How to Frame a Foodie Picture

Food is a major part of life. Without it and water, we’d have a difficult time existing.

It’s no wonder, then, we spend a lifetime thinking about eating. Restaurants dot every major area. Neighborhoods have access to grocery stores. And millions of blogs dedicate their themes to meal plans, food reviews, and new recipes.

I have recipes on this blog, even though they are not its main point.

In ruminating on this idea one morning, I looked down at my breakfast plate. I laughed. This was not a plate one would post in a magazine or on a blog. This was my breakfast, meant for eating.

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However, I realized that all the cute photos I see online are just food. Just people. Just flowers. I wondered: could I make my sloppy mess of pancakes into something beautiful?

I thought I just might:

  1. Choice of food. From organic produce at grocery stores to the perfectly-symmetrical cakes of blog pictures, foodie photographers know that choosing perfect products is the first step.
    Surprisingly, optimal photography subjects are not mandatory. Out of curiosity and laziness, I opted to keep the same pile of mismatched pancakes for mine throughout the process.
  2. Choice of plate. Plate, however, is imperative -unless you manage to not capture it in any shots. Choose something bright and crafty if you have it; otherwise just stick with plain white or grey.
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  3. Choice of garnish. Since my photograph involved breakfast; I knew my available garnishes needed to be items related to pancakes: fresh fruits, nuts, syrups or sugars, etc. I didn’t have anything laying around except the nuts and sugar, so I used those.
  4. Placement of garnish. Food photos may look like the parsley rained down randomly, but it didn’t. I therefore stuck each walnut in an artistic location, even using two to prop up some of the pancakes.
    The powdered sugar is a similar beast; it looks much better dusted than dumped. So, I dug out our fancy sugar sifter.
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  5. Surroundings. Where you snap the photo is vital. As they say in real estate: location, location, location. As silly as it may be to find a plate of flapjacks in a field of lavender, people love how it looks.

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Focus is fun to play with as well. This final shot is focused on the lavender; the one before is on the front nut. You also need good lighting, a steady hand, and a bit of an off-center placement of the subject matter.

If you don’t want to worry about all that, just follow the basic 5 steps I outlined. Or, just eat the darned pancakes before they get cold.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Cleaning Tip 1

Most of my housekeeping has the end goal of never needing to do it again in my life. I’ve got to change that philosophy because, lo and behold, every day brings more clothing and more dishes.

*Sigh*

Part of my 12-step process has been to learn what does work with cleaning. Surely there are methods, products, tricks, etc. (besides death or a maid) that make housework easier. Right?

Cue discovering a new cleaner: Bar Keeper’s Friend.

No, I don’t have a link nor a picture. You have the internet; you search. That way you can’t blame me for being a sales-pitch blog and all that.

This is a picture of the inside of my crock pot after using the cleaner.

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It’s actually a picture of the inside of my crock pot after my sister-in-law cleaned it for me. I didn’t even know she’d purchased the stuff. That is also why there is no “before” picture.

Just imagine streaks, stains, and several dubious brown spots.

The stuff seems to work so, if you have a kitchen implement or sink or whatever that’s listed on their bottle; try it. Hopefully your pan/pot/sink/child* will come out looking brand-new again.

 

*Do not try Bar Keeper’s Friend on your child.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?

Not too long ago, I had a side job. It entailed scouring the internet for pictures of birthday parties, home décor, and craft how-to’s; stealing copying those pictures; and writing about them using keywords and sponsored links.

Before I had that job, I didn’t have a Pinterest account. I didn’t have an Instagram account. And, honestly, I didn’t even have a blogging account.

Before The Job I planned birthday parties for the sole intent of celebrating someone’s birth. I had little that was superfluous for decorating. And I hadn’t ever made a cardboard tombstone or flocked a Christmas tree.

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After nine months of writing the articles, therefore, I knew a lot more about the back-alley world of Pinterest. I knew that there were at least “11 Classroom Games for Room Mothers,” that I could look up “10 Minecraft Party Ideas,” and that there were “12 Ways to Pumpkin-Up Your Porch.” (That last title was my idea.)

And I felt a bit disturbed.

Were all the moms out there really doing birthday parties like that, or houses?

What I’ve seen in real life confirms my fears. Joanna Gaines is all over magazines, Target, and my neighbors’ houses. Party favors, games, and backdrops for one-year-olds follow a coordinated theme. I scrolled through a thread on TwoFacebook recently about installing pallet board walls, headboards, or ceilings. Women in my area show up to parties in low boots, tight pants, front-tucked-in shirts, and long-curled hair; carrying magazine-ready plates of organic foods and centerpieces that would shame Martha Stewart -for an afternoon lunch.

Over-the-top, much?

I know how lovely a well-planned party looks; how much creativity cred a mom can get from other moms for sticking to a theme. I’ve seen the white sitting rooms, silver candlesticks, and fur rugs that make a house look like a family never even breathed in it.

Yes; it’s a nice look.

No; it’s not worth it.

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Why? Because we have to live in a house. We have to raise our children to be balanced and not assume perfection. We need to be present more than give lots of presents. It is possible.

The reason I have a birthday party is not to show off.

The reason I decorate my house is so the kids can look forward to a holiday and so the house itself feels dressier.

The reason I run through a how-to is so that I can get the battery changed in the car without electrocuting myself. If I read a crafting walkthrough, it’s so that I can make an awesomely scary ghost with the kids.

Parents have enough on their plates without worrying about plating the food. They have enough mess to clean without trying to get handprints onto paper plates or shiplap onto walls. Do we really need to make parenting more difficult?

No.

So, don’t feel guilty with a Wal-mart cake and singing. Don’t sigh over mismatched furniture. Don’t worry that you can’t make an American flag out of a pallet.

You just might be human. Plus, your little humans will learn to be reasonable, too.

 

Photo Credits:
Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash
Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash
Photo by Hedy Yin on Unsplash