Photography Coaching

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  • Reply Saxon February 3, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Nom nom nom nom nom nom. I’ll come back another time for more erudite and confronting social commentary.

  • Reply Vera February 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Got one!!! And I hope your and Talia’s dreams come true!!!!

  • Reply Jas (the gluten free scallywag) February 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Delectable looking cupcakes and I hope that Talia takes those food business hurdles in her stride, they’re certainly worthwhile when you do. I love the looks on peoples faces when they bit into that soft crumb of red velvet and get that tart hit of cream cheese frosting…

    • Reply rachel jane February 5, 2014 at 2:21 am

      I am sure that she will – she is unstoppable. I had forgotten how great Red Velvet cupcakes are until we did this book, rekindled my love for them!

  • Reply Swati Singh February 13, 2014 at 9:45 am


  • Reply DellaCucinaPovera March 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Its looking beautiful ESPECIALLY for a soup first 😉 Looks delish.

    • Reply rachel jane March 6, 2014 at 7:17 am

      It sure does. Gosh I love it so much.

  • Reply laurasmess March 6, 2014 at 7:57 am

    You are so luckyn to have a flourishing herb garden at your apartment! I am struggling to keep my balcony garden alive, it’s just been fried every day by the hot Western Australian sun. Even my rosemary died last week… sad days! Anyway, glad that you’ve had a different experience. Gorgeous photography… love the drops of moisture on those fresh basil leaves. And the pesto looks divine x

    • Reply rachel jane March 6, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      If it makes you feel better, our Rosemary died also! It was in a planter with other plants and it was over watered. The rest are great though. Our basil, thyme, chives and chillies it on a window sill of a north facing window and do quite well. We did have some heat waves in Melbourne, but overall its a great place to grow plants. I am also growing micro greens at the moment! You should try those, grown in eaten in 7-14 days, hard to go wrong.

  • Reply Petra Greening March 6, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Great photos! Makes me hungry!

    • Reply rachel jane March 6, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Petra. The green is gorgeous isn’t it!

  • Reply tracyvalentinawood March 6, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Lovely! The oil content is so important isn’t it? Too much & it’s horrible. xTracy

    • Reply rachel jane March 6, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Yes, you are exactly right. The very first time I made it with a recipe I found, there was just too much oil and once you have added it, there is no going back!

      • Reply tracyvalentinawood March 6, 2014 at 9:49 pm

        Yes I know, just becomes too oily & strong. For a change try a recipe that I have posted. We call it Winter Pesto. Originally the recipe was one of Jamie Oliver’s, but I have changed it slightly. Uses curly kale or cavolo nero. We love it & make it often. xTracy

        • Reply rachel jane March 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm

          That does sound super! I am a total leek fan, so I will definitely try this.

  • Reply Vera March 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    homegrown, homemade. Excellent!

  • Reply merilyn March 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    looks lovely … I love pesto and I have a basil plant which is flourishing at the moment so I will get to work and not be lazy! … inspirational photography! … cheers m:)x

    • Reply rachel jane March 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Great! I would love to know how you go.

  • Reply Basil in your Herbal Medicine Cabinet - Back40 March 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    […] Revisiting Basil Pesto […]

  • Reply DellaCucinaPovera March 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Any tips on how to make your basil live long and prosper? I’m alwaysss killing mine and totally agree with you on the benefits of home-made over store bought pesto! Looks delish.

    • Reply rachel jane March 12, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Oh gosh, I am not a green thumb at all – maybe just lucky? We keep the plant on our window sill which gets north facing light each day, lots of light. We water it every second day and I give it some liquid natural fertiliser fortnightly. We also have it in a pot which you can’t overwater. It has a drip tray in the pot itself, under the soil tray, so that excess water can be absorbed when needed or evaporated if there is too much (I have a tendency to overwater it!). I cut the plant back by 2/3 when I made the pesto, so we will see how it grows back!

  • Reply A Twist On Talia’s Beer Cupcakes – Ginger Beer Cupcakes In Cinnamon Sugar & Awesome Opportunity For First 50! | Two Loves Studio March 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

    […] and I have been doing regular cupcake shoots since we created our e-book Talia’s Cupcake Dream, she has even been giving me some baking lessons! We have been playing with the recipes in the […]

  • Reply themindlessmusings March 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I am in love with the photos in this post! It’s bright and playful.

  • Reply angelica | table twenty eight March 15, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Oh how pretty! Wonderful lighting, you really nail your white balance (the thing I have the most trouble with!)…

    • Reply rachel jane March 16, 2014 at 1:43 am

      Yeah lately it just isn’t an issue, it comes bang on straight out of the camera. I think shooting manual helps and I usually just shoot on auto WB. Do you shoot RAW files? WB is easily fixed in post processing if your files are shot in RAW.

  • Reply Kiki March 20, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Hi Rachel Jane – everything looks very appetising, as usual 🙂 Never even heard of microgreens but the look of them in your pics got me interested, and I just did a little research. Will try to grow some at home. Do you have any special tips you could share?

    • Reply rachel jane March 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

      They are so easy to grow. Like an elementary school project, soil, seeds and water. They just grow! No tricks and they are usually ready for harvest within 7-10 days. I have mine sitting on a Southern facing window, as I don’t think they like harsh direct light! They are cute huh?

      • Reply Kiki March 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm

        Totally cute! And they make great props in food blogging 🙂

  • Reply Karene W March 20, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Fresh and Yummy!Lovely shots!

  • Reply Pang March 21, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Your photos are so mouthwatering & gorgeous as always. I can eat this salad every week; spring is indeed here.

  • Reply DellaCucinaPovera March 23, 2014 at 8:55 am

    This looks heavenly. And what a trident of a fork 🙂

  • Reply Helen @ Scrummy Lane March 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Hello! Wow! This is such a beautiful salad … and with beautiful photographs to match! I bet the sweetness of the figs goes just perfectly with the feta 🙂

  • Reply The Urge To Shoot Cakes; A White Butter Cake Will Do Just Nicely! | Two Loves Studio March 26, 2014 at 7:16 am

    […] both her baking and cake shooting skills. She fuels my urge to bake and luckily I have my friend Talz who can bake a mean cake for me whenever I feel like I need to sink my teeth into a cake […]

  • Reply Helen @ Scrummy Lane March 29, 2014 at 6:00 am

    I love the idea of making a cake with a friend … especially one as beautiful as this! Love the all-white effect of your photos. Truly beautiful!

  • Reply tracyvalentinawood April 7, 2014 at 4:24 am


  • Reply Avocado & Jalapeño Dip – A Great Snack For The Busy Month Ahead | Two Loves Studio April 7, 2014 at 8:30 am

    […] work. I have penciled in one day a week off, and over the weekend just gone, I spent that day with Talia shooting our Easter recipe. Playing with melted chocolate just hardly feels like work. That post […]

  • Reply Greenshoots Photography April 7, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Rachel, The dip looks wonderful and your photography displays the dish to its very best, I am sure that you will do an equally fabulous job in the up an coming Paleo book project. Best regards, Keith

  • Reply datewithaplate April 7, 2014 at 8:55 am

    This looks really good, I will try it out this week 🙂

  • Reply merilyn April 7, 2014 at 9:50 am

    good on you Rachel jane! your photography is stunning I’m sure you will do a great job!cheers m:)

  • Reply Vera April 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Excellent! That is so exciting!

