DISCLOSURE: My attendance, travel, accommodations and speaking at Blog Brûlée was sponsored. I was not paid to write the following post. All opinions expressed here are my own.


Over the years of being a food blogger, I have been to a conferences, events, retreats and blogging get-togethers. Whatever the topic or scale, they never fail to make my head spin and completely rev up my food blogging engines. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get to speak at Blog Brûlée, an invitation only conference for healthy food bloggers, at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, right here in my home state of Vermont.


Not only did I get to share my food photography tips as a speaker, but I was also able to attend the other sessions. I learned so much in every single one! Now that I am back home on the other side of Mount Mansfield I am earnestly trying to decompress and allow all of the details to settle into my brain. I think this calls for a cup of Rooibos and a Top Ten List! But first do you want to hear about my session?

My Food Photography Session

My session was about Elements of Food Styling and Post Processing in Food Photography. Sounds pretty official right? To start, I demonstrated how I actually take a photograph of food.

food photography demonstration, set ready for food I did this because I wanted to show everyone how I create a set before I actually start cooking, and then how I arrange the food to face the camera. I also talked a little about prop styling and harmonious color combinations.

color wheels

Then I got into a bit about manual settings for your DSLR and aperture and shutter speed. I showed what ajusting them can do to your focus and depth of field. I also talked about side lighting, three quarter back-lighting and back lighting. Because there was so much to cover and I was only really able to demonstrate three-quarter backlighting, I promised everyone that I would share the link to this post about how to do backlighting for food photography too.

Next we talked about post processing. And I finished with a brief mention of visual voice.

demonstration of a pour shot in food photography with natural light

There was so much to say!!! Afterwards fellow locavore food blogger Marisa and I were talking about needing a whole weekend to just talk about and work on photography. Hmmm.


Top Ten Things I learned at Blog Brûlée

  1. From Anne: There is an actual formula to figure out how much to charge for a sponsored post.
  2. From Siggi himself and echoed by Lindsay: It is okay to admit that you can’t do it all, and hire someone to help you with some of it.
  3. From California Almonds: People like to eat 2 to 3 snacks a day and I should be posting more healthy snack recipes!
  4. During and after the outdoor yoga session led by the lovely Alex I learned that my body would be much happier if I did yoga more often.
  5. From Deanna: You can override the automatic settings of aperture and shutter speed using the latest Camera plus on your iphone.
  6. Smuggs offers a 4-hour Summit Snow Shoe Dinner that I am definitely going to go do this winter with Jase.
  7. From Lisa D’Agrosa of EatingWell. I need to stop talking at about 200 words. Um, I’m already at 557, this will take some time.
  8. From Katie I need to use subheads for readability and google.
  9. From Kylie, if I love a brand I should check their Instagram profile to see if there is a specific hashtag they like people to use and if I tag that brand they will maybe re-share my pic.
  10. From Regan Miller Jones: It’s okay to set your pride aside and to ask dumb questions, and it is also okay to admit that others may know more than you and can teach you something that will make a difference in your success.

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Grilled Salmon Puttanesca on HealthySeasonalRecipes.com #paleo #glutenfree

How to Do Backlighting in Food Photography

controlling the light in the background of your image

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8 Food Photography Tips for Bloggers