This post was so much fun to write!
I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most famous photos you might recognize from my website before they’d been cropped for the blog. Hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownies
I’m embarrassed to tell you the purple you see in the picture above is actually Method cleaning spray. Photoshoots can make a mess, so I like to clean everything before ants discover the chocolate feast. In this case, I think the purple is kind of pretty… but obviously not very appetizing!
A few years ago, this was one of THE most popular photos circulating around pinterest. It looks quite different from the cropped version, don’t you think?
So much going on with this photo… I don’t even know where to look first. As I’ve become more skilled in photography, I’ve learned to take up the whole frame with my shot; therefore the more recent “behind the scenes” photos usually need much less cropping than in the distracting picture above. (Buying a macro lens also helped.)
Flourless Chocolate Lace Cookies
They look so tiny in comparison to the cropped version!
Mocha Chocolate Oatmeal “No Bake” Cookies
Could I possibly get any further away??
Shiny background courtesy of tin foil. I used the tin foil trick in many of my older photos when I wanted to add a little shine. Finally, I invested in a giant reflector, meaning no more funny tin foil outtakes.
Once again with the tin foil. A self-taught photographer, I admit to having developed quite a few unconventional tricks over the years. Hey, but they work! (The frozen yogurt also happens to be sitting on a flattened Whole Foods grocery bag, giving new meaning to the idea of recycling grocery bags.)
Do you recognize this picture? It’s simply an uncropped photo of the famous cookie dough dip.
When I lived in Texas, beautiful light often shone through the living room window, so it’s where I set up many of my photoshoots (as seen in the above photo and in the five below). Sadly, my apartment in DC is not nearly as well-lit.
Healthy Starbucks Frappuccinos
For any given photoshoot, I’ll take anywhere from 20-100 pictures from many different angles. I like options.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cookies
Using glasses—as in the picture above—or any shiny surface to reflect light is another trick I use often.
Homemade Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups
A more perfect example of why I needed a macro lens could not exist.
German Chocolate Cake In A Mug
The reflection from the glass table was later cropped out.
Using a placemat and a paper napkin from Party City as a backdrop. I’ve also been known to use scarves, pot holders, tee shirts, cardstock, fabric scraps purchased from Jo-Ann for about a dollar each, or even my jacket—whatever happens to be lying around during the photoshoot.
For more funny behind-the-scenes pictures:
Thanks for sharing. It is great to see how other bloggers set up their shots. I liked the reflection of the cake in the glass table. 🙂
Jill @ Champagne for Everyday says
I love this photo montage! It’s so cool to see all the recipes in one place. You put so much effort into it all, but it’s a total labor of love and all the lucky readers get to benefit! <3
wow, that’s a lot of photos! your photos always look great, and i rarely think about all the time and effort that must go into them. you kill it…and everything you make looks delicioussss.
Hannah S says
Thanks for sharing with us. I think it makes your desserts seem a lot more real and helps me not feel as bad when the outcome of my baking doesnt look exactly like the photos in your recipe 🙂
This is amazing! I can totally relate to using scarves, Party City napkins, and deconstructed brown paper bags in the past…I guess we all do and it’s not as weird as we think!!
shannonmarie (rawdorable) says
Ha ha. I’ve done some of the same things to get my photos to look a certain way. Cool to see I’m not the only one. I love how you are so open with your readers.
Haha, I couldn’t agree more with the post! My friends always think I’m crazy for what I do (and don’t allow them to do i.e. eat) while I’m taking pictures for the blog
Lol, this was great!
Heather - Butter&Burlap says
I actually love this post. For a new food blogger like me, I picked up on a few tips and tricks that you’ve used. I’m certainly going to input that foil trick in my next shoot! I never seem to get enough light in my house.. grrr. What is a macro lens? Sound like a good investment, what benefits did you get from having one?
Unofficial CCK Helper says
Google Canon macro 100mm lens and it will explain. It gets close-ups.