  • Reply Punk Domestics (@punkdomestics) April 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (, a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

  • Reply angelica | table twenty eight April 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Congratulations! That’s so exciting! If these photos are anything to go by, the cookbook will be amazing… Can’t wait to see it.

    • Reply rachel jane April 14, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Thanks lovely! It’s a whole lot of learning that’s for sure. Was peeking at your onion tart this morning. Yum yum!

  • Reply sabine April 14, 2014 at 12:11 am

    I love this, it´s elegant, creative – and not so over the top as many easter ideas I´ve recently seen – completely agree with you on that! The real difficulty is to keep it simple, yet original AND delightful, think you did just fine here! Thanks!

  • Reply Kiki April 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Gorgeous pictures, as usual – and I’m totally impressed with the egg shell idea. I’d prefer a muffin egg any day over a typical chocolate egg!

  • Reply cheri April 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    These are so gorgeous, how clever to use the egg shells to make them in, perfect shape for Easter.

  • Reply Helen waisel April 14, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Fabulous idea! I was looking for something a bit different for Easter Sunday picnic, I think these would look lovely on the table…

  • Reply datewithaplate April 15, 2014 at 3:29 am

    These are adorable! Love the photos too, really enjoying your work 🙂

  • Reply Evie {Domestic Whimsy} April 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    SO clever!! They look delicious–I want to eat one right now!

  • Reply lauren April 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    These are stunning! I’m not much of a baker (give me savory any day!), and while I knew about baking savories in egg shells, never cupcakes! Of course this from the woman who hid undyed eggs and the kid who still has to find one!

    • Reply rachel jane April 24, 2014 at 12:45 am

      Yes I saw that on Instagram – made me laugh!

  • Reply Pang April 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    This is BRILLIANT… truly BRILLIANT!!!!!

  • Reply sabine May 3, 2014 at 12:03 am

    beautiful dough pictures, and congrats on the upcoming publication!!

  • Reply alifemoment May 3, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Wow, Well done!!!

    • Reply rachel jane May 3, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Thank you! It will be such a pleasure to look at the finished product and know what all the hard work was for.

  • Reply merilyn May 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    hi Rachel jane … your photography is superb and I’m sure it will be a great success … good on you!cheers m:)X

  • Reply DellaCucinaPovera May 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    lovely, as always. Just made pizza dough on this side of the globe 🙂

  • Reply Karene W May 8, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    love these shots! Do you feel you’ve grown photographically, taking so many images for the book? You must’ve. Congratulations!

    • Reply rachel jane May 9, 2014 at 2:36 am

      Hi Karene, yes definitely. I think the more you shoot the more you grown, and as there was a huge number of photography sessions and shots taken for this project the growth is more exponential. I think I have been growing for some time now and a lot of these images aren’t on the blog yet so its probably skewed a little. Thanks for you kind words.

  • Reply Esther Bishop May 9, 2014 at 3:47 am

    Sure would like to see the recipe for the Pizza Dough. We won’t sell it or give it away if you don’t want us to do so. It looks good and i would love to make it.Just go to my e-mail address and you will reach my e-mail.

    • Reply rachel jane May 10, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Hi Esther, thanks for your comment. As the recipe is not mine I have chosen not to share it. Being a food photographer first and foremost, I am pleased that the images inspired you to want to make your own pizza – that’s what my journey is all about.
      I never want anyone to be disappointed at TLS and I will certainly keep your feedback in mind when I occasionally post other photos without recipes in the future. This space is first and foremost about photography; my personal journey into food photography and sharing my photographic art with my community, as such there will be portfolio updates from time to time that do not contain recipes and I will endeavour to make this clearer in my posts to value my readers time and expectations.

  • Reply Stephanie May 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Where is the pizza dough recipe?????

    • Reply rachel jane May 9, 2014 at 2:42 am

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for reaching out about the pizza dough recipe. The recipe that Matt and I use is not actually my recipe. When we were travelling around Australia some years ago, we stayed with an organic olive and fig Farmer on Kangaroo Island and he made this recipe for us. As it is his baby and not mine, I didn’t shared it on my blog. I shall add this story to the post so others know – thanks again. Rachel.

  • Reply Shirlee Fallesen May 9, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Couldn’t find the recipe. Would sure like to see it,

    • Reply rachel jane May 9, 2014 at 2:45 am

      Hi Shirlee, thanks for reaching out about not being able to find the recipe. I have not included the recipe in this post as it is not mine to share. When my partner Matt and I were travelling around Australia some years ago, we stayed with an organic olive and fig farmer on Kangaroo Island and he made this recipe for us. I appreciate you letting me know your feedback and I will add this to the post so others know why there isn’t a recipe. Rachel.

      • Reply Bea May 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

        What’s the point telling people you’ve got fabulous pizza dough recipe if you not going to share? Been looking for a good one for years and still no success… I’m sure the farmer wouldn’t mind, don’t keep it only for yourself!

        • Reply rachel jane May 10, 2014 at 12:31 am

          Hi Be a, Thanks for taking the time to comment and letting me know your thoughts on their being no recipe on my pizza dough post. As this blog is first and foremost about photography; my personal journey into food photography and sharing my photographic art with my community, there will be portfolio updates from time to time that do not contain recipes.I never want anyone to be disappointed at TLS and I will certainly keep your feedback in mind when I occasionally post other photos without recipes in the future and I will endeavour to make this clearer in my posts to value my readers time and expectations.
          My fellow blogger Francesca over at Della Cucina Povera recent did a wicked pizza post recently, , might be worth checking out to see if you can end your search!

  • Reply allesistgut May 9, 2014 at 6:42 am

    It looks so delicious again!!!! Want some of that, please. ;D

  • Reply Kiki May 9, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Lovely toast recipe, and definitely informative post re; unsustainable palm oil. Luckily I have a friend who keeps me up to date on such issues and shoots me dirty looks when I’m tempted to eat a chocolate bar made by a company well known for using that kind of palm oil. Good idea to raise awareness in such an unobtrusive way 🙂

    • Reply rachel jane May 10, 2014 at 12:34 am

      Thanks Kiki, I really appreciate those comments. I really just wanted to do something a little more special for my mum on Mother’s Day and I am pleased to hear that my intentions came across just how I wanted them to. Aren’t we lucky to be have people in our lives who are willing to make a stand on important issues.

  • Reply Noel Venter May 9, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Hi, just read your update as to why you don’t give a recipe! I don’t buy that excuse, sorry! When you GIVE a recipe, you G I V E it! A gift, now it belongs to the givee! It has been shared, and the understanding, in my opinion, is that the recipient may change it to suit themselves, pass it on to others, or otherwise use it, not claiming originality necessarily, but it becomes as it were common property. UNLESS it was given wit the request that it remain a secret! One is hardly likely to pass on a recipe that one wants to remain a secret to anyone surely, so I can’t believe the benevolent Dan would object? But you keep your recipe, but please don’t post your brag and make us jealous and waste our internet time searching for a recipe you have no intention of sharing! Disappointed Pizza Lover!

    • Reply rachel jane May 10, 2014 at 12:22 am

      Hi Noel, Thanks for taking the time to comment and letting me know your thoughts on their being no recipe on my pizza dough post. I never want anyone to be disappointed at TLS and I will certainly keep your feedback in mind when I occasionally post other photos without recipes in the future. This space is first and foremost about photography; my personal journey into food photography and sharing my photographic art with my community, as such there will be portfolio updates from time to time that do not contain recipes and I will endeavour to make this clearer in my posts to value my readers time and expectations.

