At the beginning of the year I stated that I wanted to improve my photography skills, meaning I wanted to actually have some! I began to use my extremely old digital camera instead of my cell phone camera and signed up for Blogging University, which was offered through WordPress. The assignments were great for me as they got me thinking more about framing my shots and photographic composition in general. Since the class was through WordPress it also acted as a guide and informed me about some of the features supported by this platform. In short, I learned quite a bit about the operation of my camera and the (very) basics of photo editing. My husband then surprised my with a new Canon DSLR camera for Valentine’s Day. Now there is so much more to learn!

My new camera has infinitely more ability and intricacies. I have been using it on our travels and have seen a huge improvement in my photography, in general. My posts about the Hearst castle and the Botanical Garden in Arizona are some examples from my new camera.  I love the quality of the pictures but am now more aware of my lack of knowledge about photography as a whole. So, to start my new, much longer and steeper learning curve off right, I decided to take more classes. I have identified two major issues for myself. The first is understanding the camera’s features and using the ISO, F -stop and manual focus abilities correctly. I feel that I need an actual hands on class with an expert for the proper instruction, so I have enrolled in a digital photography class which will begin next month. The second concern which I would like to improve upon is in the specific context of food photography. Craftsy.com is a great resource for recipes, online shopping and online classes. I have purchased several of their courses in the past and have always been happy with the information they have provided. The specific class I viewed this time was Food Photography, from plate to photo with Andrew Scrivani. There were seven lessons each focusing on a different aspect from how the camera functions, to lighting, and finally food styling.

Lighting is a tough tackle for me. My kitchen is beautiful and I wouldn’t change a thing but  there are overhead, strong lights and the granite counters are shinny, as are the stainless steel appliances. There are a lot of reflective surfaces that do not lend themselves to great pictures, so I made a few purchases to help redirect the light. The instructor advised using a black background to absorb light and white, or silver surfaces to remove shadows, or create ones where they are needed. I also purchased a light diffuser to help with the direct, east facing daylight that enters from the right of the photo below.


I also bought a few clamps to hold up the boards


When it came to the food styling portion of the class, I found that there were many ideas that I could incorporate in my “emerging” style. I really liked Scrivani’s style as well and found that I was drawn to many of the natural elements he presented. My current collection though is too shiny or reflective for the camera, so I took inventory and bought a few items as well.


I like these fabrics and hope they will keep the shin down on my counters. The wood palettes are in keeping with my other natural elements

I then turned my eye to plates, glasses and any other items I thought I might want to incorporate in the future.


I was trying to get a mix of colors, but remain in the muted tones. The glasses I found at Value Village and remind me of the ones my grandmother had when I was young.

I tried to take a couple different angles, to see how the light played off of all the pieces.


3/4 light from the right side


This is the top view with the light perpendicular from the right.

Overall, I am please with these pieces and found the information from the Craftsy class extremely helpful. Tomorrow I will see how it all fits together with an actual recipe. I will be making the cinnamon roll cookies from Sally’s bake along challenge, wish me luck!

4 thoughts on “Food Photography: An online course from Craftsy

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