In case you haven’t noticed, I really, really like baking. My love for baking is unquestionably rooted in my love for dessert and my lack of a substantial income to purchase already-made fancy treats.
When I was really little, I remember getting ridiculously excited about Christmas Cookie Baking Day. When I was kind of little, I remember sifting through my mom’s recipe file and watching the Food Network and requesting to make all the new treats that I stumbled upon. When I wasn’t very little anymore, I remember constantly finding treats online and my parents coming home to me making chocolate crepes with chocolate moose filling.
Through my constant combing of food blogs, recipe-driven Google searches and my recent obsession with Pinterest, I’ve developed an appreciation for food photography, as well. There’s something to be said about how a photo can transform a dinner into a work of art. More than that, I’ve become interested in how the use of photography plays into whether or not I actually make any given recipe.
For example, as my coworker (from the Dave Barnes concert) pointed out, showing photos of every step of the process is one of the most appealing elements of a good recipe post — and I promise that’s not just me being bias since I do that. The step-by-step photo illustration is so much more appealing than a video demonstration, which, let’s be honest, no one watches. (Do they?!) Plus, I’m so much more likely to make a recipe that is pictured looking adorable than if it’s just slopped on a plate. Like someone probably said once, it’s all about the presentation!
I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t know any more about food photography than I do about regular photography, which is not very much. Recently, however, I have been much more aware of the impact of photography on my chosen recipes. So today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite food blogs and how photography has added to their appeal.
The whole Sugar suite of sites is pretty great, but Yum Sugar in particular appeals to me. What I love about YumSugar is how it presents the photos with its recipes. They’re not included in the body of the recipe, so if you just want to see the directions, nothing gets in your way. The photos are then displayed at the bottom, so if you need to see something, you can pull it right up. Plus, all their finished products are just perfectly presented! I’ve found a ton of recipes I want to try, but some of the most tempting are the Chocolate Caramel Corn, Sweet Potato Fries and these adorable Turkey Cupcakes! Plus, YumSugar features the Week’s 10 Best Photos from the Yum Community.
This blog is much intimate than YumSugar. It’s the endeavor of two lovely women who you really feel like you know after reading just a few posts. Their blog is much like mine in the sense that the ladies share stories alongside every recipe, which I think is great. The recipes feature photos with every step as well as tips and suggestions along the way. It’s like having your own personal chef right on your lap top! Some of my favorite recipes include these adorable Candy Corn Cookies, Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and this awesome post on Halloween party recipes. A friend of mine introduced me to this site, and it was a really great find.
I don’t even remember ever actually starting to follow Pillsbury Baking on Facebook, but at some point I apparently did and all these delicious-looking photos started filling up my news feed. What I love about Pillsbury Baking is that the recipes are so creative! It’s all these really original recipes that are incredibly easy because they primarily use already-made Pillsbury products. It sounds really commercial, but I never cease to be impressed. Some of my favorites are the Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies, Country Blueberry Coffee Cake and the “Be Mine” Brownie.
All three of these blogs share one thing in common, and that is that they use photography to show recipes as more than just food. They use photography to show how food can can be a gift, it can be art and it can bring families and friends together. And it’s just plain yummy!
So while I’ve got you all thinking about food as art, I want to stick in a little teaser for next week’s post, which I am super excited about! Next week, I will be featuring a famous food photographer, who happens to be my uncle. Former Art Director at Leo Burnett, Jim Carlson, will take some time to chat about the art of Food Photography. So get excited!