  • Reply Lail | With A Spin May 9, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I would love the coconut French toast. Delicious.

  • Reply Vera May 10, 2014 at 1:40 am

    Wow, I cannot believe how many people are upset about not getting a free recipe off your blog. Good for you to stand up for your purpose on this blog, which is to share your photography journey and share some recipes. I wonder how many people would still want the recipe if they could buy it instead of just grabbing it. Ahh the wonderful world of wasted “Internet time searching” for freebies … Love your photographs!

  • Reply Vera May 10, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Lovely post Rachel! And a Happy Mother’s day to your mom!

  • Reply Pang May 12, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    What a lovely dish to make anytime of the year to any special someone. You are so right about how to live a sustainable life; even one person can definitely makes a different 🙂

  • Reply aubrielegault May 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Beautiful photos! Loved it.

  • Reply cheri May 16, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Australia sounds like a lovely place, we love to hike, we are here in the southwestern part of the us. Lotus root has always intrigued me. Beautiful pictures!

    • Reply rachel jane May 17, 2014 at 5:22 am

      Thanks Cheri, it certainly is a lovely place – much like the USA, very diverse. They have also intrigued me also for quite some time, so I bit the bullet and went and made some!

  • Reply Many Cha Cha Michelle May 16, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Beautiful photos and the food looks amazing. You’re making me homesick for Melbourne. (I once bought dried lotus root, just out of interest and with no idea how to cook it. It was like eating tan bark!)

    • Reply rachel jane May 17, 2014 at 5:25 am

      Really! I can understand why dried would taste like that. It has a little bit of a gluey consistency to it. Fried is much nicer, almost like potato – but way cooler. Melbourne is an amazing place, what do you miss the most about it? I know if we were to move, I would crave for the food scene.

  • Reply Pang May 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I can’t believe you did this lotus root chips!!! Wait until I tell my mom in Thailand, she is going to be so ecstatic :)I love your photos, always do. And I can’t wait to see more and more and more “Asian” posts 🙂
    p.s. I am SO SORRY you got to face the nasty side, but I hope you know there are more of us in the good side who think highly of your blog. 🙂

    • Reply rachel jane May 17, 2014 at 5:33 am

      This is probably the best comment I have had on my space here thus far, so nice to know your mum will be excited for this post. I hope I do the Asian cuisine justice. I am really looking forward to it. That is quite alright, I think it happens to everyone – it’s just a good reminder to always been true to yourself!

      • Reply Pang May 18, 2014 at 1:23 am

        🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Reply lauren May 18, 2014 at 12:33 am

    We love five spice around here, and my son LOVES (like, with the passion of a thousand burning suns!) chicken wings. This looks like a must do for our family. Not sure I can manage the lotus chips here in coastal Virginia in the US, but we’ll manage.
    And I’m sorry that the screaming meanies came out. I love your work, and you’ve long been an inspiration to me.

    • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 2:46 am

      Kids love chicken wings don’t they – Matt is still a kid in that respect. Aussies don’t make a big deal about wings like the USA does, which is a real shame as they are such a great dish for brining people together. Thanks for your kind words Lauren, it means a lot!

  • Reply Graham May 18, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Rach – this looks and sounds so good that Im out tomorrow to locate some lotus root and cook this recipe during the week. I will let you know what I think of it.

    • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 2:47 am

      Great – can’t wait to hear what your thoughts are!

  • Reply tracyvalentinawood May 19, 2014 at 1:13 am

    I think that you are doing a great job and have a lovely blog. Such a shame that people want to destroy that and leave inappropriate comments. Keep up the good work and have a great trip.xxTracy.

    • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 2:44 am

      Thanks Tracey, I think people forget that behind these blogs are real people doing what they love! I am really looking forward to my trip and eating out of cans for a week, (maybe not?).

  • Reply DellaCucinaPovera May 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    These look awesome -and- Im wayyyyy jealous of your asian food scene in Melbourne. yum!

    • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 2:47 am

      Oh, I’ll bet. It is one of the reasons keeping me in this city. I would eat it every night of the week if I could!

  • Reply merilyn May 24, 2014 at 8:42 am

    you are the best food photographer Rachel jane,that looks so delicious … thank you m:)x

    • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 1:31 am

      Merilyn, you are too kind and have made my day!

  • Reply Lail | With A Spin May 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Exactly what you need on a Saturday! Delish!

  • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Thanks so much for visiting my site Sini, I love the elegance and stories you tell. You a have very unique way with you work! Making dumplings are so much fun, and easier than you think. Let me know how you go, I am sure you’ll have no trouble with the dough.

  • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 1:41 am

    I have always wanted to make steamed buns. I think you did a fab job – I prefer a rustic look myself. I did choose the best looking ones for the photos and I wanted a very stylised and structured look so the eye focuses on patterns.

  • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 1:43 am

    We are certainly lucky – I have been to the Oriental Tea House, but not Indochine. I have on my list to check out Charlie Dumpling as well! I love shooting Asian dishes as there are so many elements to them. Not sure what to do for the next instalment. What is your fav dish Bec?

  • Reply rachel jane May 25, 2014 at 2:40 am

    I have a real soft spot for Asian soups, a simple chicken and sweet corn, a pho and tom yum – you can’t beat em. I am also a big stir fry fan – anything cooked in a wok really, so maybe those are the ideas I should go with!

    • Reply bec {daisy and the fox} May 25, 2014 at 2:51 am

      Tom Yum! My absolute go-to takeaway from our favourite sushi bar – ideal saturday night :PI agree, wok style is always gonna be good. it’s so fun as well! Tossin’ it all up in a pan of goodness.
      Oo sounds great – i’m excited already!
      quick question – where do you get all your fab probs and backgrounds from?

  • Reply mobie540 May 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    These look great, what did you use for the dipping sauce? Just soy or a rice vinegar/soy combo?

    • Reply rachel jane May 26, 2014 at 7:07 am

      I used a dark soy sauce and put come finely sliced ginger into it. I also love Sriracha sauce, so had a little smear of that as well. You could definitely have a dash of rice wine vinegar in there too!

  • Reply Snappystreet May 26, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Oh these look divine! So delicious, and just breathtakingly beautiful as well x

    • Reply rachel jane May 26, 2014 at 7:08 am

      There really is something about dumplings that we can really connect too isn’t there!?

  • Reply rachel jane May 26, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Oh you’ll have to try them now. It is quite easy to wrap the dumplings and fun too. I must admit I never knew this about Sriracha Sauce! I use the one that is widely available in Australia, which is probably not the original. It is the classic clear bottle with the rooster on it and green cap. I do love it though, would be really interested to try the one you speak about!

    • Reply Pang May 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      One way or another, I must try to get you the original Sriracha. 🙂

  • Reply angelica | table twenty eight May 26, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Bravo Rachel, what beautiful styling… And what perfect, intricately shaped dumplings! This really is some of your most beautiful work yet 🙂

  • Reply Anh June 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Wow! Your dumplings look wonderful! I wish I could wrap mine as well 🙂

  • Reply rachel jane June 19, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Just the from the sauces that I used in the recipes. I love a good ol splash of sriracha sauce. I also used some soy with freshly sliced ginger. Yumo!

