tells the story in the most explicit manner. More than black tea! (about sugar as carrier for aroma that is hidden in tea bags with tea blends).

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      Love the deep dark effect that you captured here! Great lighting……I love how you captured your light and highlighted your subject and the surrounding elements, I like the reflection that you caught also.
      I love a good cup of Earl Gray, either loose or from a bag, but I never saw a gadget like this before, pretty interesting tool. What does it do?

      • aPathite

        Mary Pavona Taylor thank you! The divice in front is a folding magnifying glass (jewelry loupe). I used it to separate the tiny sugar grains from the ‘tea dust’. I also shot the grains trough the glass with a blurry background. To highlight the subjects I blocked part of the light.

      • aPathite

        @marypavonataylor:disqus thank you! The gadget is a folding magnifying glass (jewellers loupe). I used it to separate the sugar grains from the tea. I also shot a few photos through the magnifying glass, but the background was too far out of focus.

  • I photographed this one for a test recipe this week. I like the photo and yet I am not completely sure that the eye is drawn to the main subject: the veggie dish in the bowl. I think the tomatoes frame the dish but also distract the eye a little. I do like the circle of the bowl mirrored by the circle in the wood of the background.

    Soups and stews are certainly a challenge. Salads also can be tricky for me.

  • Bam’s Kitchen

    Thanks again Neel for putting this together! Also thanks to others for their kind and constructive feedback this week. I found the most difficult topic was creating and telling a story with your photo. I have not ever thought of taking pictures of my food as telling a story, maybe that is what the problem has been all along.
    Taking a little break from studying Chinese…The first difficult part of this photo was first licking off all of the almond butter off my fingers so I did not get any on my camera and the second was being able to focus the camera without my reader glasses that were part of the prop. Feedback?

  • Guest

    Last week was amazing in terms of learning.Faced many challenges & got solution to some too. Learned a new way to look at food.

    1. The problem I face in most my photos is to get it sharp.Would really appreciate if someone can tell me the solution to get it right.this pic was taken at f4.5, 1/60s, ISO200 from canon 55-250mm kit lens.

    2.Composition,lighting and using right props is one field I need to practice a lot.

    I like this picture taken during our previous assignment but didn’t use it for 2 reasons
    a. I couldn’t get the hot coffee effect.
    b. Its grainy

    • shikha Bhatia

      why is my picture showing as guest.

  • Marissa O’Donnell

    This is my favorite shot so far, simple and just a highllght on my subject fruits

    • Really really like this – very Donna Hay-ish.

      • Marissa O’Donnell

        Thank you for comment Gado Gado

    • Katharina

      I like the simplicity of this shot. It looks so refreshing. If this pic was on a restaurant menu it would definitely be my choice for dessert

      • Marissa O’Donnell

        Thank you Katharina!

  • shikha Bhatia

    Last week was amazing in terms of learning.Faced many challenges & got solution to some too. Learned a new way to look at food.Thanks Neel for designing the course so well. Only thing I feel is its too short to complete 1 assignment a day, specialy when you want to get a good photo and not just click for sake of finishing the task on time.

    1. The problem I face in most my photos is to get it sharp.Would really appreciate if someone can tell me the solution to get it right.this pic was taken at f4.5, 1/60s, ISO200 from canon 55-250mm kit lens.

    2.Composition,lighting and using right props is one field I need to practice a lot.

    I like this picture taken during our previous assignment but didn’t use it for 2 reasons

    a. I couldn’t get the hot coffee effect.

    b. Its grainy

    • Kris Giamouridou

      Sometimes I face the same problem…. I think the solution is the shutter speed combined with the light. I watched some video’s on youtube, that helped me a bit, but I am not expert to explane. The thing here in the pic is that (in my opinion) you focused on the wrong objects. Forgive me if I am wrong, it seems that the chocolate waffle sticks and some other points are in focus…

      • shikha Bhatia

        Thanks Kris for your feedback. I kept my focus point in the middle of coffee but still it seems to be less in focus as compared to waffle

  • Alina Kun Gazda

    First of all I’m very happy that I sign up for this course.It really makes you take action not only think that would be nice to do this and that.This week was a bit of a struggle for me because I called into the habit of taking photos on the go ,never planning ahead, not thinking to much about the shot. Today I can say I learned to slow down, to take my time, to think ahead. And after only one week I can see a lot of progress in my work.
    This is my favourite photo of the week (Lesson 4).I think the colours complement each other, I like the shallow DOF and it just invites you to eat.

  • Guest

    Hi Guys was trying to achieve steaming coffee effect since last week finally managed to get one.

  • shikha Bhatia

    Hi Guys was trying to achieve steaming coffee effect since last week finally managed to get one.So would rate it as one of my best shot till now.

    • shikha Bhatia

      sorry for repeated post , having problem loading it.

  • Julie Benz

    I chose this image, as it reminds me of the story of me picking so many blackberries over the past few weeks, reminds me of my own challenge of taking something so dark. I thought I might overcome through using some frozen blackberries, (tin in background) but this turned into a different challenge of capturing the frostiness before the ice melted in our 34C heat, after which the berries turned red and maybe look odd? Anyway, I find appealing the balance of textures in the shot and think that this is something for me to consider more in future, such as next time, if I had kept a sprig of blackberries with leaves or a blackberry flower blossom…

  • Julie Benz

    Sorry, now with pic…I chose this image, as it reminds me of the story of me picking so many blackberries over the past few weeks, reminds me of my own challenge of taking something so dark. I thought I might overcome through using some frozen blackberries, (tin in background) but this turned into a different challenge of capturing the frostiness before the ice melted in our 34C heat, after which the berries turned red and maybe look odd? Anyway, I find appealing the balance of textures in the shot and think that this is something for me to consider more in future, such as next time, if I had kept a sprig of blackberries with leaves or a blackberry flower blossom…

    • Kris Giamouridou

      I can’t agree more…. something green like the leaves or white would have ”broke” the darkness of the fruits. I must say though I am jealous of you… so many fresh blackberries 😀

      • Julie Benz

        Hi Kris, thanks…always room to improve…after this mornings new scratches, I have to admit defeat with the realisation that the blackberry season has almost ended… but now to consider how to use the boxes stashed in the freezer. I just saw on a facebook posting an amazing chocolate and blackberry pavlova and so I in turn have pavlova envy…

        • Kris Giamouridou

          Thumbs up 😀

  • Well, I’m still stuck on Day 4. I can’t figure out how to adjust my depth of field with a smartphone camera.

    • Chef Sank

      What smartphone are you using?

