Weekly Confessions: I’m the Worst Food Stylist Ever Edition

Food photography

You may have noticed a decline in the number of recipes I’ve been posting on InspiredRD.  Where it used to be one or two new recipes a week, you might be lucky now to get one or two a month.  I’ve been in a rut, and I couldn’t figure out why until a few days ago.

I was helping a friend shoot some food photos for a fundraiser, and it hit me.  I haven’t been posting recipes because I haven’t wanted to go through the process of styling the food for a decent photo.

I realized that as my photography skills have improved, my expectations on how the food should look have been set much higher.  As much as I’ve wanted to share new recipes with you, I just can’t bring myself to post a sub-par photo.

(Perfectionist much?)

And you guys, I just plain suck at food styling.  And I live in a rental with not many options for good light.  And I just don’t have that creative eye.  And blah blah blah blah blah.

Food styling

But you know who has a knack for food styling?  My friend Alexis.  The one who invited me over to shoot some recipes last week.  The one who stages houses for a living and can decorate a party like nobody’s business.  The one with shelves and shelves of food props.  She has that thing.  That make-all-the-things-look-beautiful thing that I definitely do not have.

Food styling

Therefore we are kicking ourselves for not doing this sooner, but we are doing it now.  We are teaming up to bring you more recipes!  I will cook the food, she will style the food, I will shoot the food at her gorgeous house with the hardwood floors and the big windows.

If you have any requests for recipes, let us know.  We are both bubbling with excitement to get started.


Are you a perfectionist?  Do you avoid doing things if you can’t do them just right?

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshin October 20, 2013 at 2:15 am

    I feel the exact same! I love cooking up new recipes to share but hate the picture process. That’s why my food photos are just nice angle shots and no styling! I have no idea what to do. I feel bad too because I have such a nice DSLR that just doesn’t get used properly!

    • InspiredRD October 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

      It definitely takes some practice. Have you ever taken a photography class?

      • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshin October 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

        I am in AP Photography at my high school at the moment, but they really don’t teach us anything, its all on our own!

  • Deborah Davis October 20, 2013 at 7:28 am

    I know exactly how you feel! I love sharing recipes but I sometimes get frustrated with the photography part. There are just so many blogs out there with beautiful food photos – it’s intimidating!

    • InspiredRD October 21, 2013 at 10:33 am

      It is intimidating! I think it helps to remember that people don’t come to our blogs for perfect photos, but for voice and community and all kinds of things 🙂

  • Adele (@morethancereal) October 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Sometimes I like to eat hot food and don’t take the time to get the good photo

    • InspiredRD October 21, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Oh yes. All the time yes.

  • ~MNMSpecial~ October 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I have been posting subpar pics just to get it done. I keep thinking I’ll go back when I have time. Can’t wait for new stuff from you!

    • InspiredRD October 21, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Well maybe that’s better than what I did (big fat nothing). Thanks Megan!

  • Kristine October 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    You’re definitely not alone. My husband and I spent 3 hours last weekend trying to take a decent picture of a mug of hot milk with a spoonful of molasses dripping into it. The results were satisfying but the process way anything but. Sounds like you’ve got a perfect plan in place with Alexis!

    • InspiredRD October 21, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Oh wow, that sounds tricky!

  • Jessi Boehme October 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I definitely agree with you here…I just want to eat the food I make and not style it but I know my blog and marketing with my photos will suffer if I don’t style it! I’ve been reading a book on food photography but I do love that you use her hard wood floors as a backdrop! I would vote for an oatmeal recipe of any sorts. I think it’s difficult to make it look nice in a photo but I’m certain it can be done!

    • InspiredRD October 21, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Oatmeal is definitely a challenge. I have a few older posts using oatmeal…I definitely want to go back and redo some of my oldest (and ugliest) recipes. What book are you reading? Plate to Pixel is a good one.

      • Jessi Boehme October 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        I always try to make oatmeal look pretty…but most often times it looks like mush! I’m reading Digital Food Photography by Lou Manna. It’s got a lot of really great tips but I’m trying to read and practice as I go so that I retain everything. There’s soo much more to it than I ever knew!

  • Jaime Huff October 20, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Too funny! It’s a lot of work to do to take photos and who wants to wait to eat something so yummy?

    I love to cook, I am good at it, but I am not original, I am not good at taking pretty photos nor do I have nice dishes. LOL I’m good with just eating the food and reminiscing later about how I should have photographed it.


  • Jamie October 22, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Hello from Dreamers and Builders! What a fun blog!! I blog all things books and take pictures of the books and always struggle to find creative ways to get the shot, so I feel ya!

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