  • Reply rachel jane July 18, 2014 at 2:52 am

    Yeah some restaurants will make their own, however you can buy amazing authentic sauces from Asian Grocers. I used a dark soy sauce and put come finely sliced ginger into it. I also love Sriracha sauce, so had a little smear of that as well. You could definitely have a dash of rice wine vinegar in there too!

  • Reply Thalia @ butter and brioche July 24, 2014 at 8:21 am

    wow this is incredibly beautiful, i can imagine how good they would have tasted. love it!

  • Reply Thalia @ butter and brioche July 24, 2014 at 8:22 am

    wow this is incredibly beautiful, i can imagine how good the macarons would have tasted. love it!

    • Reply rachel jane July 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      How good are macarons! I can see that you have a recipe on your site. I love the liquorice taste. Yumo.

  • Reply merilyn July 24, 2014 at 8:47 am

    always absolutely exquisite photography Rachel janeI come for the styling beauty … i’ll leave the cooking of these little beauties!
    I was wondering where you were … very busy and exciting news!
    hoping all of your dreams come true! love m:)X

    • Reply rachel jane July 24, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks for those lovely wishes Merilyn! It was a fun shoot.

  • Reply Vera July 24, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Great photos and musings Rach! And yes, very exciting news. We are looking forward to following ” your and Matt’s own rules”!! And how great that you will be working on some more of the Paleo books. Good to have you back on the blog…

  • Reply Pang July 25, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I am SO GLAD that you are back, really I do; otherwise I would not have reached out to you :)Congratulations on everything 🙂
    How lovely are these macarons and the Persian Fairy Floss Roses are so cute with them.
    You know I LOVE your photos & styling, but I will say it again & again 🙂

  • Reply rachaelhedges August 5, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    I love making dumplings but have never been motivated enough to try the different shapes. I may give it a go now though! 🙂

  • Reply Lemapi August 8, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Wow! Your fotos are so great!!!!Dearest Andrea

  • Reply Tante Mali August 11, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    This sounds fantastic and your pictures are amazing!All my best

  • Reply tracyvalentinawood August 19, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Great work!xxTracy.

  • Reply Vera August 18, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this! Looks delicious… Congratulatios Rach and Lizzy!

  • Reply simply pause August 19, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Your photos look gorgeous! Such wonderful quality images are going to make this a great book. Congratulations!(You’ve got me curious about learning more about Paleo too)

  • Reply lemapi August 19, 2014 at 10:03 am

    wow!sounds really good! great fotos!!

  • Reply Barb Ward August 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Congrats, Rach! Your very first book launch is very exciting!! The pictures in your sneak preview look terrific. You should be really proud!

  • Reply Kiki August 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Hi Rachel, your photos are absolutely gorgeous, as usual! Congratulations on getting such a fantastic photography opportunity. It must have been fun!

  • Reply aubrielegault August 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    The photos are amazing. I can’t wait to see more. Well done!

  • Reply bec {daisy and the fox} August 20, 2014 at 2:18 am

    such beautiful beautiful shots!!as I’ve never tried paleo before, but i’m now so excited and pumped to try some of these 😀
    keep up the amazing work 🙂
    Bec {Daisy and the Fox}

  • Reply Rachel Jane | Food Photographer August 20, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    […] to get the photos done. Not only did she hit the deadline, she has helped create a book full of incredible food photography. I was lucky enough to get to try a lot of the recipes and the ones I had were so […]

  • Reply Zoë Power (@zoepower) August 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Oh that looks fabulous – gorgeous photography, as always. Excited to see healthy food look so pretty and enticing. Just pre-ordered a copy 🙂

  • Reply lemapi August 21, 2014 at 6:08 am

    seams to be deliciousregards

  • Reply Frederike August 21, 2014 at 6:16 am

    Lovely post and pictures! As to why I will try this recipe: I’ve had troubles with my skin now for three years and after a lot of medical treatment I’m now trying to heal it by eating healthy. Therefore I was really drawn to this ‘skin food’ recipe and will definitely make it this weekend! It’s nice to have a new recipe that’s healthy and good for my skin!

  • Reply jodeie August 21, 2014 at 7:17 am

    This sounds like a really good recipe to sooth a sore stomach and problem skin at the same time!

  • Reply Matt Korinek August 21, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I’ve never really been into these types of smoothies but everything else I’ve tried from this book has tasted sooo good. I’m excited to give it a try!

  • Reply heather August 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    As a dietitian, I am always happy to see recipe posts that incorporate and promote the freshest ingredients in a way that’s pleasing to the eye and also explains what makes them good for you. This certainly hits the mark. Look forward to whirring up this beautiful smoothie!

  • Reply Pang @circahappy August 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    oh my goodness!!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing all those wonderful photos. I am going to buy the book just because I want to look at your photos, and I am sure I will get a great benefits from trying the recipes.<3 <3 <3

  • Reply Pang @circahappy August 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I want to share this recipe regardless because I am so intrigued and so eager to try avo + kale for a smoothie. This looks & sounds so delicious. I am truly loving this smoothie. 🙂

  • Reply Iman August 24, 2014 at 5:00 am

    I used to have severe acne and I know now awful it feels to have bad skin. Psyched to try out this smoothie, here’s to blemish free skin! Xx

  • Reply Pang @circahappy August 25, 2014 at 12:04 am

    This is the best looking Shepherd’s Pie I have ever seen. I have never liked meat pie, but the recipe from Paleo Reset by Lizzy Marsh is fantastic!!!! <3 <3 <3
    P.S. I just want to verify. You still want a comment on this post about why I am excited to try the Skin Food Smoothie recipe? In that case, I left the comment on the previous post & shared it on FB already. 🙂

  • Reply Dragon Fruit Photography August 25, 2014 at 12:26 am

    I love white on white food photography. Great shots ☺️👏

  • Reply Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen August 28, 2014 at 8:37 am

    This granita recipe is just so incredibly clever! Simple, quick to make, and full of flavor. Love your addition of the basil topping.

  • Reply Pang @circahappy August 29, 2014 at 2:23 am

    This is the loveliest Granite I have ever seen!!!! I love the spice with watermelon; I might just make it even in Fall. <3 <3 <3

  • Reply Lail | With A Spin August 29, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Stunning photography. Love them. The heat from the chili must make this granita divine.

  • Reply Kimberly October 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    BEEA-U-TIFUL styling! And your dumplings are gorgeous. I would love to know where you found your serving pieces. I love to entertain and share Asian food with my friends but finding the right serving pieces can be tricky. Well done!

  • Reply The Blonde Chef October 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Words cannot describe how gorgeous these are! I am envious of your unbelievable skill! I will definitely be making these for myself!

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 12, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks Aubrie, this project is so much fun. I love the dark look and looking forward to exploring that a little more.

  • Reply Pang @circahappy October 11, 2014 at 1:51 am

    I am so looking forward to more posts, and really love this series. So happy you started this project :)Gorgeous photos as always. I <3 <3 <3 this post of yours.

    P.S. You know that I am a HUGE fan of your work when I check out your blog even though I am on my doing-thing-everyday-vacation. 🙂

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 12, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Oh Pang, you are such a darling! You always make my day. How is your holiday going?

      • Reply Pang October 17, 2014 at 4:51 am

        Wonderful 🙂 U R so nice 🙂

  • Reply Simi Jois October 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Just found your space, the photography took my breath away…

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 12, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to share that with me. That is what makes it all worth while!