      • Samsung Galaxy S3

        • Chef Sank

          Well depending on how you want your dof to be, short or wide, you can press and hold the capture botton. This should automaticlly make your camera focus on your subject and blur everything around it. If you dont hold it, it gives you a wide shot that clearly shows everything in the picture. Just make sure your setting is not on multi/continous shot…

  • Chef Sank

    Good day all. I am so glad I signed up for this course because every lesson i’m learning something new. All of your pictures are great and they keep me motivated. Through out the week I really liked this picture and I thought I should share it with you. Although there isn’t much of a story, it makes me want to reach through the screen and eat the cupcake up!! My biggest problem this week was lesson 5, constructing a frame. I didn’t really understand what was meant by it. But nevertheless this is a fantastic course 🙂

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      I love the elegance you captured here (well at least to me) Very pretty!

  • Guest

    Really enjoyed my week and very happy that I signed up. The assignement I had more fun with was lesson 4. The lesson I struggled the most was lesson 6 getting good lighting and narrowing down to one story. Here is my favorite picture this week.

  • Chantal Tellier

    I had a great time this week just trying a lot of photos. I am new to the photography world and have a lot to learn. I struggled a lot on lesson 6 because I had too many ideas and just couldn t really stay on one. I enjoyed lesson 4 here is my favorite picture

  • Creadora de Imágenes

    my goal is to leave as closed the scenes with spotlights so close to the product and build a real scenario. I hope that after three weeks remaining serve me to compare this picture. It’s cute, is what I liked most this week, but at the end of this course will be the least that I will like. I hope !.

  • Katharina

    My biggest challenge so far was definitely to think of a story to tell with my photo. I think that definitely makes me plan my photo more carefully and will make a big difference how I look at photos. Also thinking about the frame before hand has thought me that a photo composed for a vertical frame will not necessarily work for a horizontal frame.

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      Very lovely! Your photo is very warm and inviting!
      I too struggled with story telling, it is going to make me slow down and actually plan and compose my photo.

      • Katharina

        I am happy you like it Mary

    • Yesibeth

      I agree with you … the composition is different for horizontal than vertical images. Beautiful picture!

      • Katharina

        Thank you for your kind comment Yesibeth

    • Sandy

      Love the colors and composition of the picture. It is framed nicely and tells a good story. Great picture!!

      • Katharina

        Thank you Sandy. Getting feedback is so inspiring

    • Wow, really nice job! I can just feel the harmony transmitted by the picture,

      • Katharina

        Thank you Zsuzsanna for your kind words

    • Sarah Linden

      This is one of my favorite photos of the course so far. All the blues compliment each other so well. And the browns, too. I want to jump in the photo and bake with you. So pretty!

      • Katharina

        Sarah Thank you for this great compliment! I really appreciate it.

    • Sandra

      Love this image, very nicely set up and love the use of colour

      • Katharina

        Thank you Sandra. I love to experiment with colour. With this image I was actually surprised how warm it looks even though using blue.

  • These lessons came in the right time to me and I am very, very happy I signed in. It’s longer time I say I want to do a food photography course. And this one is great!
    I have learnt a lot about myself because some things I already did unconsciously. Frame and story telling. But consciously both is much easier to realize now because I now know the question (what is the story I want to tell?)
    The best photo this week is for me this lemon tart in the garden when the wind blew up the napkin. I look at it and feel the breeze.
    I am intimidated a little because nearly all of you here are so great in food photography. Amazing photos, stories, ideas. You are all so inspiring! Thank you!!!!
    My biggest difficult this week was the dof. Don’t know why I struggle with that, but think because I am still not too confident with my camera.

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      This is so pretty! I love your color choices, they all go so well together especially with your amazing background (DOF). I do believe you nailed DOF here!

    • Alessandro

      Hi mate, i’ m with you this is a great ocasion to learn food photography and pay attention to what i , unconsciously, do everytime on The camera back side! I find also great to share shot’s and opinions with people has my same passion!
      Thank you all for your energy and passion.se are growing togheter

  • Claudia Briandi

    La foto que mas me gusta de la semana pasada es esta. Me gusta la sencillez, el color y la luz.
    The photo that I like about this last week is. I like the simplicity, color and light.

    • Mary Pavona Taylor

      Great light hitting your subject. I like the purple egg plant against the black, very dramatic.

      • Claudia Briandi

        Thanks Mary

      • Claudia Briandi

        Thank you Mary!

    • I can see why you like this one. It is very pretty and simple!

      • Claudia Briandi

        thanks Theresa

      • Claudia Briandi

        Thank you Theresa!

    • Sandy

      Very nice composition. Love it!

      • Claudia Briandi

        Thank you Sandy!

    • Sarah Linden

      Love this photo as much as the first time I saw it! The colors and texture are intriguing.

      • Claudia Briandi

        Thank you Sarah!

    • Marina Proniakova

      a good decision, love it!

      • Claudia Briandi

        Thank you Marina!

    • Great shot! love it

      • Claudia Briandi

        Thank you Kristin!

    • awesome shot, I love it, I want to try like this one

      • Claudia Briandi

        Thank you Jayasri! 🙂

  • Mary Pavona Taylor

    I’ve seen some beautiful images this past week!! Thanks for the eye candy guys!!!

    I fell so behind on this weeks assignments, sorry for not being active and participating with the group. A big issue is my full time job at the hospital, and following what day we were on, so that being said, I would like to use this wrap up day to post the days I missed (just 2) 🙂

    Day 3 finding the angle……on this image I shot 15 different angles and found that my favorite with this project was at 0 degree.

    Day 5 framing…..framing was a challenge for me, with the framing I personally prefer landscape (horizontal) verses portrait (vertical), here goes my two favorite from day 5

    Wrap up…. my favorite from the week is my strawberries with the dark background.

    My main challenge this week was LIGHTING, angle and telling a story behind what I was shooting, I know that angle and telling a story will get better as the weeks go along. I also knew I needed to do something about the lighting situation going on in my house ASAP! So I decided to rearrange my spare room, I now I have great light and space to play with!!!! I am a happy girl!!!

    Looking forward to seeing more great images, and participating more!!!!

    Thanks for looking

  • mlplouff

    I struggle with overhead photos. This is the one I like best.

    • Guest

      not that I see the photo …

      • I see the photo. It’s a bowl with food and a lemon.

        • mlplouff

          There’s a time delay in uploading the photo, I now realize. Thanks for your so not helpful reply.

          • I honestly thought you could not see it. I apologize if you we’re offended. There were other people in the past couple of days who were having trouble seeing their photos as well. Have a great day!

          • mlplouff

            Sorry for being grouchy. It’s way too hot out here.

