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Food Photography Tips… gone very wrong!


For even more bloopers, see: Going Behind The Scenes – With A Food Blogger

Do you watch the blooper reels they sometimes include at the ends of movies?

I happen to have my own set of blooper reels. You might think, “Food doesn’t even move, so photographing food must be the easiest thing in the world,” but this is quite untrue! Food photography is a tricky—and often frustrating—subject. The best food photography tip I could ever give to you is to have a sense of humor, because sometimes things can go very wrong…


Starting with my Single Serving Banana Pancakes.

This is what happens when you’re lazy and try to save time by taking food pictures and not using a tripod and timer. Pour with one hand, hold the camera in the other, and you’re bound to get syrup all over the place.

Not so fun to clean up, but not nearly as bad as this next example:

blooper drink

Watching the camera, I completely misjudged where to pour… And I was very sad because I’d planned to drink the shake after taking the pictures. Instead all I got to do was clean up a giant mess.

Remember how gorgeous this milkshake looked in the finished photos?


Now a lesson from Henry: Photo Bombing 101

dog cookies

Oh hi, Flourless Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


food photography tips

Hi again! Nutella Rice Crispy Treats


coffee cake dog

What, you mean you don’t want my beautiful face in your food photography pictures?

Coffee Cake in a Mug


Henry could have a degree in photo bombing. And he’s teaching Batman his evil ways…

bloopers batman

Think I’ll just help myself to some Crispy Sweet Potato Fries.


Dog eating cookies

Get away from those Pumpkin Stuffed Chocolate Cookies!


More food photography bloopers:

blooper cake

Behold, the exploding red velvet cake in a mug!

spilled milk

At the time, I actually thought this picture of my Vanilla Chai Milkshakes was artistic. I even submitted it to foodgawker… and was surprised when they rejected it! Seriously, how on earth could I not see the resemblance to bird poop?? What was I thinking?

Funny, I was just gonna go across the hall and write that on Chandler.

Then there is ice cream:


Going going… Pumpkin Cookie Dough Ice Cream


chocolate cauliflower cake

Gone. Cauliflower Chocolate Cake

After the ice cream fell, I decided to just give up and call it a day. Scooped the ice cream back on top of the cake, and ate all the evidence.

Part Two: Chocolate Covered Katie – What You Don’t See On The Blog



Published on May 1, 2013

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

Learn more about Katie

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  1. Olivia@ OmNom Love says

    Lol! Food photography is very difficult. You can’t tell it how to stand or what to do or what NOT to do. With that said, I’ve definitely had my fair share of food photography bloopers. 🙂

  2. LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby? says

    Ah, another good reminder of why I’ll never write a food blog. I have no patience whatsoever for photography. Oh well, I’ll just admire all the pretty pictures that other people take and be happy with my stick figures.

  3. Alanna says

    lol great post… love the dogs photo-bombing. And I’m always amazed at how you manage to get pouring photos in focus, so it’s hilarious to see the bloopers! 🙂

  4. Juniper says

    I’m such a fan of bloopers, thanks for sharing yours with us. I love you’re blog and am always excited to see what you’re going to create next. Thanks!

  5. Sunnie says

    Ha-ha, oh Katie, thank you for your post! That was funny. 🙂

    My biggest problem with food photography tends to be lighting. Oh, and blurriness. Sometimes I get good pictures . . . but not always! Also, I need to practice much, much more. At least your blooper pictures still look crisp, clear, and colorful!

  6. Christine says

    I loved this post! Reminds us that we’re all human. 🙂 And even your ‘oops’ photos look awesome! Have a great day!

  7. Sarah the official CCK Drooler says

    “A Day in the Life of a Glamorous Food Blogger”- #notsoglamorous
    Food blogging has suddenly lost its appeal to me. I kid, I kid. kind of 🙂

  8. Susan says

    If you had just photographed the coconut chai milkshake on a different table… Even though it was obvious that what was on the table was spilled milkshake, it was impossible not to think of bird poop 🙂 I really appreciate you sharing these. Since I’ve never tried to do food photography (other than some very moldy dark chocolate peanut butter cookies), it never occurred to me that disasters would occur.