  • Reply SimiJois October 12, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Gorgeous! looks like art, breathtaking images

  • Reply Bea October 13, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I love the idea!Breakfast is such an unappreciated meal…….and I believe it sets you for the day!Not only physically but also spiritually. I always have a good day when I have good breakfast 🙂 Your photos looks amazing!As always 🙂 Hugs xxx

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 16, 2014 at 1:07 am

      I love that you mentioned it sets you up spiritually! That is part of the journey to experience that inner level.

  • Reply Lucy Parissi October 15, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I love pancakes and I could live for breakfast but what made me come over and comment are you amazing photos. Just the quality of black in those shots is really beautiful.

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 16, 2014 at 1:08 am

      Thanks Lucy, I really love the dark shots. There is just something so curious about stories they tell.

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Love this new series and can’t wait to see more of your gorgeous work! At ny house, breakfast is all too often rather boring. I’ve really tried to discover new breakfast items lately, to really fall in love with it and not just see it as a daily routine with a slice of bread and a cup of strong coffee. These pancakes look luscious! Perfect for a lazy weekend.

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 16, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Me too Sini. I am also hoping to challenge what is considered breakfast with this series. Not to say that we would do this all the time, but at times of celebration – wouldn’t it be wonderful?

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Love this new series and can’t wait to see more of your gorgeous work! At ny house, breakfast is all too often rather boring. I’ve really tried to discover new breakfast items lately, to really fall in love with it and not just see it as a daily routine with a slice of bread and a cup of strong coffee. These pancakes look luscious! Perfect for a lazy weekend.

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Love this new series and can’t wait to see more of your gorgeous work! At ny house, breakfast is all too often rather boring. I’ve really tried to discover new breakfast items lately, to really fall in love with it and not just see it as a daily routine with a slice of bread and a cup of strong coffee. These pancakes look luscious! Perfect for a lazy weekend.

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 6:02 am

    "In my dreams, there is a cake in a forest" might just be the best post title ever. Gorgeous, gorgeous shots!

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 16, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Haha – it might well be. It is such a pleasure to make fantasies reality. Not often we get to do that. I only have one other vision at the moment, so lets hope some more come along soon!

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 6:02 am

    "In my dreams, there is a cake in a forest" might just be the best post title ever. Gorgeous, gorgeous shots!

  • Reply Sini│My Blue&White Kitchen October 16, 2014 at 6:02 am

    "In my dreams, there is a cake in a forest" might just be the best post title ever. Gorgeous, gorgeous shots!

  • Reply Kiki October 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I love how your shots turned out! Absolutely gorgeous! It really makes me want to grab my photo equipment and do something like that. Unfortunately, in my vision I see lots of people taking a walk through the forest and shaking their head at the crazy woman with the cake :-DDid you spend the whole day in the pine forest to get it all done?

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 17, 2014 at 1:21 am

      Haha, yes I did have some thoughts like that. As it was a pine plantation, I was worried about someone telling me I wasn’t allowed to be there after I had spent time setting it all up! I few people did come past, they probably wondered what the hell I was doing.

      I was there for about 6 hours, there was a lot of set up and tear down. I had a filler light as well as the shadows can get quite dark. I also had some shots of me done, so that took up some time too. The light was just always changing and amazing. The best was for sure between 2-4pm, so I’d aim for that next time (but not sure I will go back. I’ve used that spot twice now. It’s probably done!).

  • Reply Pang @circahappy October 17, 2014 at 5:06 am

    What a lovely story that is!!!!! I truly love this project of yours. Sometimes, we all need to experience ‘cake’ without the need to make it. Sometimes, just looking at gorgeous photos of cake + lovely story does satisfy the sweet tooth in all of us. 🙂

    I can’t wait to see more and follow this project. I can’t wait to see what you will do next, and I am sure I will be in awe as always 🙂

  • Reply The Blonde Chef October 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I love your vision behind this! This definitely reminds me of a fairytale, and I love it! Stunning!

  • Reply anna October 23, 2014 at 5:54 am

    really good! thank you A LOT.

  • Reply Bea November 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Holy cow Rachel!You are a genius!LOVE,LOVE,LOVE IT! <3 The most beautiful food photo shoot I’ve ever seen!

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 12, 2014 at 6:16 am

      Sometimes are craziest ideas are the best ideas!

  • Reply Maryna Krasnozhon November 10, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Oh my ! The photos are so delicate! Very beautiful!)

  • Reply Elsa Rodrigues November 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm


  • Reply Elsa Rodrigues November 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm


    • Reply Rachel Jane November 12, 2014 at 6:17 am

      So good, why not say it twice!

  • Reply The Blonde Chef November 12, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Your work is just so inspiring! And this loaf is gorgeous!

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 12, 2014 at 6:17 am

      I just love everything about how this turned out, and I love the pears didn’t go fully read, leaving a the inner part a gentle glow. Love it when things just work!

  • Reply Pang @circahappy November 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

    OMG!!!! I really really really LOVE this post. LOVE LOVE LOVE your photos.You are truly my idol!!!!

  • Reply Tuulia December 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    This was so beautiful, loved everything about it! Gorgeous!

  • Reply Maryna Krasnozhon December 7, 2014 at 10:59 am

    these look stunning! So unusual at the time of preparation for christmas!)

    • Reply Rachel Jane December 7, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Not unusual when you live in the Southern Hemisphere! Aren’t they gorgeous though!?

  • Reply The Blonde Chef December 8, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Saw this on insta and had to check it out immediately! So gorgeous! I’m seriously so envious of your skill! You’re amazing!

    • Reply Rachel Jane December 9, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks Aubrie – you always manage to make my days. I knew I wanted to back light this shot, so the berries would just shine. Ah, I love berries.

  • Reply Jo | The Luminous Kitchen December 11, 2014 at 7:28 am

    Just gorgeous Rachel!! Summer definitely produces some pretty ingredients to play with. Definitely going to try this pastry. xx

  • Reply Pang @circahappy December 12, 2014 at 3:15 am

    Love … Love … Love

  • Reply Pang @circahappy December 21, 2014 at 3:18 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe & of course, all your photos :)Pin them while waiting for my SUMMER.Wonderful post as usual.

    BTW, Merry Christmas to you & your family 🙂

    • Reply Rachel Jane December 22, 2014 at 5:27 am

      Oh that’s great Pang! It was an enjoyable post. Lots of beautiful things to play with.

      Merry Christmas to you as well!

  • Reply Kiki December 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

    sigh Your incredible pictures are one thing, but reading the accompanying words makes me want to be at that breakfast table!

    • Reply Rachel Jane December 22, 2014 at 5:28 am

      I am so pleased to hear that Kiki! I was writing this feeling like I always do that I don’t enjoy this part and struggle with what to write, so I’m glad I was able to get the message across!!

      Have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Reply Maryna Krasnozhon December 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    It looks so good!! Amazing shots!)

    • Reply Rachel Jane December 22, 2014 at 5:29 am

      Thanks Maryna! My favourite part is the honeycomb – so beautiful.

  • Reply Jo | The Luminous Kitchen December 21, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Rachel!! This is such a gorgeous shoot!!! I adore it. Honeycomb – is there anything more pretty than that? Where did you get your white spoons???? I have searched high and low for white enamel spoons! xx

    • Reply Rachel Jane December 22, 2014 at 10:40 am

      There is not! It is so Divine and I’ve wanted to incorporate it into something for a while now. Was a fun shoot. All the colours just came together so nicely.

