I have put together some frequently asked questions, such as the gear I use, whether it's expensive to eat vegan, food photography resources, and how I started my blog.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. I only link to products and services that I highly recommend, personally use, and trust. There is no additional cost to you if you purchase something through one of these links.
- Where are you located?
- Is it expensive to eat vegan?
- Can I use your recipe or photos on my website?
- Do you accept guest posts or articles?
- What kind of gear do you use?
- Where do you get your backdrops?
- What lighting do you use?
- How did you learn to use artificial light?
- What PDFs on photography and lighting do you recommend?
- What photography books do you recommend?
- How do you edit your photos?
- Food Photography Resources
- How did you start the website?
Where are you located?
I am in Tucson, Arizona. If you would like to know more about me, take a look at my about me page.
Is it expensive to eat vegan?
It can be expensive if you shop at pricey grocery stores and buy a lot of processed and prepared foods. However, it can be quite affordable if you make most of your meals at home with whole food ingredients. Beans, greens, legumes, whole grains, rice, and potatoes are some of the most inexpensive foods you can purchase.
Buy local seasonal fresh produce and be sure to check out the farmers markets in your area. If you have the time and the space to grow your own produce, that's even better!
Can I use your recipe or photos on my website?
Please DO NOT re-publish my recipes or photos without my express permission, since they are copyrighted.
If you wish to use a photo for a recipe round-up post or referring to one of my recipes, you may use one photo and a clear link back to the recipe.
Do you accept guest posts or articles?
No, I do not. I am the sole content creator/writer/photographer for my blog.
What kind of gear do you use?
When I started learning about food photography and how to use a DSLR, I got a Nikon D3400 kit which is a crop sensor camera. Since then, my needs have changed and I now take my photos with a full-frame Nikon D810.
The lenses I frequently use are:
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro OS for side angle, ¾ angle and macro shots
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens for overhead
Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 G ED as a macro lens for my crop sensor camera
The light stands I use:
Neewer Pro 9 feet Photo Studio Light Stand (heavy duty-I use these to put my strobe lights and large softboxes on)
Godox 210B 7' Light Stand - these is a lightweight one and I use a couple to hold
The tripod I use:
Manfrotto 290 Dual Aluminum 3-section tripod kit with ball head (MK290DUA3-BHUS)
For achieving proper white balance, I love this Lastolite collapsible grey card. Depending on the background I choose, sometimes I do not get an accurate white balance so this grey card has come in handy many times.
To make sure my camera is level, particularly for overhead shots, I use this bubble level.
The external hard drive I use (I have several):
Where do you get your backdrops?
I've purchased several backdrops from Bessie Bakes Backdrops (based in the USA) and Capture by Lucy (based in the UK). I also have a double-sided background from White Canvas. If you want to know about a particular background, feel free to ask me.
What lighting do you use?
When I started my blog in early 2019, I was using natural light. I was intimidated by the thought of using artificial light. From September 2019 onwards, I have been using artificial light primarily.
Most of the time, my home isn't conducive to shooting with natural light due to the layout of the windows and color cast, not to mention the harsh Arizona sunlight.
I started feeling limited with natural light, so in September 2019, I decided to learn flash photography, which is what commercial photographers use. It is freeing to be able to control the light source at any time of day.
To get started with artificial light, I purchased Godox SK400ii strobe lights. I bought a kit with everything I needed, including the light stands, trigger, wireless transmitter, softbox, lights, and more. Since then, I have purchased strip boxes to achieve moody lighting.
Another modifier I recently purchased is the Godox Octa Softbox with Bowens Speed Ring and Grid (55") for bright and airy images.
How did you learn to use artificial light?
I signed up for Joanie Simon's Artificial Academy course, and it's been a total game-changer for me. I highly recommend her artificial light course! When learning artificial light, there is a steep earning curve and it is a bit overwhelming in the beginning. Joanie's course is just what I needed to get comfortable with using artificial light.
What PDFs on photography and lighting do you recommend?
I highly recommend Darina Kopcok's LightShaping ebook, a fantastic resource for getting started with artificial light photography. I have this 150-page ebook and continue to refer to it.