  • Hello all. I am finally back up to speed. If somebody would be so kind to look at my day 5 and 6 entries and give me some feedback, that would be really amazing 🙂
    The type of dish which is most challenging are two things: hot objects I want to eat (so limited time and stupid smoke coming off) and objects that need to appear to be casually placed or tossed. Somehow I never get things so nicely positioned as all the amazing pictures I see you guys make (I am in awe! ).
    The most challenging lesson was definitely the story-line. I never really thought about it, and if I did, I found it very difficult to actually convey the story. Also, my stories usually revolve around “dinner for one” or baked goods.

    The picture I chose is the frame-image I took. The main object was supposed to be the onions and garlic, but I shot this as a “props fully in the frame” frame, and I like it way more than the close-ups of the actual main object.
    The other image is a shot I took outside of this challenge yesterday. Everything is home-made (the buns, even the beef I ground myself) and although the burger looks much smaller than it was, I love the feel of it.

  • I think this is my best shot of the week – “English breakfast” Italian style 😉

    • Sarah Linden

      Oh wow, I love this! Was this from the storytelling assignment? I love how you can see the window pane in the background. Feels like I’m on a third-floor flat.

      • Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Sarah. The photo was actually one I shot this morning as I made these English breakfast mini Pizzas for brunch 🙂 Am so glad you like it. All the best, Sif

    • Laura


    • Sandra

      Lovely – I’m hungry!!!

      • Oh, so good to hear, Sandra 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

    • RicardoRuizSal


  • Marta

    This course is great. I’ve already learned a lot. Particularly, I liked the lesson about angles and the last one about a story.

    I still like 20-60 degree angles. But now I also know that it’s fun to experiment. And when you see your pictures on a big screen you may prefer totally different view.

    Also I think about a story more. A story can transform some totally ordinary food into an awsome picture.

    The challenging part for me is choosing a background. Dark or light. Because then all your other props, mood and a set up change. And also light and reflecting it. But I think it will be covered later.

    So, thanks a lot. I’m looking forward to learn more.

  • Donna

    This has been an interesting few days, and very informative. I still struggle with getting the right lighting. And I spend a lot of time trying to translate the image that’s in my head to the actual finished photo. But I am pleased to say that the previous six days of lessons has caused a shift in the way I approach each photo. I struggle most with common, everyday foods. I think it’s less challenging to make spectacular desserts and such look good. That’s why I chose simple food items for this course. With that in mind, I think this photo is my best of the week. It tells the best story of all my examples thus far. Looking forward to tomorrow’s lesson…

  • Misky

    I found create the story most difficult. This is my favourite photo, which I was unable to use in the story lesson because it just went nowhere with a plot.

  • Yesibeth

    Hello everyone!

    So far, this course has been very good, although quite demanding. I’ve had good days and not so good, but the most interesting for me was to realize that I could have an eye for photos.
    I like some of the photos I took, but I have to confess that my husband has been a wonderful help, because I’m not so good in props and he has better ideas.
    Yesterday’s lesson was the hardest for me because I had never thought of a story before taking a picture, and that changes everything. My favorite lesson was frame.
    As a beginner I am, I think I’m learning a lot, but I have a long road ahead of me.

    Thanks Neel for these lessons, and all of you for your comments.

    This is my best photo of the week

    • I like your composition and the angle you have chosen very much! I mostly take photos of chocolate (especially filled chocolate) and one important thing have learnt that it is useful to wear some kind of gloves when you break chocolate into pieces, otherwise the remaining fingerprints can be distracting especially when photographed from close.

      • Yesibeth

        Hi Zsuzsanna! thank you very much for your comments, you are right! I’ll take your advise

  • Christine P

    I still find lighting and angle a bit challenging, as for subjects, i usually took more pictures of sweets/cakes/pastries that i find common homecooked food like soup or just general savoury dish really challenging. I guess I just need more practice.
    As for this week’s lessons, the most challenging one is so far the ‘create story for your photo’. I never give much thought on what kind of story/experience I want other people to perceive when they are looking at my photo, so it’s a good challenge as well.
    My favorite shot for this week is the cronut photo.

  • Lili Basic Capaccetti

    Out of all the photos I uploaded this week, I think the best one was my coffee and chocolate shot as I kind of achieved what I wanted with it, to show the perfect, relaxing and quiet moment in the morning of someone having a cup of coffee, some nice chocolate with it and watching through the window as the new day starts…

    • Anne Livingston

      Lovely serenity is evoked here!

      • Lili Basic Capaccetti

        Thank you! That was my goal to achieve so very happy you think it works! 🙂

  • Progress Update:

    This was a fascinating week, and I am proud to say I have completed each assignment. Sometimes a task is successful and sometimes not so much. Even though I continually do ‘self assignments, having motivation come from the outside provides just the right amount of creative push. There was a sense of urgency to complete each assignment so that I would not be a “Photographer Left Behind”. Also being exposed to and hearing from a large group of photographers all on the same path expands and challenges my creativity and technical skills.

    Each lesson has it’s own challenges; unique to the assignment. For me I had to read through each lesson several times before I could compete it successfully. Each lesson has it’s own challenges; unique to the assignment. For me I had to read through each lesson several times before I could compete it successfully.

    Providing a better pace for each week would improve the course. I am fortunate to work out of a home office with flexibility during the day. Others appear to complete their assignments before or after work or squeeze in portions of the assignments between various family management functions. I would suggest separating a day of shooting with a day of planning, reflection, or critique.

    The most challenging part of this course is and will be prepared dishes. I am not skilled in the culinary arts. Fortunately my charming spouse, who is my live-in stylist and chef has me covered. Along the way, I hope to add kitchen craft to my list of skills.

    Shot of the Week: Interestingly this was from my first lesson this week and it is a slightly different image than one I posted for the assignment. Sometimes the longer you look at an image the more you discover about it, and I think this one was the real winner.

    • I like this one too. The okra look real.

      • Shobee!

        Thanks so much. The okra was indeed real, and delicious!

  • Hina

    I think from past week I like this Indian Dal click where I think I managed to display some sort of depth of field which is making this photo quite interesting I like the angle also.

  • Elina Belova

    This was a fulfilled week. I am very happy to join the course. Many of you are inspiring. I am very motivated to learn more about food photography and to improve my skills.

    I liked the potato pancakes with cottage cheese the best.

    The most difficult dish for me would be some stews. Usually stews are brown and if they are well boiled, the ingredients aren’t recognizable. Stews taste great but they look tasteless.