      The spoons! They aren’t mind. I hired them. I haven’t been able to track down nice ones like this either. We’ll have to keep an eye out for each other if we come across them!

  • Reply Keith Gooderham December 22, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Some very nice images here. I especially like the opening shot great composition and colours. Only sing one spoon rather than 3 and not having the pouring lips of the bowls aligned all help to make the image work.

    • Reply Rachel Jane December 22, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Thanks Keith! I agree, it is those little details that make a shot so powerful. I love the attention to details in my work – thanks for noticing. Have a lovely Christmas.

  • Reply Bea December 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    This is so beautiful Rachel!Thank you for sharing your journey – it’s been so inspiring for me to be able to peek at your work.Have a lovely holiday xxx Best wishes from England x

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 3, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks Bea! Hope you had a lovely holiday season and new year! I hope that 2015 brings you lots of joy and inspiration.

  • Reply Pang @circahappy December 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    You are truly amazing, and I hope you know you are my inspiration. I am such a big fan of your works :)Happy New Year to my favourite blogger/photographer ever!!!! Wishing you the best 2015 and many more years to come. I can’t wait to hear about your funding campaign because I need to be part of it. 🙂

    Btw, I am in awe at all your post as always those photos are amazing :)xoxo

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 3, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks Pang. I hope you holidays and new year were fabulous. I truly, truly appreciate your caring and supportive words. It really does mean a lot to me. I think this is one of my favourite shoots I’ve done!

  • Reply The Blonde Chef December 31, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    You are so amazing! I love the concept behind this shoot! So gorgeous! Also, I have a friend moving to Australia in the next few months (also a food blogger) and told her to check out your site as you are so talented! Happy holidays!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 3, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks Aubrie 😊. I was so delighted with how this shoot turned out. I think it’s one of my all time favourites. I hope your friends move goes well! Melbourne is such a great city, she’ll have the best time.

  • Reply The Blonde Chef December 31, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    That honeycomb is just, stunning! Love this!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 3, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      Isn’t it just! I’ve been waiting for something to incorporate it into!

  • Reply Tuulia January 6, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Once again, everything is so pretty!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 8, 2015 at 6:28 am

      Thanks Tuulia! Mini cakes definitely are pretty to shoot. Thanks for your kind words.

  • Reply Marla Meridith January 6, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Such sweet little cakes & I love the clock!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 8, 2015 at 6:30 am

      Thanks Marla. This is my favourite shoot that I have done thus far in my journey. The reason I bought these scales is that they look like a clock – how cool is it! such a great find.

  • Reply The Blonde Chef January 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Ok, loving this shoot! If you don’t mind me asking, which filter did you use? I am a huge VSCO fan and love seeing how others use it!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 8, 2015 at 6:31 am

      Hey Aubrie, I tagged you in an IG where I shared the name of the filter! Do you have VSCO presets? Which ones do you like to use the most? I find them challenging for light food photography. Do you find that?

  • Reply Pang @circahappy January 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I am always speechless when I see your post, this one included. <3 <3 <3

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 8, 2015 at 6:32 am

      As always Pang, you make my day! Thanks for your kind words.

  • Reply Bea January 9, 2015 at 8:51 pm


    • Reply Rachel Jane January 13, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Thanks Bea – that’s quite a compliment!

  • Reply Christin January 10, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Love these little sweet treats! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 13, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Great! Pleased to hear it Christin.

  • Reply Christiann Koepke January 11, 2015 at 5:42 am

    This is such a stunning post, truly!!!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 13, 2015 at 8:01 am

      Thanks Christiann! It was a fun shoot. Gingerbread is my favourite!

  • Reply Pang @circahappy January 15, 2015 at 4:48 am

    I am totally with you about props; I love love love prop shopping. And you are absolutely right; these photos are too good not to share 🙂

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 29, 2015 at 2:58 am

      Thanks Pang, glad you agree! It is so much fun. Glad I shared this post. xx

  • Reply Randy January 15, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Great photos! They made me happy just looking at them…now to try the recipe 😉

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 29, 2015 at 2:58 am

      Well that is just the best! That is what I aim to do. Hope it all goes well for you. Let me know how you like it!

  • Reply cattiva January 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm


    this looks very good. Very nice images. Thank you.

    Maybe you can have a look at my Dim Sums. You can find them here:

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 29, 2015 at 2:59 am

      Thanks for sharing those with me – they look great. You have some dumpling folding skills too. Hope you had as much fun making them as I did!

  • Reply Kiki January 29, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Wow – I never thought I’d say that meat looks beautiful but you made it so!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks Kiki! I had seen a few other photographers that I follow really highlight beautiful cuts of meat with simple props, so I was keen to do something moody and beautiful.

  • Reply Lauren January 29, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Just beautiful, Rachael! Your minimal approach really highlights the meat, and of course I love that backdrop! I’ll pull out my rusty cookie sheet yet! 😉 I love the look of your new site! I just had a sec waiting for my turn in the shower, but I’ll be back to really look around. I need to get better about making you one of my regular, inspirational stops. You’re making me wonder why I don’t shoot food as much anymore! XO Lauren

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 30, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Such lovely words Lauren. I am really loving the new space, it is just so functional and easy to be able to create the visual stories that I want. Hopefully you’ll be shooting some more food in the near future with your film camera – that would be awesome. Looking forward to seeing the cookie sheet more on IG!

  • Reply Barry January 29, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Rachael, I think is now officially my favorite of your posts! Everything is just amazing, and like Lauren, I especially love the backdrop. This makes me want to fire up the grill! Now, if only I had one to fire up… 😉

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 30, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      Hey Barry – nice to hear from you. Hope you are well! The backdrop really makes it. I wanted to stick away from wood surfaces we typically see with meat shoots as I think this is just much more powerful. I am really glad Sam went for my idea. I too don’t own a grill, living in an apartment but I’d be firing it up too if I had one. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply The Blonde Chef January 30, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Insert "bow-down" emoticon here ⬅️ Seriously, I love this shoot so much! That rusted backdrop and the various butcher tools are truly stunning (not to mention the expertly cut meats)! You are absolutely right to be proud of this! Well done, Rachel!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 30, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      You are too cute Aubrie! AND why is there not a ‘bow-down’ emoji? I feel like emjoi’s need a revamp. There is no steak emoji either! I am loving the feedback from the rusted surface, background of choice I think. Thanks for your kind words Aubrie – you make my day as always.

  • Reply Jasmine January 30, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Just stunning, love the pop of the meat against that gorgeous background. Beautiful looking cuts too!

    • Reply Rachel Jane January 30, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Thanks Jasmine! Pop is right, I just love how simple stories allow you to really focus on the soul of the image – the meat. Really lucky to have such perfect cuts of meat. The whole day, I was just like ‘wow, wow….and again wow’.

  • Reply Dena February 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    These look amazing.

    Dena@Gathering Flavors

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 9, 2015 at 9:58 am

      Don’t they just! I love shooting mini things. You will have to try them sometime.

  • Reply Bea February 2, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Hmmm…I’m not sure if I mentioned it before…I LOVE YOUR WORK!You are so super talented Rachel!

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 9, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Thanks Bea – these are such kind words. I really felt like I was in the zone on this. Simplicity is just so stunning.

  • Reply Justin @ SaltPepperSkillet February 3, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Such fantastic work! These are beautiful.