Darina Kopcok, a Vancouver-based commercial photographer and instructor, offers her new ebook LightShaping, A Guide to Getting Started with Artificial Light for Food Photography plus the following ebook bonuses: The Essential Gear Guide for Food Photography (24 pages), Understanding Exposure (29 pages), and Principles of Light (5 pages). LightShaping is a valuable resource that I can refer to any time I have a question or want to review information. With the search function, I can easily find what I'm looking for. I highly recommend it!
If you struggle with composition and would like to improve your food photography, check out Darina's ebook Rule of Thirds, mentioned below.
Sometimes, I feel a little stuck or uninspired; it happens to all of us. At times like this, I turn to Darina's 110-page Rule of Thirds, A Guide to Composition for Food Photography ebook for a new perspective. Her ebook has helped me improve my food photography; it has been a source of inspiration and a prompt for my creativity, helping me look at composition from a fresh point of view. Darina reviews many composition principles, techniques, and case studies in her ebook; you can immediately apply these tips to your food photography.
Darina Kopcok also offers 42 composition PNG overlay templates (link below) from which you can create compositions while you do live tethering from your camera to your computer. You can interpret the templates as a starting point, infuse your style and creativity, and make them your own.
The PNG overlay templates come with a how-to video and a 9-page guide on using the overlays, plus a 24-page ebook on Getting Started with Shooting Tethered for Food Photography.
For working with natural light, I highly recommend Rachel Korinek's 94-page ebook, The Art of Light: Create Beautiful Images Every Time with Natural Light.
What photography books do you recommend?
I have purchased these books and recommend them, in no particular order:
Food Photography: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Appetizing Images by Corinna Gissemann
Creative Food Photography: How to Capture Exceptional Images of Food by Kimberly Espinel
Light, Science, & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting by Hunter, Biver, and Fuqua.
How do you edit your photos?
I retouch my photos with either Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, Capture One, or a combination.
When I first started learning about retouching, I dreaded editing my photos. I found it frustrating because I didn't know how to use the tools, and I didn't know how to get the look I envisioned.
I knew I needed to learn how to edit my photos more efficiently. I enrolled in the Lightroom Magic online class by Rachel Korinek, which was a gamechanger for me. It allowed me to take charge of my editing process, and it helped me find my workflow with a solid foundation of knowledge.
By taking the course, I learned many tools and techniques to add to my editing toolkit. And now that I know how to do it for myself, I can create what I envision every time without struggle. If this sounds like something you'd like to learn how to do, then check out the Lightroom Magic course!
Food Photography Resources
Please be aware that I earn a small commission from you for using my unique affiliate links at no additional cost to you.
I only recommend food photography resources I love and that have been helpful on my journey to becoming a food and product photographer.
Artificial Academy Course by Joanie Simon, mentioned above
Lightroom Magic Course by Rachel Korinek, mentioned above
Gastrostoria Resources by Darina Kopkok, mentioned above
Food Photography Mentorship with Shelly Waldman
How did you start the website?
- As a member of Food Blogger Pro, I created my self-hosted WordPress site (WordPress.org) step by step with their helpful videos. They have a wonderful and supportive community with valuable information on how to start a website.
- Bigscoots is my hosting company. They offer the fastest Managed WordPress Hosting Plans and outstanding customer service. I have never had to wait longer than a few minutes to get a friendly response whenever I have a question. I recommend them highly! Theit migration service went smoothly and without a hitch.
- I selected my WordPress theme through Feast Design Co. Their minimal blog designs are perfect for food bloggers.
- I use a recipe plugin called WP Recipe Maker, Premium version, and I find their support to be responsive and excellent.
- To make my website run faster, I have WP Rocket for caching.
- For social sharing including Pinterest, I utilize a WordPress plugin called Grow by Mediavine. I love it for its customizable options for social sharing buttons as well as Pinterest.
Is there anything else you would like to know? Send me a message at emily (at) resplendentkitchen (dot) com.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. I only link to products and services that I highly recommend, personally use and trust. There is no additional cost to you if you purchase something through one of these links. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything mentioned above.