  • Squadrilla

    I find quite challenging taking pictures of coffee in an original way and I’ll experiment more during next week. Then I have a few technical knowledge of camera so I’m finding challenging to learn that!
    During the last week I really enjoyed experimenting with angle and framing, I learned )somehow) how to use Dof and for the first time I was asked to tell a story in a picture.
    The picture I made I like the best is this one because here I used a different framing and angle and I could use Dof (but no story here!)

  • Alessandro

    Yesterday was a rainy day. We spent most the day at home. In the later afternoon the wether goes better so we take a track to a mountain farm. When i was piking some blackberries the Sun went back. In That moment i see This Beautiful and sunny whitecurrant. As usual in That situations i’ve no camera with me so i Shot with smartphone . It makes me so Happy That I Think That is my best Shot of the week.

    • Alessandro

      I try again

  • The food subject that is challenging for me is smoothies. Liquids tend to be hard to photograph in a glass. The light tends to shine off of the glass or the color of the smoothie changes during the shoot. Green smoothies can be a challenge due to the ingredients. A lot of them turn brown which is not appetizing.

    My favorite photo from this past week is Crunchy Granola is Calling Me.

    • Anna Shilonosova

      I’m not sure this is going to work, but what if you put in a couple of drops of lemon juice? It works great for preserving the color of beet stock when it’s being boiled for borsch, for example.

  • Pallavi Roy

    The texture of strawberries complementing the old rain drenched bench is my favourite this week.I have given importance to my subject.I have use the top down angle 90 degree for shooting it.I weaved this story around jam making for my daughter.This is called as “I am a little Strawberry Jam”.

  • Guest

    I think this photo is my best for our first week because I was able to shoot with natural light. But I need to improve this by focusing on the food itself to be able to see more of it’s texture. Any subject for me is challenging because of the lighting, because I think I can capture the photo more nicely if I have good lighting. And also the challenging part in preparing food subject for photo shoots are the props or background. And specifically with my subject which are these homemade treats graham balls, I find it hard to see if the props I use combines well with the physical look of my subject. And I don’t have that many materials to use. I think that is all I can say. Excited for more assignments this week. 🙂

    • Catherine Castro

      This is the pic:)

  • Sawsan Abu Farha

    I find photographing drinks and brown food quite challenging. With drinks I struggle with the reflections..with brown food I struggle with making it look interesting and appetizing without overpowering it with probs.
    My favorite shot this week is this one

  • I really like this photo and thing its the best shot of the week for me.

  • anariva95

    The picture I like more is the one I take for the lesson 4 (dof). In general I enjoy a lot with the differents assignments because I’ve learned a lot but in this case the depth of field was a practise very didactic for me.
    I´ve took aromatic herbs photos and was difficult for me to choose how to put them.

  • Silvia

    this is my photo of the week, I hope you like it … the trouble with my camera (which I’ve since January this year) were about light and exposure, I’m slowly learning how to use my reflex…I leave you my cupcakes tiramisu … good Sunday

  • Sarah Linden

    My biggest struggle is telling a story through my food. I struggle most to determine what props to include and where to put the props in the frame. I tend to over-analyze everything, and then I get discouraged and give up! Got any tips for me?

    I wrote a more detailed recap of this week on my blog. (Am I allowed to share this link here? Please know I’m only trying to share my experiences, not advertise my blog.) http://thesarahlinden.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/the-basics-of-composing-a-food-photograph/

    The photo bellow is my personal favorite from the first week, taken from the assignment Finding the Angle.

    • Anna Shilonosova

      Your problem is very familiar to me! I don’t have any tips yet, but I’ll gladly support you and say you’re definitely not the only one struggling with these questions and ending up tired and disappionted 8)
      P.S.: I like these radishes 🙂

      • Sarah Linden

        Thanks, Anna. 🙂 Glad to know I’m not the only one! I suspect we’ll all get better at storytelling the farther we get in the course.

    • Your radishes look like art, I love them. Overanalyzing is very familiar to me as well, but I would say, try to go with your guts. Try to focus on the feeling you want to capture. If it is freshness, does the prop helps or not. Is there a frame that is better.

      • Sarah Linden

        Thank you, Magda! For the compliment on my photo and the advice. “Go with your gut”–you’re so right.

  • Isabel

    Hi everyone,
    My favorite photo from the week is this one:

  • Lorinda Clark McKinnon

    The food I have the most trouble with is cakes…which is why I haven’t photographed a cake this week! I have to learn how to get clear focus on the inside of the cake after removing a slice. Now that I’m getting the DOF concept, maybe I’ll be more successful in the future. This peanut butter cookie photo is my favorite from this week.

  • Guest

    My photo of the week is from the series of photos with a story. Finally I used another photo for the assigment, but this one with the sugar faling I like most.

  • Katherine

    I don’t think I have a specific food per say that is most challenging for me yet…. but that is probably because I am a beginner. Most of what I have done so far is fruit. I want to branch out and start doing other whole foods such as veggies, grains, fresh herbs, etc. I think what is challenging for me so far is I guess more of the “food styling” part. I don’t want it to look too structured or like I arranged the foods too much. But then I don’t want it to look like I just tossed everything all over the place either. I am by no means a chef so I do more just whole foods or foods with minimal done (such as sliced fruit).

    My favorite photo that I did this week is this one. I love how the colors pop off the plate and work well with each other.

  • káča suchá

    My photo of the week is from the series of photos with a story. Finally I used another photo for the assigment, but this one with the sugar falling I like most.

  • Anna Shilonosova

    Hi all!

    Sooo, I guess I made the right choice of the subject: broth (or soup) is very challenging for me, no doubt. At first I thought that the texture would be the main problem, but once I started taking photos of broth every day, I pretty soon found out that you have to be most careful to choose the appropriate dish for it, and the fact that it’s flat (I mean, the surface of broth is flat) makes it even worse. At first I envied those of you who chose cakes and veggies, because they all have VOLUME 🙂 And broth alone (without a dish) doesn’t! But then I gave it a little thought and things started to get better and more interesting. I still find it challenging, though. And I’m running out of plates! 🙂 I wouldn’t want to shoot all my soups in the same plate.
    So if you have tips on how to shoot different pics with a limited amount of plates at hand, I’ll be glad to read them! Or maybe if you have advice on how to effectively choose and buy dishes for food photography, I’d love to hear it.

    And also I found out that my work space lacks… space. So I’d have to work on rearranging it and making it more suitable for taking pictures.
    And I’d really like to shoot an open-air still life, with green trees in the background and stuff, but I live on the 23rd floor and the nearest yard is about 10 minutes’ walk from my house. Which is not so far away, but when I think about going there with all the dishes, food and camera on a regular basis, I start having doubts about the whole idea. Does anybody here have experience in packing and carrying photo supplies and stuff out in the street? How do you manage it? What are the main problems you come across when shooting in a public place and not in your own backyard?