  9. Shannon says

    HAHA, loved this! Although I would totally keep the pictures with doggies in the background. They are really just helping to sell it. 😉

  10. Nicole says

    Love this, Katie! My favorite part of movies are the bloopers.
    When I look at food blogs, the photography always looks perfect. It’s nice to see that sometimes your kitchen looks like mine (dog help included)! 😀

  11. Laure Ricketts says

    I really enjoyed this post! Very funny! As well as interesting to see the “behind the scenes”

  12. valerie (ruby) says

    hahahah, this was a fun post to read. i wish it were possible to leave picture comments because i think it would be awesome for everyone to be able to share our similar photo failures. food photography really is more difficult than it looks!

  13. Lisa says

    Oh man, your bad photos aren’t bad compared to some of the ones I’ve had. Those ones are treasures that’s for sure.
    This post was fun.

  14. Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says

    This post might turn out to be your most popular post ever, not because we food bloggers reading can’t relate (we can!), but because photo-bombing Henry and Batman are just so adorable! Thanks for sharing, Katie! 🙂


  15. Sadye says

    Hilarious! Thanks for sharing! Though, as a proud pet owner myself, I would vote for using any photos where the dogs snuck in 😉

  16. Masha @TheMashaUltimatum says

    OMG! I am literally rolling on the floor laughing at those pictures of Henry. That is sooooooooooo cute!!!! Thank you for this post. It really brightened up my day.

  17. Jessica says

    I used to be a professional photographer. I’m not one to worry about the photos on my blog. I try and make them look presentable, but as I said recently, I take pictures typically right after they come out of the oven and often right before they go into my mouth. Therefore, my hands are full 🙂

  18. Anonymous says

    I have a dog that looks just like yours (black white and brown) and she is into everything. She’d walk into a perfect shot too 😉

  19. Katy @ Katy's Kitchen says

    This gave me a good laugh. Thanks for sharing, its good to know we all experience the same frustrations when photographing food! My dog always photo bombs mine too ;P

  20. Carla says

    hahaha! I truly thought I was the only one with epic fails in the food photography department!! I’m so glad I was wrong!! I enjoyed sooo much reading this post! 🙂

  21. Anonymous says

    What a fun post! Personally, I think you should use the pics that your dog photo-bombs in… would make your already sweet looking photos even sweeter! :p

  22. Gabby says

    What a fun post! Personally, I think you should use the pics that your dog photo-bombs in… would make your already sweet looking photos even sweeter! :p

  23. Alexie says

    Such a great post – it is a true art to laugh at yourself. Plus, you do so by showcasing your ADORABLE dogs and your delicious food, which still manages to look good despite some spillage! (That reminds me, I think it’s time to revisit your banana pancakes…)

    By the way, are/did you happen to be in Wisconsin? Because I saw this girl at my Gold’s Gym who looked EXACTLY like you hammering away on the treadmill.

  24. Iris says

    This is a really cute post! You don’t know how many pancakes I’ve drenched in maple syrup trying to get a good shot. I still haven’t mastered it. But then again, I’m really lazy and never use a tripod. Which explains a lot… 🙂

  25. Sarah @ SimplyScrumptiousBySarah says

    Katie… I love the pictures with your dog!!! The one with the oatmeal cookies is just beautiful! I would have used them because he is too cute! And he is just staring at the cookies like they are the most delicious thing ever! 🙂

  26. Vanessa says

    Love this whimsical post–your dogs are so cute. Why wouldn’t they want to stick around with their human and sniff yummy food? Thanks for the chuckle 🙂

  27. Bek @ Crave says

    Haha, I take my hat off to you- your photos look perfection, well atleast the ones you choose to show haha. Thanks for taking us behind the scenes 😉

  28. Sally Chippendale says

    I love this post. Your dog pics are hilarious. I find my kids hands usually end up in some, especially cookie shots. Photographing ice-cream can start me off with a panic attack. Its like speed photography.

  29. Leetra@runningmylife says

    Those are funny! It’s a good thing I don’t take photos of food too frequently because any time I try, I seem to forget and just eat it 🙂 Occasionally I want to put a picture of something amazing I ate on my blog, and it always has at least a few bites out if it.