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 9, 2015 at 10:01 am

      Thanks Justin! Raw meat is truly beautiful. Thanks for stopping by, I checked out your site and you have some great work on there.

  • Reply eNdy February 8, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Amazing amazing amazing! These photos are so stunning! Im speechless really….

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 9, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Oh I love this post. It was a challenge to get the pancakes right, but who doesn’t love a pancake stack. I think the recipe might have scared some people off, but in terms of a concept, I was pleased. Thanks for you kinds words.

  • Reply Steve Tredinnick February 9, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Outstanding, Rach. Beautiful aesthetics. Your work goes from strength to strength.


    • Reply Rachel Jane February 9, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Thanks Steve, this was a really exciting project and I was so keen to make raw meat look like art. You are right, the aesthetics were perfect. I was hoping you’d have a look at this post as I knew you’d appreciate it! Hope your well x

  • Reply Rebecca@figsandpigs February 9, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I have just found your blog and I am blown away by your beautiful photographs a firm new favorite of mine so inspiring. I think I like the wagu beef shot best but also the shots of the knifes and tools so characterful.

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 21, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      Hey Rebecca! Thanks so much for visiting my page – so pleased you found some inspiration here. I agree, I love the Wagyu shots as well. I had a little look at your page, you have some great recipes on there. Will have to try the mussels and saffron!

  • Reply Aysegul February 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I am in awe of this photography. Especially because I know how hard it is to make raw meat look so beautiful like this. Very well done..

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 21, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Thanks Aysegul! It was almost too easy with this backdrop and props. Not to mention the brilliant cuts of meat.

  • Reply felicia | Dish by Dish February 19, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Rachel! I’m so glad I found your blog when I was browsing through Pinterest. Your photos are so inspiring – but I’m sure you’ve already heard it a thousand times. I’m at the point where I really need a breakthrough in my food photography (I only started taking pictures of food around 3 years ago when I started my blog Dish by Dish, but only over the last year did I see some improvement).

    Having blogs like yours is a great way for me to aspire and grow as a budding food photographer. Thank you.

    P.s. I love your take on Asian food. I’m Asian, and these dumplings look too darn good.

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 21, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Hey Felicia – thanks for stopping by! I too am glad that you found me and something that will drive your photography further.

      There is definitely a turning point, and we all reach it in our own time and when we are ready. The turning point for me was looking at images that were challenging and beyond my skills, everyday I would read these sorts of images then apply the techniques and styling they used. Your Yoghurt Parfait has some great lighting – well done!

  • Reply felicia | Dish by Dish February 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    SO BEAUTIFUL it blew my breath away!! You’re so talented. So this is what it means when they say creating stories with photos..

  • Reply Daniel February 20, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Nice shots, beautiful lighting. did have a question about where you found metal background like that. I’ve been searching for something like that and can find new metal but nothing with "character"

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 21, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      Thanks Daniel! The lighting was natural light in the butcher shop – pretty lucky really. I just love this background too. Sadly it isn’t mine though. I hired it from a prop studio. I thought I’d mentioned that somewhere, but turns out I think I mentioned where I got it from on IG. It was quite a large metal try, like one that you’d find in an industrial oven or a commercial kitchen. It’s a little worn and rusted so when I applied my VSCO filters, it textures were really highlighted.

  • Reply merilyn February 23, 2015 at 6:40 am

    absolutely stunning photos of your delicious looking food Rachel jane!you are very talented! thankyou for sharing! love m:)X

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 23, 2015 at 9:53 am

      It’s a lovely little post isn’t it Merilyn! Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by as always!

  • Reply blossom February 23, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Hey-o! Not sure if you’ve answered this question but where did you buy you knives from? I lovvvvvve them.

    • Reply Rachel Jane February 23, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Everyone loves them! Me especially!

      I hired all these props for this shoot, from a local food styling and prop place. So unfortunately I don’t own them or know where they got them from. Trust me, I’d have a collection of them if I could!

  • Reply The Blonde Chef February 23, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    You should seriously do an online photography course! Or, write a book! I love the soft lighting and the styling, of course!

  • Reply Nanette February 27, 2015 at 12:18 am

    I seriously love this set. Such amazing work and you continue to be an inspiration! xx Nanette

    • Reply Rachel Jane March 11, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      Thanks Nanette! Me too. Thanks for your kind words. Very touching. Have a great day.

  • Reply Hung Quach March 11, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Great photos! Can you share which are some of your favourite VSCO filters to use?

    • Reply Rachel Jane March 11, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      Sure, no prob! I have the VSCO Film 05 – Nikon set. I like to the use the Kodak Gold 200 and 100 set, mainly the N – Kodak Gold 200 – and the N – Kodak Gold 100 –.Others I often use too are Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Max 800 and Agfa Vista 400. I also love the HB1 on VSCO app that I use in Instagram.

  • Reply Matt March 18, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Great striking imagery, I love the contrast in the colours and materials. You really get a sense of the type of person who might own a kitchen like this and the environment they may live in. Great when images really speak to you. Nice job.

  • Reply matt March 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    If there was a romantic version of Alice in Wonderlands Mad Hatters Tea Party, then this would be it. Just lovely.

  • Reply Nicole March 24, 2015 at 2:16 am

    I love the chopsticks! Do you know/are you willing to share where you got them?(Also, these look so good.)

    • Reply Rachel Jane March 24, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Aren’t they great! I actually bought these at a local market in Vietnam about 10 years ago.

  • Reply Aysegul April 16, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Beautiful cake and beautiful photography.

    • Reply Rachel Jane April 26, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Thanks Aysegul – it is the light that really makes it in this one. Don’t you just love that shine? I do!

  • Reply Dorcas Wood April 30, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Absolutely love the filter on this photo shoot. Just lovely:)

  • Reply Brighita June 10, 2015 at 8:15 am

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog and I’m so glad that I did. Beautiful photos 🙂

  • Reply Bea July 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Ohhhh Rachel!This tart!There is lots of strawberries in my garden waiting to be use for something special like this!Love the Anton Chekhov words(I’m stealing the quote from you!) and what you said about the background.Yes,it does look like a winter sky,and a winter sky is pretty amazing 🙂

  • Reply Pang @circahappy July 12, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    So sorry for a long absence, Rachel. I do follow you via IG, but didn’t stop by ‘here’ for quite sometimes. So glad to be back and be inspired by your photos again 🙂

  • Reply Pang @circahappy July 12, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Strawberries are STILL in season here in San Francisco, so imagine how happy I am to find this gorgeous post of yours <3 <3 <3

  • Reply Jo July 20, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Just stunning!!! I know how you feel- I just finished up a healthy baking cookbook where I had to make, style and photograph everything … one night I put Marley to bed and snuck downstairs to photograph some calamari – totally random choice but it was what I wanted to shoot at the time and it felt so good to be working on something just for me even if I did have to use my artificial light because I needed all my daytime light for the cookbook. Big Love. xxxxx

  • Reply Pang {circahappy} July 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Have a wonderful wedding, Rachel. I am so happy for you 🙂 I hope you share some of your wedding photos with all of us when you get back; meanwhile, I am going to drool all over this burger 🙂

  • Reply Justin @ Salt Pepper Skillet July 27, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    These look amazing as usual. What did the client say when you showed them your version of the shots? Do they want you to re-shoot everything under your direction? 🙂

    • Reply Rachel Jane August 24, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Thanks Justin. Most clients wont re-shoot in the direction I give them immediately as they had a very specific direction they needed me to execute this time, but it gives them a sense of an alternative should they feel the need to have a fresh idea! They are most likely to come back and work with me on the concept creation in future. I do love this post so hopefully we can create something similar in the future!

