A few simple tricks and tips to get your food photography accepted on Foodgawker!
I remember the first time that Foodgawker rejected one of my photos, because I was convinced that they were evil and would never accept any of my photos. Then one day, I took a picture of my avocado smoothie and knew that I had a chance with getting accepted. Wishful thinking, maybe, but I had started to look through pages and pages on their site and realized a few things that they love to see in photos. This photo was my first submission that was accepted to Foodgawker on 10/09/2015.
Since October, I’ve had over 40 other photos accepted. I’m also still learning about photography and I’m by no means an expert, but persistence is key in getting accepted on Foodgawker. They will give you different reasons for why a photo isn’t accepted, and you should make those changes and then re-submit the photo. Let’s get into the tips and tricks!
- “Low Lighting/Underexposed”
Foodgawker likes crisp, clear and well-lit photos. One reason that your photo will not be accepted is what Foodgawker calls “lowlighting/underexposed”. I always recommend shooting with natural light, preferably right by a window. Yellow lighting(household bulbs) and artificial lighting is very hard to work with and will make your photos too dark or mess with the colors of the food, which will almost automatically get your photo declined. It’s better to start with a photo that’s underexposed (less lighting) than overexposed because you can adjust the exposure in different photo editing tools (pic monkey, adobe photoshop & lightroom). I’ve noticed that I have to make the photos a lot brighter than I’m even comfortable with to have them accepted, but if you find that your photos are getting declined for low lighting, then edit the exposure and re-submit it!
2. “Composition/awkward angle”
Certain angles work best for food photography, and Foodgawker appears to like 3 of them the best. There’s the overhead shot, the 45 degree angle, and the straight on shot. There are other angles that you can use, but if you look at the majority of the pictures on foodgawker, they are one of those three types. I personally like the overhead shot, because you can capture more of the dish, ingredients, and even add in props.
This is an overhead shot that I took of my turmeric and coconut milk vegetable bowl. I added in some of the ingredients that are used in the recipe to create some interest around the bowl.
This is close up shot of my bok choy and maple glazed tofu recipe, at a 45 (ish) degree angle. You can see that there is less of the actual ingredients in focus in the shot, but there is more texture showing of the bok choy.
As you can see, I generally submit the photo from my blog post that is an overhead shot. It’s easier for me to get a clear, crisp photo, and cropping the photo doesn’t remove too much of the food.
3. Cropping your photos
There are a few ways that you can crop your photos before submitting them on foodgawker, but the easiest way for me is using Adobe Lightroom. After I have edited the photo I then crop it. In lightroom, I click on the crop overlay tool and change it from “custom” to “1×1”. This will give it a square crop, which you can then move around on the photo to pinpoint exactly what you want to be left in the square after you crop it. When I save the picture after cropping it, I resize it to “long edge” and save it at 550 pixels. I also sharpen the screen amount to high, which will make everything a little bit more crisp.
4. Make sure your photo is on your blog post
This is a very simple rule, but Foodgawker will not accept a photo of your food that isn’t actually on your blog post. They also won’t accept a photo that isn’t linked to the actual blog post that is featuring that recipe, meaning don’t leave a link to your homepage. They will actually go onto your blog and make sure that everything is linked correctly and the photos are with that recipe.
Other tips/tricks that have helped me:
- While you don’t need to use a DSLR, it has been a game changer for me and my food photography. I don’t have a super fancy camera, but an entry-level Canon EOS Rebel SL1*. I originally used the kit lens (the lens that came with the camera), but then I upgraded to a 50mm lens* and absolutely love it! You can take up close shots and get really nice texture and detail, plus it’s incredibly light and easy to carry around with you.
- Garnish, dress and jazz up your food and photos. An easy way to bring interest to your photo is by adding a garnish, toppings or a sauce to the dish. Cilantro, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and coarse salt and pepper are some of my go-to’s that I sprinkle on top of savory dishes before I take a picture. It also looks nice to sprinkle some of the ingredients around the bowl or cup in the photo to hint at what’s inside the recipe. I added some spinach around the bowls of soup because spinach is in the actual recipe, and it added a nice hint of color to the photo.
Don’t give up! Like I said before, persistence is key in getting accepted on foodgawker, and continue submitting and adjusting your photos until you get accepted!
Leave a comment if you have any other tips, tricks or advice for getting accepted on Foodgawker!
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