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Foodbuzz Festival 2010: Food Photography and Video Blogging Sessions

Posted Nov 08 2010 8:58pm
Made it home from San Francisco! Wow, my head is still spinning from the whirlwind of activity at the Foodbuzz Festival . The best part by far was meeting some of my blogging buddies in person (like Sophia  and Lynn ) and meeting new friends, too! I also learned a ton about what it takes to be a really great blogger and I am inspired to develop my skills.

On that note, I thought I'd put together my notes from the sessions I attended on Saturday morning. The "It's a Snap" food photography presentation was really helpful by Laura  and Marc , but I learned the most by hanging around afterwards and listening to Marc answer questions.

Here's my cheat sheet of what I learned!

  • You don't necessarily need a fancy camera, but one that can shoot in RAW format and has a macro mode.
  • If you are photographing an "ugly" food, use color in other places like a placemat or dish to make it pretty.
  • Use natural light whenever possible (never a flash!). BUT, the second best option to natural light is to buy an inexpensive lamp with a translucent shade and a 40 watt fluorescent lightbulb. An example of an easy set-up:

To take a photo like this
  • A white posterboard can be used as well to help reflect the light back onto the food.
  • Play with the angle of your camera and the placement of the subject in the photo. The subject doesn't necessarily have to be pictured in the center. In fact, off-center is preferred. This has to do with the "rule of thirds."
The video blogging session was equally interesting. The star of that presentation was John from Food Wishes . John assured all of us that equipment should not hold us back from video blogging. Some of the tips I picked up included:
  • Don't shoot the entire process of cooking a meal. Record some of the prep and the beginning and then stop the taping and pick it up again at the end. 
  • 2-5 minutes is the range for a good food video with 3 minutes possibly being the ideal length.
  • The key to success in video blogging is having lots of quality content. Emphasis on the lots.
  • If you have a Mac, just use iMovie to edit.
  • Be careful not to speak too fast in the video.
  • Shoot the video in natural light or with a simple lighting set-up. Nothing fancy.
  • Use Tube Mogul  to post videos.
Of course I took plenty of food and city pics, but I thought this information was the most relevant. I am very grateful I got to attend this event and send many thanks to everyone involved!
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