I usually serve uncomplicated, tasty meals when I have friends over. I believe it is best to cook dishes that everyone will enjoy. A simple recipe can look very appealing. A simple look at the photos on Sweet Paul will convince you, if you are not sure.
The next time you host a casual dinner, invite old friends to kitchen like:
+ a light puree soup. Jess of Sweet Amandine told us that the fine taste of the Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup comes from the flavors and textures of its starring ingredients.
+ a rustic chicken recipe that you cook in one dish. You cannot go wrong with a Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken. Paul of Sweet Paul suggest to serve it with your favorite green salad.
+ For dessert, I selected the Lime Pie, also from Sweet Paul. Both photos are by Ellen Silverman
We finally did it! I was long due for a new camera. I dreamt of a flash since my house does not receive a lot of natural light. Plus, I often take food pictures when I am cooking dinner. I never developed the reflex to make actual shooting session, probably because I did not have the proper equipment. I do not aim to become a professional photographer. I simply want to create pictures that look great for my blog.
With the trip to Japan, it seems like the right time to upgrade. My husband got his new lenses and I got my flash. I want something that is fairly easy to use and not too heavy. This is why we opt for the Nikon D5000 with a SB-600 flash. When we got home, we found out that the camera has a Food scene setting.
I took this picture to test the food setting while I cooked dinner last night. I am glad that I see a definitive improvement. The colors are more vivid that what I used to get with my old camera.
But there is a lot more that I need to learn to produce stunning food pictures.
Styling and photography is the ultimate frontier. I know that I am not alone who would like to improve their skills. To get you started, explore the tips and techniques provided on
For one thing, I will see how I can set up a small photo studio in my home. And do not forget, practice makes better.
+ Digital SLRs at Amazon.com
Karen Wise is a talented Brooklyn based photographer specializing in destination weddings, food and still life. Pictures that evoked a relaxed breakfast on a weekend often caught my attention. They feel heavenly. Taking the time to relax on Sunday morning illustrates how you can reinterpret the Dolce Vita with simple pleasures.
My choice may have been influenced by the New Year edition of the National Post which was a Guide to a Good Life. Amongst the topics, they talked about cooking something every single day. This is a good and feasible New Year’s resolution.
Also look how Karen captured the inside of a kitchen during a wedding reception. It is awesome! You can admire more gorgeous wedding photos on her blog.
+ photo: Food and Art site of Karen Wise
+ photo: Karen Wise’s blog
I find fascinating the world of food styling. How they elevate food to be very appetizing. You can learn tricks of the trade by reading Still Life With.
Let’s face it, not every food looks great. But it does not means that they are not delicious. In one lesson, you learn how to turn an non inspiring molded salmon pate into an appealing food photo. When you are confronted with this situation, Still Life With told us to show just a little of the food and to surround it with beautiful things.
And if you are persuaded that professional food photography is a lot of work, look at this picture that illustrated a typical food styling and photography session. Photographers with their assistants and stylists work together to create these stunning pictures that we see in the magazine. Read the details of a master workshop with Francine Zaslow and Deborah Jones.
There is a lot more to learn on Still Life With.
+ photos: Still Life With
It has a sumptuous and dreamy Thanksgiving all written over. These were taken at a photo shoot that Sweet Paul styled earlier this week for Colin Cowie. I love the tableware, the color, the food and the tabletop that I let you discover on his blog.
+ photos: Sweet Paul
Food styling is an integral part of food photography. It sets the mood. These beautiful shots are from the 2010 Calendar from la Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec. I shared them with you because they illustrated a good trick when it comes to food photography: pay attention to the backdrop. In this case, they aim to create a cohesive mood instead of a minimalist approach.
Start collecting bold wallpapers, fabric coupons, and gift wrapping papers to create your backdrop scene. The stylist for Le Lait calendar was not afraid to opposite modern patterns to traditional plates and utensils.
Get inspired by the food and the tableware you use. If you find a strong pattern, you can repeat the main color of the food on your backdrop. You can also select a pattern that repeats the food shape. At other times, playing with contrasting colors works better. It is a game of trials and errors until you get it right. The key is to experiment. Therefore, always have on hand several options ready to be used.
Be Careful that the Food is Not Lost
The cream puffs stand against the busy backdrop because of the contrasting colors. On the other hand, the black and white pattern used for the cupcakes is not the best choice. I feel that the small cakes get lost. A bright yellow and black backdrop would have been more effective. I suggest yellow because it complements the creamy tone of the white chocolate curls.
This lesson is not only for food photography. It also applies when you design a buffet table. Simply think about Amy Atlas. A stunning pattern backdrop is a signature of her dessert tables.
+ photos by Le Lait – click here to download the calendar (only in French)
If you never went to Amsterdam, you are missing something. The gorgeous has its share of cool modern design shops, you eat well and it is an urban area where you will feel in vacation. It has been a while since my last visit. Looking at these beautiful pictures taken by Pia Jane Bijkerk, show me how much I miss the European city vibe.
Pia is a known interior and food stylist who currently divides her time working and living between Sydney, Paris and a houseboat in Amsterdam. What a good lifestyle! Naturally, Pia talked about these 3 cities in her blog. I guess it will become one of your favorite blog. I added Pia’s blog to my daily fab read blogroll.
Taking about blogroll, I discovered Pia’s blog while commenting about stylish lampshades on Design Hole.
+ photo by Pia Jane Bijkerk
Everyday items can look awesome in the right setting. I love how Toast’s stylist team repurposed old newspaper as wallpaper and transformed old wooden boxes as storage on the wall. Keeping in mind that these angles were selected for their photographic value, it still shows that creativity and good design ideas, more than money, are essentials for any project.
Toast carries carefully selected food, tableware and kitchenware. But the range is deep enough to make it a must shopping for easy entertaining.
The autumn edition of Toast catalog is filled with amazing shots like those. I am sure you will enjoy them. if you wander what they sell on those pictures, I listed the shown products.
For entertaining and organizing your kitchen:
+ toast jams and marmalades £4.95
+ linen herringbone napkin £7.50
+ coloured handblown glasses £25
+ duralex picardie glasses £9.50
+ handblown glasses £15.50
+ greek pot £39
To make you feel good when you are sick:
+ flannel hottie cover £22
+ sloppy joe hottie cover £35
+ silk velvet hottie cover £35
+ satin quilted hottie £25
+ velvet lined slipper £59
Prop stylists create the mood of a picture. Looking at their creations give us clues on how to set up a stunning buffet table. I will feature the work of two prop stylists today.
First, I spot a Decking The Halls picture on Apartment #34. Although the Holiday season is almost over. The celebrations officially closed according to the French and Christian tradition at Epiphany. Depending on the family, Epiphany is celebrated January 6 while others celebrate it the first Sunday of January. For me, January 6 is the mark. Still, I will get us a galette des rois for tonight’s dinner. It is so delicious.
Buffet Table Styling Ideas
The pasta table for 4 looks inviting. When you are having guests over, do something unexpected may be the way to simply add a festive touch.
+ Images from Robyn Glaser