    As for the best picture, I guess it’s the one from lesson 6. I have trouble getting many objects in the picture, and I don’t feel confident in arranging a well-balanced composition of things, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it slowly, but surely!

    • Great comment Anna, loads of good questions. Maybe I will just focus on one – flatness of the soup. I can see you already tackled that by adding some garnish. I think that’s the brilliant idea. Polish broth is always served with noodles, so I thought you could easily add a volume by just tangling the noodles nicely. What I usually do is research pintrest and look for ideas to style my dish, looking how other people tackled the problem always helps.

      • Anna Shilonosova

        Yes, noodles are on my list! I also think that I can make the surface more interesting by adding detail to it. I’m also thinking of shooting broth in an unusual dish, e.g. a tall transparent glass or something like that. But I’ll save this one for later 🙂

    • Anna this is a lovely photo!
      I can show you what happens when you’re photographing on the street–people walk by your food! Luckily I had taken a few close up shots of this ice cream cake, but it was so funny to me that I pulled back and showed the whole scene.

      • Anna Shilonosova

        Heheh, yeah, I’m expecting about this reaction from the people on the street 🙂

    • Sarah Linden

      Anna, this photo is really beautiful. I love how the reddish-pinkish colors in the soup and drink compliment each other. And your lighting is gorgeous. You also used depth of field really well. I see the bread and the drink, but I get that the photo is really about the soup because of the focus on it.

      I would love to buy a million props for food photos, but with limited funds (maybe you’re in the same situation), I tend to choose simple props and neutral colors. Like white dishes that let the food be the star, and napkins that have a classic stripe patter, rathe than floral. Yesterday I bought 12 antique pieces of flatware for $8! Even though they’re rustic looking, I think they’re versatile for a wide-range of food photos. If I stick with food photography for a while, I’ll probably look into investing in more specific and specialized pieces. Hope that helps!

      • Anna Shilonosova

        Thank you, Sarah!
        And thanks for the advice! I’m now planning to go to a flea market or to a dollar shop to look fot some suitable dishes 🙂

  • I dont have enough photography experience in recognize just one food that’s most challenging for me. I have taken more pictures thus far (especially through this class) of just one whole food, so I find taking photos of more complicated dishes more difficult. Keeping them simple & uncluttered is a challenge.

    My favorite pic from this week is probably my smores shot. I know it’s blurry, but I think it’s interesting and still looks so tasty!

  • Lia Badicu

    My favorite photo is the one from assignment 6. I think I struggle with styling. I’m not sure when something really work in the picture or becomes distracting.

  • Larissa Temmink

    These are two my pics. Because I didn’t submit them on the days 3-4, I am doing it now. These are actually my first steps in the food photography.

  • Marina Proniakova

    Oh, so many photos of the students! I am at the end of all 🙁 Hope to catch up with the tasks. Lesson 3 and 4 are here already.

  • Jens Erik Ebbesen

    I think my picture of the week will be the one I posted yesterday and a picture I didn’t plan to take, but just happened to take from the hip with my pocket camera.

    • Sandra

      LOVE this!! I can almost reach out and touch it.. love the vibrance and how inviting it looks!

      • Jens Erik Ebbesen

        Thank you Sandra for your kind words! Appreciate it.

  • mymorna

    Plating things is very challenging for me. I’m normally a street photographer, which is something else entirely. I struggle with finding the right angles for food and positioning the props right. I have some images I’m okay with, but nothing great. Favorite is this one.

    • Sarah Linden

      I like that you used coconut in the background–otherwise I wouldn’t have known it’s an ingredient in this dish. Great choice! I like the overhead angle for this, too.

  • Marina Proniakova

    Lesson 5

  • I think the last photo was my best one, because I was able to tackle the problem of props. I focused on the angle and minimum of hints and props I thought were necessary to give idea of the scene.
    Props and setting a scene/story are always challenging. I like beautifully styled photos of What Katie Has Ate, but I’m really quite a minimalistic person and I feel torn. I would love to find a perfect balance with keeping my own touch to it.

  • Marina Proniakova

    there is a story here…

  • the food photo that challenged me the most was how to make the photo of the salad I turned in in Lessson 5. I thought it was very flat inspite of its colors. I was trying for it to look relax but it looks forced. My most favorite is the Write a story photo.It took me a very long time to do it. I liked it because it made me think and work hard. Although my imagination was not translated fully on the photo, but it was a little bit close.

  • Marina Proniakova

    not the worst one of the week

    • Love this photo! Really tells a story of “work in progress.”

      • Marina Proniakova

        thank you, Dani, the problem is not to forget to wash the hands before shooting 🙂

  • lydiaf1963

    My favorite photo was the “story telling” photo.
    I find I’m most challenged by something with a reflective surface like a beverage or soup or even the utensils which often show my reflection in them.

  • Ann G

    My favorite picture of the week is from Lesson 6. I think I could have angled it differently, but those bubbles made me feel happy.

  • So in catching up I used a variety of squash from the farmers market. So I worked each assignment as steps leading toward a recipe. Here is the final fritatta made from my zucchini. https://www.flickr.com/photos/vintagedesignsmith/14880188715/

  • Second attempt at my comment. I worked with summer squash from the farmers market in all my assignments which led to the final recipe of a fritatta. https://www.flickr.com/photos/vintagedesignsmith/14693664567/

  • I’ve been photographing a lot of ice cream for an upcoming #IceCreamWeek series, and getting the white balance right is what I am struggling with now. I need to play more with taking away some of the light coming from the window.

    • Wow – yum! I think the white in the ice cream looks good. The background is a little blue, but that helps add to the ‘cool’ effect of the ice cream, in my opinion. It also adds contrast to the yellow in the caramel.

      • Thanks Katie–the ice cream was good–perhaps I need to use a dark background as well.

  • Nancy

    This is the photo I like best for this week….

  • Jessica

    Week 1 was challenging and good. I learned a lot and I started a list of things around the technical aspect of photography that I still need to learn. I am no pro at all with my camera, so looking forward to do a camera skill photography course soon.
    I noticed that I often reach my limits when it comes to shooting multiple items in one frame. My best photo (as posted below) is a simple one but as soon as it comes to arrangements my pics don’t look great anymore. I can never get the background right, something always sneaks into the frame due to my limitations for set-up and props. I also feel angle and camera skills contribute to my weak points here…
    How do other people deal with limited space and props to set-up something? Do you have someone helping holding things? Is there equipment to fix backgrounds somewhere?

