As a female blogger, I feel the pressure quite often to take gorgeous photographs of food that I’ve made myself. Here’s the deal: I cannot make pretty food.
I actually find myself unfollowing foodie Pinterest boards because they make my feed look like the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. There are many reasons you won’t see pretty food photos here:
I have an extremely tiny kitchen. I live in a condominium with a very small kitchen space. It’s about the width of a hallway and the length of four upright refrigerators. Counter space is rarely available. There’s no room for prepping, or getting bags of chips or toaster cords out of the way to take any photos.
There’s very little natural light in my home. Yes, I know photos are taken best in natural light; unfortunately there are no windows in the kitchen. We have a backyard that I’ve used to take jewelry photos, but I really am not interested in getting a bunch of ingredients out in the same place where my dog frolicks and gets stinky. Drink recipes? Maybe! Oh, and you can forget about me getting a lamp or other extra lighting. Where’s it going to go?
I simply cannot make food attractive. Believe me, I’ve tried. And every time I have failed miserably. When I frost cupcakes, they look the same as they did when I was four.
My parents did not make food attractive. Dad did most of the cooking, and it was for function. He made great stuff – wow, his Moo Goo Gai Pan was amazing! But there was really no need to make food attractive. If we entertained, we got cheese and fruit platters from the store. Meanwhile, when mom made a cake, she baked it in her trusty cake pan that she probably got when she was married. It would come out frosted like a four-year-old, and usually with those candy letters on it. You think my mom actually wrote on cakes? No way.
I am a caregiver who doesn’t have time to learn to make pretty food. The deal with being an unpaid caregiver is that you have to make an income somehow, so while juggling your patient’s health along with two or three jobs, there isn’t time to learn frosting or piping or how to properly use Pampered Chef products. Also, my mother is really tired from dialysis and all she wants is something that is ready-made for her. We are very thankful for the frozen food aisles at the grocery stores.
If you are able to create those beautiful photographs of food, use your photo editing software to make them look good enough for Southern Living, understand that you have my utmost admiration. But that’s not me.
You’ll see my life. You’ll see photos. Many of my dog. But if you see pretty food, you can guarantee it was made by someone else. Here’s to the food and recipe bloggers who are amazing at what they do.
Right now my main concern is trying to figure out how to take photos of my black dog. That is a task in and of itself!