Your uncropped pictures still look a hecka lot better than my edited ones! Lol 🙂
I did not know you lived in DC! What are your favorite restaurants there with vegan options? I am going there soon and just want input from a local 🙂 Thanks for sharing your photography tips!
Chocolate Covered Katie says
Rasika is a MUST. It’s not vegan, but it is very vegan-friendly. DC is also great for Ethiopian. I’ve not yet been to Native Foods, but I hear great things.
love this post! Thanks for sharing and being so open with your process. So often the great pictures are all we see, so getting behind the scenes is always so much fun! And really inspirational as someone looking to up my photography game!
Katie, I absolutely love that you shared these photos with us! It reminds us that you are human too and that we all have to start somewhere in our careers (tin foil) 🙂 I actually love most of these pics regardless of the cropping or editing you did for the final pic. Its awesome to see the outer edges of the scenery of where you took the pics. Thanks again for sharing!
Quite amusing! You have really improved in your photography. Keep up the great (and drool-worthy) pictures that make me wish that I could just grab into the screen and pull out the treat (like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) 🙂
Cropped or not, they all look great to me! Never thought about how much work goes into the artistic side of food. Thanks for all you do.
Thanks for sharing your originals! I’m in the middle of a photography project with friends, and I often wonder how often people get the composition in the original take v. after cropping. After looking at your photos, I want to play with both methods to see what ends up providing better pictures!
Very interesting to see how you make things look so yummy and appealing! 😉
Jennifer Stevens says
This was really cool; thanks for sharing! The power of cropping!! 🙂
Jules @ WolfItDown says
It is so interesting to see how you take photos and then select the best angle for cropping! Thank you so much for sharing, and have a lovely Wednesday 🙂 xx
Your behind-the-scenes uncropped photos look pretty amazing, to be honest! Lovely useful post, thank you:)
I love this!! Your photos are always so gorgeous!
Oh my! This delicious treats are making my mouth water!
Loved this post!
Cropping definitely makes a big difference in photos 😉
I love seeing this kind of behind-the-scenes look at how you take your photos. I don’t really photograph my food (although I did a few times when I made special family recipes), but in general I often find that I wish my photos were closer-up than they are when I initially take them. It’s so interesting to me to see how some of your images took shape when you got closer and cropped all the excess away. Very cool.
P.S. Guess what book just came in the mail for me today?? Your cookbook! I am so excited to read it all and decide what recipe to try first! Do you have a few favorites? Do you remember which recipe you wrote (or decided to include) first?
Alas… I promised myself I’d get my work done and run my errands first; then I get to “play” with my new cookbook. LOL. *GRIN*
Chocolate Covered Katie says
Thank you so much for buying it!
I really love the coconut brownies… but surprisingly the pistachio ice cream might be my favorite 🙂
I finished reading it the other day and I don’t know where to start because EVERYTHING looks good! Maybe I’ll have to turn this into a “Julie & Julia” thing: go through the entire cookbook, making each recipe, one by one. 😀
The pistachio ice cream does sound delicious (I just looked it up again, and that picture is delectable), but which one is the coconut brownies recipe? I looked up brownies in the index and none of them say ‘coconut.’ Is it the “Secretly Healthy Brownies” (p. 38) because they have coconut oil in the recipe? Or do you mean a different recipe?
Either way, it sounds fantastic. I love brownies and am always looking for the ‘ultimate’ recipe. *GRIN*
Thanks again for the amazing cookbook. Sometimes I’ll get a cookbook and as I read through it, I can see specific recipes I’d love to try, but some just make me say “Eh, not really interested.” With yours, everything sounds and looks amazing. You’ve done a fantastic job! I can’t wait to get cooking.
Ana @ Ana's Rocket Ship says
You’re pictures are all so pretty! Even the ones that didn’t make the final cut!
This was so fun to read! Seeing the big picture, and behind the scenes is really neat! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!