  • Gory James

    I love this picture because of the way light hits every object in it, especially the spices. I’m going to try and have more elements in my pictures, maybe it could help create a better backdrop for my photos.

  • This is the best photo of this week

  • I think my best shot is my tomato harvest image. i tried to incorporate all the techniques we have learned so far.

    • Ah, I wish our tomatoes looked this good!

      • Oh yes, our tomatoes have been beautiful this year. We really like the Sun Golds.

  • Still having trouble with uploading photos. I tried different formats and compression but no help. I guess that right now is my biggest struggle. My best photo of the week is from Day 5.

  • The best from this week (at least in my opinion!). What do you think about it?

  • I found the most challenging part of this week was depth of field. It’s become very apparent I need to read the directions on my camera and get a better grasp on its features. I also learned I could use some work in the story telling department.

    • You may think you could use work in the story telling dept, but your story telling via words (and music) rocks. Or raps. 😉

  • Certainly, telling a story seems the easiest, but I think that’s one of the most challenging parts of all. There are many options and many factors to consider: what is my message, what is the story, the time, the setting, the props, the lights… Every person has it’s own view and does imagine things differently. There are so many wonderful food photos out there!!
    Here is my favorite of the week.

    • E.R

      made me hungry

  • Linda @ foodinpixels.com

    my favorite picture of the week!

    • Ambrosia Pardue-Lee

      Oh! I like that! Great idea of shooting a mountain of flour with an egg in the middle! The shells add a nice touch too! It makes me wonder what food is going to be created (maybe show the recipe card?)

      • Linda @ foodinpixels.com

        Thanks for your feedback Ambrosia!

  • Lynn Pennington

    my favorite image this week.

    • Love your image of the figs, The color blends and great depth of field.

      • Lynn Pennington

        Thank You.

  • This is my fav shot from this week. My niece with a basket of freshly picked mushroom. I like it as it has a story, and probably some emotion. Sometimes I struggle with the story behind the food. It can be obvious when I shoot for my own blog, but when I do the same for a magazine, it’s often quite tough to me….

    • E.R

      your picture will not open

      • oh, thanks for your comments. I don’t know what could have happened as I can see it in my comments… Can You give me an advice what wrong is? Should I upload again? thanks

    • gorgeous. Those mushrooms are so unusual.

  • Somehow I think, this one is my best from the week.

    • Anibalismo

      cool photo 🙂

  • Task 2:
    The food subject that is challenging for me is showing the cooking process, particularly when I am cooking something like a casserole or sauce in a big pot.

    This is challenging for me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the height of the pot on the stove makes it difficult to get a good shot, even with a tripod. The lighting seems to cast many shadows and it’s really hard to get good lighting. Whilst I could move the pot to another area to take the photo, this would cause the bubbling of the food to stop, which is the point of the photo really.

    It’s also challenging because to create interest i like to show movement, for example a shot of the wooden spoon stirring the pot. I feel like I need to be an octopus to get the right angles!

    Another challenge of this is trying to take photos whilst cooking a meal that needs to be eaten in a timely manner. Especially if this is at night with poor lighting. I feel I am trying to balance the serving of the food with taking photos before it cools off.

    I find it much easier to take photos of a subject that doesn’t need to be eaten straight away (like cake). I feel I can spend quality time with those subjects.

    Task 3:
    I found it difficult to pick my best photo for the week. I liked them all but they all had things I didn’t like.

    I’ve chosen the pears as I like the light airy feel.

  • Mihaela D

    My favorite lesson was playing with DoF

  • Hi,
    My toughest challenge was Write your Food Story. It was tough to decide the story, the props etc.I sincerely hope I get better at it 🙂 For me the best picture I took in this 1st week was this…….

  • Danielle

    Here is my favorite photo of the week.

  • Christine Walsh

    I have a confession – I actually don’t like food. If I could just take a pill and not have to eat that would be great. I don’t even really keep much food in the house so it was hard to decide, from the earlier lesson, which foods I would choose to photograph. However, I love photography and a friend of mine and I decided to try this challenge. Here are two photos which look nothing like everyone else’s beautiful display of food. I guess my “story” for these would be “foods that remind me of something bold and luscious – a little sexy.”

  • Christine Walsh

    Could someone let me know if they saw my post? I also attached two photos with it. I don’t see it on the thread nor do I see the photos in my own profile.


    • Danielle

      I saw your post, and I like 3th photo.

      • Christine Walsh

        Thanks. I still don’t see my original post. 🙁

  • I think my biggest challenge is sometimes getting the blur and not getting a blur in the picture. Today I was taking pictures for my up coming blog post and and I just couldn’t get the entire photo to focus. I don’t know if it’s my lens or me. It’s a bit frustrating, but I am trying to work on it. The picture below is an example of what I am working on.

  • Frederique

    This is my favorite photo of the week. I wanted to use different colours of tomatoes and give a somewhat rustic feeling to my photo.

  • I hope i am not posting this twice. My post disappeared 🙁 – My challenge this week has been trying to focus on an entire picture. Sometimes I don’t want the blur feature but my lens blurs it out and I don’t know if it’s my lens or me… it’s become very frustrating. Picture 1 is an example of something I am working on now for my blog. One of my favorite shots for this week was something I posted today on my blog. I wanted the blur effect and I think this picture came out great. It’s my recipe shot for my cauliflower “rice”. I have had a great time this week and can’t wait to learn more and get feedback from all of your creative thoughts.

  • Ivana Brnada

    This is my favorite photo from last week challenge. I love Nutella tart with some milk for breakfast, great way to start the morning.
    I didn’t shoot this week but my biggest challenge is ice cream and hot coffee. I’ve tried many times, but each time I was disappointed with my photos.

  • Maria Natali Malkan

    My favourite photo I have taken. Maybe because of the story behind it.

  • Anu Shoj

    so far I liked this one the best…..

  • Kris Giamouridou

    – Food is in general a challenging story for me. Every ingredient acts so different to the photo and someone has to be so creative and practice every day to improve his/her technique in order to get better and better every time.
    – My experience is my food blog. I listen and read every feedback people write me. That helped me a lot…

  • Vladislava Dikan

    My favorite image this week

  • Raia Torn

    I feel like I’m still struggling with photographing a simple piece of fruit and drinks. Here’s one of the photos I liked best from all the tons of fruit I’ve taken pictures of the past week…

  • I think it was the best photo that I shoot in this week

    • Peter Block

      cool shot

  • Guest

    I chose this shot from lesson 5 on composing within a frame.

