The art of food photography

7:11 AM

This, my friends, is my Grandma's recipe for Minty Chocolate Cookies. My grandma loved to bake. Every Christmas she would make oodles and oodles of hand dipped chocolates, cookies, and desserts. This cookie is one that I always looked forward to at our family Christmas party every year.  I'm so happy that I have her recipe, written by her.

It's important for me to be able to document my memories as a child and our memories we are making right now as a family. It seems that in my family food tends to be one of the main events so it's only natural that I would want to remember our family dishes and traditions. One way of remembering it for me is to take pictures.

It might be easy just to click away at the food but it does take some skill to master the technique of making the food look appetizing and memorable. Take a look as I go through the the process of how to make these cookies:

Let's start with butter and sugar...

Cream together 2/3 cup butter and 1 cup of butter in a mixer. 

Next add 1 egg, 1t. vanilla, and 1t. mint extract. Mix throughly.

Now add all of your dry ingredients including 1 1/2c. flour, 1/2c. cocoa, 1/2t. baking soda, and 1/2t. salt. 

Mix until flour is all incorporated. 

give Lyndon a taste to make sure it is yummy...

For the frosting, follow a simple frosting recipe (or buy a ready made jar of white frosting) and add a hint of green food coloring and mint flavoring. 

Now for the fun part, pictures of the finished project...

***Photography Tip #1***
The way to get natural looking pictures is to only use natural light. So turn off all of your overhead lights and only use what is coming in from the windows. I don't have a lot of natural light on my kitchen counter late in the day so I took all of the following pictures on the table near the windows. See picture below:

***Photography Tip #2***
 Like I said in my photography tip from yesterday...I rarely try to do any sort of major editing in the coloring department.  I try my best to get the picture correct straight out of the camera because as I tweak temperatures and/or saturation it can quickly make the food look unnatural and often times unappetizing. 
All of the photo's in this post are unedited except for cropping.

***Photography Tip #3***
If you are having a hard time getting enough light from your windows OR if you find that the background looks too cluttered and distracting, try using a large piece of white foam board. That's what I did for the first picture (the one with the writing on it) and the last picture of the cookies. Maddie was my assistant today and helped hold the board for me. 

***Photography Tip #4***
When taking a picture of something capture it from a lot of different angles. Don't just get a head on shot and call it good. Take pictures from above, the side, up close, far away, even from behind. That way when you are editing and looking for the best picture to portray that certain something you will have lots of options to choose from. Often times I end up choosing the very last shot of a sequence of 40 frames because it turned out to be my favorite ones which makes me glad I didn't stop at #10 and call it good. :)

Recipe for Grandma Perkes' Minty Chocolate Cookies:

1 c. sugar
2/3 c. butter
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 t. mint extract

cream together these 5 ingredients and then add"

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Mix until flour is all incorporated. Chill dough for 1 hour and then roll into small balls. Coat balls in sugar and slightly press them onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degree for 8-9 minutes.

Let cookie cool completely then sandwich between a thick layer of mint frosting.

fyi: This batch will make approx 12 cookie sandwiches. I made HUGE cookies and was only able to make 5 sandwiches.

Last but not least, I couldn't end the post with you thinking my kitchen was a little too immaculate for having just made cookies...

And there ya go, now you should feel better about your own kitchen. :)


abby said...

Thank you so much for all of your photography tips! I guess I'll have to do some baking to try them out!

Heidi said...

Thanks so much for sharing Katie. I think photos make or break blogs and these tips really help.

Please tell me you have plans to give us tips on crafts and craft tutorials?!!??!

Maybe ;) ?!?!?

Tracie D with SOC said...

Hey Katie, Such beautiful pics. I hope you don't mind but I have shared this post on my blog (with links to you here of course). The Bickies just looked so delicious!! Thanks for the tips.

calamein said...

Those pictures look good enough to eat. David loves mint and Chocolate I will definitely be making them. Thanks for sharing.

Barb Phillips said...

I have really enjoyed reading through you photo posts. Thanks for sharing your "HOW I TOOK THE SHOT".

Andrew P. Agosto said...

You have taken the food photography in to a new level.Thanks for the post.
clipping path

Anonymous said...

Can't taste your cookies but it is delicious post.Thanks for sharing.
clipping path

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