  30. Lori says

    I needed a good laugh today. Thanks! Your dogs are precious. Of course they would want to check out your yummy food creations! I hope we get to see more pictures of your dogs in the future. (And more bloopers!)

  31. Nikki @ The Road to Less Cake says

    This made me smile.

    I love that your dog gets in so many of your photos. Such a cutie.

  32. Nessy says

    Those pics with the pups are so cute! I can just imagine if I tried something like that with my chickens around…. the resulting food photography would be “void photography”! 😉

  33. Amy says

    Katie, this is a crack-up! I’m definitely not brave enough to post my failed shots for everyone to see… Good for you!

    Any tips on good pouring shots? You have quite a few pancake posts with cute photos, but I’ve never been brave enough to try one myself!

  34. Rachel says

    These are hilarious! Like everyone else, I love the ones with the dogs in them. Your dogs have much more self control than mine do…my dogs would scarf down anything remotely near their mouths! Also, in the second picture I definitely thought the spilled milkshake was actually a plate. I had to look twice to figure out what was wrong with it.

  35. Jacqui says

    Haha I love this post!! So refreshing to see someone post their mistakes!!

    I also have the same issue with my cat getting her nose into everything!

  36. Emilia says

    Haha, love this post! It’s so amusing to see the story behind the pictures and always good to remember that even the most gorgeous food photography is difficult to take. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  37. Madonna says

    I still have yet to try out one of your recipes. I frequently read your blog, but I don’t know which recipe to test out first. Everything you make looks good. Any suggestions?

  38. Michelle G. Noel says

    Bloopers are always fun and i enjoyed your pictures! I particularly love the one with your dog. I have always thought that food photography is the most fascinating yet the most difficult.

  39. Alyssa B says

    Haha eat all the evidence! This one time my sister and I made a pan of brownies for dessert while our parent’s were away. We ended up eating half the pan when it came out of the oven. We were embarrassed so we just ate the rest of the pan to hide the evidence before my parents got home. Lol.

  40. Kayla says

    This is a really funny post! Now that I think about it, one-woman food photography would be a little hard!

  41. catydid says

    I received an email from pinterest that they are deleting your pins due to a copyright violation. I do not understand why you have a pin button if you don’t want pins. It is a little daunting to get that message from pinterest and I don’t think it makes you look very good.

  42. robyn @ the freckled pie says

    this is awesome! as a new food photographer my self i appreciate all the help i can get! these pics are hilarious! xox

  43. SamICan says

    Katie, I always love your blog. I’ve been addicted since the cookie dough dip.
    Thanks for this post. It makes me feel so much better now that I am trying to get decent photos for my blog. I’ve had a lot of bloopers too!

  44. Julie says

    Well these were fun! Thanks for sharing. Someday I hope to have a blog, I’ve been practicing in my own kitchen. Sometimes it’s good other times nada.

  45. emi says

    Hi there!
    I came across your blog searching for pink smoothies. I laughed out loud at this post!:)

    Keep up the good work! 😉

  46. Josh says

    Correct food photography should be lit from behind with reflectors and diffusers in front. A professional food photographer has a team that specializes in the food preparation, this is not the photographer’s responsibility and is a different area of study altogether. There are no exceptions here, each area requires study. I would say you are a cook, and a terrific one at that, concentrate on what you do best and keeping sharing your great recipes! 🙂

  47. Lynnette says

    This is a great post. I love that your blog is filled with beautiful yummy posts and photos but you are not afraid to show the ‘blooper side’. My bloopers mainly consists of me dropping things while transporting them from the kitchen to my ‘food set’ haha.

  48. I Love To Cook! says

    Never been interested in food photography, but this was an enjoyable read. Being well written and informative; while short and to the point. Personal and technical points mixed very well, along with great pictures that matched their tips. Bravo!

  49. Angela says

    Katie, these are so funny and honest!! I especially loved the ones that Henry photobombed and the Vanilla Chai Milkshake…your commentary is priceless!! My immediate thought on that one was that the spillage looked like bird poop, then read your comment!! So funny. Thanks for sharing! By the way, I’m in the process of developing content for my first-ever blog and will definitely be linking to some of your recipes. ?

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