  • Patty Hultquist

    After thinking more about angles, framing and telling a story, I like this photo a lot. It really makes you think of summertime, grilling and eating corn outside. I’m getting much more into charring fruits and vegetables on the grill.

  • Patty Hultquist

    The food subject that challenges me the most is typically a soup or a sauce, anything that is nearly all one color. I would love to hear how people deal with this. I add props and typically fresh herbs does a good job but I’d love to hear other people’s ideas.

  • This week has been quite rich, I believe that my repertory
    of food photography has evolved considerably, has expanded my horizon, and I’m
    not talking about technique, but talking about composition, I think this next
    week will be even richer.

    For me this was the best shot this week

    • I really like those yellows with the more neutral background!

  • Raja

    I think this is my best photo in this week. Its the black eyed fritters n being dark brown ,was difficult to bring out tht texture in it.but somehow after this photo , Iam kind of satisfied with it.

    • Ambrosia Pardue-Lee

      Perhaps use a lighter placemat, napkin, etc. on top of the dark wood table so that the black eyed fritters will stand out more. Textured fabric would also add a little something to the photo. The bowl of fritters is a little dark too / needs better lighting.

      • Raja

        Dear Lee
        good day to you, Thank you for your comment. After reading through your lines I realised your ideas would have given me the better photo. Will keep your suggestions for up coming classes.

  • Bowman

    I’m surprised that my first photo is the one I like best, so far.

  • Hi, as mentioned earlier, i’m late with this challenge as well.
    Ok, so my best shot of the week would be this photo. It’s home made coconut chutney. I like the way the light falls on the subject, the colors and the frame & angle of this photo.

  • I find that taking a photo to any kind of soup or cream might be always a challenge. One has to make an effort in styling it or find the best way to make it look delectable. The props are always a great help as well as the backgrounds or lights.

    The photo I like the most is the one I uploaded in lesson 3. Very simple and very, very few props around -actually it was just a knife-.

  • Kathy Hester

    I think one of my biggest challenges is that I seem to really like making recipes that are brown. Slow cooker, bean, oatmeal – there are veggies involved too, but they are hard. my other challenge is my lack of knowledge about my camera and I’m working to learn more about that because it will make everything better. I like this cherry bourbon the best, even though I usually like more simple set ups.

  • Sonja

    I have two subjects that are really hard for me, soup and smoothies. I don’t know how to be more inventive or creative with these subjects. With soups I was trying to incorporate too much, and then I simplified to a spoon and bowl of soup, and that’s been better. I love this shot with the apples and apple sauce. I LOVE it!

    • This shot is super cool. I love those colors! Good eye with adding that ribbon on the jar – nice touch Sonja!

      • Sonja

        Thanks, Sarah!

        • Peter Block

          I like this and the ribbon color matching the apples. I would love a spoon of the apple sauce in the pic to so I could really get the texture of the apple sauce. nice lighting.

  • I think this is my best – which is frustrating because it was my first. I’m on vacation and have had little time. I need to do a better job procuring subjects.

  • Try again

  • jcsoo .

    my best photo

  • RicardoRuizSal

    I think this is mine.

  • Frode Breimo

    I think my favorite photo of the first week is this last one, from the “story” lesson, but I can’t decide which framing I like better, the one that shows the whole picture, or the one that cuts some parts out of the frame. I think my main struggle is lighting, and not knowing my camera well enough, or how to properly take advantage of manual shooting.

  • I have been on vacation all week so just getting to lesson 7 now. Here is my story shot of a Sunday morning pancake breakfast. I still need help with lighting.

    • Great action shot!

      • Peter Block

        I actually like the light in this shot. it really is focused at the top pancake and syrup. Maybe the pic is a little underexposed.

  • Sreedevi Mavila

    Just got to lesson 7. My pic for Lesson 6 with the ‘story’ is what I liked the most. There are still some things I’d like to change in the pic, like the showcasing some of the textures some more, but didn’t have much of daylight time left.
    My challenges are many – but I think that most of them stem from 2 basic things, not knowing enough about lighting, and not knowing how to work with props. I guess time is also a big challenge – as a result I’m unable to spend time experimenting and figuring out what works best.

  • Anibalismo

    I liked the most this one. It wasn’t a homework photograph, but a casual one I took yesterday after preparing a dish… I really like it is a simple photo, and I love how those oil drops look there 🙂

  • First let me just say this course has been amazing. I can’t tell you guys how nervous I was to even upload any of my pictures because I often look at them and think they are terrible…I was embarrassed to put them up here! Everyone has been so encouraging and helpful – it makes the learning environment feel more approachable…So thank you very much!

    My most challenging food photography issue is actually working with light to achieve the feeling that I want in the picture. It is the thing that intimidates me the most. I still don’t feel like I have a good grasp of it…

    My favorite picture that I took this week was of some blue berries. I actually kind of surprised myself with this one, haha!

    Thanks again everyone!

  • Peter Block

    I hope that people are looking back at earlier posts since I am late to this assignment. It is not the food that challenges me as much as knowing the right way to shoot the food. So I want to say I just can’t seem to get the top down angle right. And the whole reason I took the course was to get more adept at handling light!

  • Peter Block

    oops. my pic.

  • Zane Sproge

    I will upload my best picture of the week a little bit later, but will share my sad story about challenges – the most challenging subject for me is food photography with natural light. And that is mostly because of little frame I can use – here where I am living it’s dark when I have free time, so I need to catch some rare light moments. I haven’t tried to take a photo of so many objects, so it’s really hard to pick one thing what would challenging me more that others. However, I remember years ago I tried very hard to make good shots of eggs on white background and eggs on black background. Maybe I should pick those for some of next day subjects? 🙂

  • shef

    My biggest challenge is photographing indoors period. I still don’t understand light. Also photographing brown food/stews/curries is difficult. It’s difficult to make it look appetizing.

  • Well…in this week I haven’t problems taking photos with the food (maybe a little bit with the fish), but sometimes, I haven’t so much inspiration with fish or meat…
    This is my favourite photo of the week! 🙂

  • Miguel A García Díaz

    Hi everyone!

    I have learn a lot, things: Move and try to find the best angle, framing, but most of all finn out how to tell story. Was great to learned the way Neel tought; thanks!!!

    My biggest challenge is to know how to set the elements of the photograph, how they should be placed, positioned and how to make the photograph don’t look lack-of or exceed-of. I don’t know how can I detect that something is missing or that something leave over.

    Additionally. I have a topic that I really wonder and I want to expose here:

    Generally, why to use Vintage, rustic or old looked props as complement on a photograph? What does food combined with vintage props pretends?

    Is it a trend, is it any mean, Is it some kind of contrast, some feeling or memories recall???

    I’ll really appreciate your comments about this.


    • cleos

      Hola Miguel, I have a scientific reponse for you … you will agree that materials in general absorb and reflect light. Knowing how to use those elements strategically to your advantage is rewarding. Most vintage and rustic stuff have a particular shine and are reflective of light in a certain way. Older props offer a higher contrast and light hit them more softly. Additionally, old materials like brass, silver, copper or even wood have marks that are unique which can help to develop a context to your story. On the oposite, new stuff often has hot spot where light tend to burn. Do you know how to read an histogram?

      • Miguel A García Díaz

        Thank you Cleos, makes a lot of sense.

  • cleos

    Hi everyone!

    More than anything, this week I learned to establish a workflow and to follow it. I like to plan ahead and have a direction which give me speed and allow extra time for bonus shot. I think knowing how and what I’m gonna shoot is key to my progress. So I have a pretty good idea of the light and angle I’m looking for. I always shoot the definitve picture with my tripod to garantee sharpness. The frame is still an adventure, I know how I want to present the main dish but still hesitate with the sides although my appetite is lesser and I prefer fewer items in the frame, 3 seems to be a good number. As for the story, I try to give a sense of time, place and purpose but it’s still too early for me to tell a good story. For this course, I’m following the style of Andrew Scrivanni and Penny de los Santos, I purposely underexpose my images and play with curves in post.

    My biggest challenge is to keep track of everything but as for food goes, I would say flat food without structure or volume. Soups must be very challenging to shoot, i would probably capitalize on the props or get super creative with etching or something … brown food is even worse, luckily we have photoshop …

    Concerning comments, I took the liberty to comment a few pictures with criticism and sugestions. I would like to apologize if somebody felt offended. Personnally I’m actually looking for your critique so don’t hold back!

    Overall it was a great week, went so fast!

  • Tia Haygood

    Good evening!

    I have learned to consider the main lessons we’ve learn about composition: degree, DoF, framing, and story-telling before taking the shot. My goal for this week is to change my subjects and expand my shooting area so that my frames aren’t as tight as they have been this past week. My main goal is to –again–get better at lighting. I feel like I haven’t really made much of a change in this category. I hope we can learn more about techniques about lighting and props to make my photos stand out even more. I’m curious, what was the hardest thing for you guys to learn this week and how did you overcome them?

  • Harshita Mahajan-Photography

    Hi this week has been great and the only thing I really struggle with is being able to get natural window light when I want to use certain angles and certain backdrops. I have not used off camera lighting yet because I want to see how Neel handles that. All my assignments have been done in very little time, not as much as I would like and hence are NOT my best wor;k but my aim was to learn what Neel was trying to get across in the assignment rather than as he said produce a perfect picture. The make a story assignment was like a lightbulb going off in my mind….so simple and yet why haven’t I done it before?

    • Linda Thornbrugh

      I agree with your comment on natural light. I had the same issue most of this week. Guess I need to try artificial lighting, especially with fall/winter coming on and shorter light each day. I also liked the story assignment.

  • Lata Raja

    This week was engaging. I have picked up a few good points through the lessons; how much i have acted upon them needs to be reviewed.
    Choosing the right camera angle is still a bit of a struggle for me.
    I particularly found the choosing of the theme for a photograph that can convey a story very intriguing. Then, I have never planned and shot my food photos in the real perspective. This made me contemplate on various angles. I could see my mistakes in setting up the scene, like i had to pay more attention to postioning and such. I think it teaches you to visualise what you intend to convey. It might take me time to translate it correctly, which i suppose comes with practice.

  • LindySez

    I found the first week to be eye-opening in all the things we need to think about before we even start shooting the photo. And from critiques, what we do not see with our own eye, but what others see. The most difficult assignment for me was the story telling. I don’t normally tell stories with my food, I simply show the final product…but I liked this exercise. In my story I can look back and see how it could have been improved, but adding a couple of elements to make it look more like I was going out on a patio. I also, buy reviewing and critiquing other photos, see how improvement could be easily made to tell their story better.

  • Philippa Sonnichsen

    This first week I learned so much while trying to keep up. I really, really appreciate everyone’s helpful comments. I love the story telling part of photography. It made me think about what I want to say, not only with the photos I post on my blog, but also with the words. Now I have a theme that I hope to convey with both.

    I hope to be able to take all my photos using natural light and reflectors, and I look forward to experimenting with light. I loved Neel’s raspberry photo. It really captured how magical light can be.

  • Carol Kopp

    This is my second 30 days. I’ve had a lot more time this session and the days are longer so I’ve had some extra light to work with, but I’ve definitely had an easier time with it. I still forget to consider crucial components, but I’m also starting to think about how I can use DOF, angles and story to my advantage rather than just remembering that they exist. I like the story aspect and can really see how it adds depth and interest to the photo, however, it often does not turn out quite how I initially envisioned it.

  • Razena Schroeder

    I found the story telling part the hardest of all. It really made me think about what goes in the photo and what every element is saying to the viewer.

  • Marina Skår

    Challenging for me was to make photo og different types of vegetables and fruits together. Some of them are too white, other – too shining etc. I have had an idea about “war” between veggies og fruits but I am still not happy with results…

  • Linda Joyce

    90 degree angle photos are a challenge. What set up looks good at 10- 20, or 45 etc.. doesn’t always work at 90. Thinking about what kind of story I want to tell with my food images is a bit challenging too. But I like the way the course has made me think about these things and how to improve.

  • Margaret Wendell

    VIP student: I too found telling a story through my food photos the most challenging. Being a beginner, I find every aspect of food photography challenging since I did not become somewhat familiar with any kind of photography before embarking on a blog and trying to take food photos. I need constructive criticism since I cannot tell whether my photographs are any good or not.

    • Ingunn Løvik

      Telling a story was really challenging for me too.

  • Ingunn Løvik

    VIP student:
    I liked this first week, made me realize how much I have to learn. As my subjects are dairy products, it is a challenge that they are white and shining. I am really not good with props either.

  • karthika krishnan

    I found telling a story through photos was really difficult. I struggle at top down photos.

  • My personal cha;;enge was using my new DSLR. Sometimes it just doesn’t behave the way I would like it to. My other problem was finding the time. I have taken Neel’s advice this time and not chosen complicated recipes, but nevertheless time seemed to run away with me.

  • Gerardo Robles Gil

    My personal challenge is creating the story, I have an Idea, when I take the picture, it is not telling me that story,

  • Jo Clark

    Most challenging for me is shooting late in the evening and not enough natural light. I’ve pushed the ISO to 2000 on my camera, but still am not happy with all the results.