  • Reply Bec {Daisy and the Fox} August 13, 2015 at 10:55 am

    This is seriously one of the most beautiful cake shoots I’ve ever seen! I kid you not, this is soooooo stunning!!!You’ve really captured the whole essence of the forest, rustic cake and making it all appear so dreamy.Keep up the amazing work! this is stunning 🙂 I’m such a huge fan of your beautiful photography work!

    Bec {Daisy and the Fox}xx

  • Reply Claire @ The Simple, Sweet Life August 29, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    What a delicious flavor combo you’ve created in this tart! And I love how you incorporated the book pages in your photos! What a fun and unique food styling idea.

  • Reply Bea September 1, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Hello lovely!!!!It’s so nice to have you back 🙂 and your gorgeous photography too!Wow-this light!I am so excited to hear that you’ve had AMAZING TIME.I knew it wouldn’t be any different and was thinking about you a lot in this very special time.I believe those moments don’t last forever for a reason…so we don’t take them for granted and never stop appreciating them.And the truth is they will last forever…in your hearts-and this is what matter the most. xxx

    Ps.Pictures of the wedding plese!!!! 🙂

    • Reply Rachel Jane September 8, 2015 at 1:39 am

      Oh Bea, you are too sweet! Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. I hope to post some pics on the blog when we get the official photos back. Any day now hopefully!

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  • Reply Lizzy September 8, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    I love this post. Cherry tomatoes were my all time favourite growing up – I even used to get them in my stocking at Christmas! ha! Beautiful images. x

    • Reply Rachel Jane September 9, 2015 at 6:14 am

      Really! That is too funny. We go through about 2 punnets a week at the moment. I just love them too. I will know what to get you for Christmas this year then!

  • Reply Jo September 9, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Stunning!!!! I so hear you on the minimalist look – I got totally carried away creating scenes when I first started and now some my best images have almost no props and lots of light, bright negative space. Beautiful self portrait babe!

    • Reply Rachel Jane September 10, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Oh, so pleased to hear that a fellow professional feels the same way! There truly is something to be said about bright negative space. Glad you like the self portrait.

  • Reply keith gooderham September 10, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Great set of images, I assume from the Tags that it is all shot under natural light – if so it is amazingly diffuse and shadow free did that just reflect the weather at the time or did you use a diffuser screen?

    • Reply Rachel Jane September 10, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Keith! It sure is shot with natural light. My favourite kind of light. Through my North facing window. I had this set up about 2 metres from the window so it wasn’t too harsh and I had a very large white foam core on the other side which reduced the shadows. I also reduce them a little further in post. If I recall correctly, it was actually a very bright sunny day, so being further from the window helped!

  • Reply Maria September 14, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    The tart smells perfect.. But it came out really wet from the oven.. It now lays to rest and hopefully it will set in the refridgerator..Do you have any tips?

    Greetings, maria

    • Reply Rachel Jane September 15, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Hey Maria, sorry to hear things didn’t go as planned. It’s always a little disappointing when that happens believe me.

      Let’s see what we can figure out. So the tart came out wet from the oven? (I know this can be an annoying question), did you follow the recipe exact? Did you apply the cornflower mix to the strawberries before they went into the oven, and leave the syrup until after it came out of the oven? If the answer is yes to those question, my only thought is that the strawberries were holding a lot of water which was forced out of them as they cooked but didn’t evaporate enough or mix with the cornflower to make a syrup.

      Let me know how you went. I am also happy to assist over email at if you want to chat!

      Rach x

      • Reply Chrystal J May 29, 2017 at 12:41 am

        I also had the same problem and followed the recipe exactly. Perhaps mixing the cornflour with the berries instead of spreading on the bottom of the tart shell would help soak up some of the extra moisture from the berries. Mine is extremely wet and soggy.

        • Reply Rachel May 31, 2017 at 3:34 pm

          Hey Chrystal,

          Thanks for stopping by the blog. I apologise this didn’t meet your expectations. I can sympathise, as I hate it when I make recipes and don’t turn out right. So I truly apologise this occurred for you.

          I appreciate you leaving your feedback so others can incorporate this into their method.

          Hope you’re having a wonderful day and please let me know if I can assist any further.

  • Reply Kiki September 15, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Hello Rachel Jane,

    First of all, congratulations on getting married!

    Glad I stopped by, because I just realised that most of your posts never came up in my WP reader 🙁 The last one I got was the burger post, but quite a few before never arrived and nothing after the burger. So I decided to pop in here the old fashioned way 🙂

    Your beautiful photography is still awe inspiring!Kiki

    • Reply Rachel Jane September 16, 2015 at 12:55 am

      Hey Kiki!

      Thanks for stopping by. Yeah I am not on WP anymore so not sure why that is happening? You can always subscribe via email, or pop past when you get the urge!

      Thank you so much. We had such a wonderful day and are getting the images back now. Nice to relive the day.

  • Reply Becky Winkler September 30, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Great post! I love these ideas, and you’ve inspired me to revisit the Pinterest board I already have for food photography and really nail down what moves me about each image.

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 1, 2015 at 7:04 am

      Hey Becky – this is so great to hear. I wish you the best of luck with it and I’d love to know how this goes for you. I have taken a peek at your Pinterest board and it looks fab. Some great ideas in there. Keep in touch!

  • Reply Susan September 30, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Thanks for the post – really useful. I think I’m still in the pre-figuring out my style phase. I’m still a bit all over the place in terms of trying for different images and have multiple folders for favourite images, generally divided into ‘rustic’, ‘light’, ‘dark’ and ‘dramatic’. You can see it’s going to be hard to find MY style in all of that!

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 1, 2015 at 7:07 am

      Hey Susan, I am so pleased to hear that you got something out of this. It sounds like it might be a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. I’d bet within all of those photos there would be some similar elements that you can focus on. That might be as simple as the way they style their food or props, the movement the shot creates, the mood, so many things. I do love bright images, but I also am drawn to dark. The constant in both of those is the use of highlights. I just love highlights. So whilst I might shoot a dark image, I feel it is still my style because of the way I capture them.I’d be more than happy to chat to you about the elements in these photos if that would make a difference to the journey you are on. Anytime, flick me an email Remember there is no right or wrong here!

      • Reply Susan October 26, 2015 at 2:18 am

        Hi Rachel. Just wanted to say a massive ‘thank you’ for your generous and thoughtful advice regarding my food photography. You’ve provided a clear pathway to help guide me towards better food photos and I’m so excited to get started! You’re the best!!

  • Reply Monika September 30, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Thank you for your courage! I tend to be impatient and sometimes frustrated when my pictures do not look like I imagined. But it needs time and practise and I already see the difference in my pictures now and 2 -3 years before. You just have to keep trying, look around and get inspired every day…

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 1, 2015 at 7:10 am

      Hey Monika! You are welcome, thank you for sharing this. I totally feel frustrated ALL the time, and that usually means that I am pushing myself and trying something that I am not completely comfortable with, which is when we grow. Actions is always better then inaction and will lead you closer to where you want to be. I am so pleased to hear that you can see a difference in your pics. Best of luck!

  • Reply Kiki September 30, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    What a great post, Rachel Jane! As you know, I’ve been following for the past 3 years, and it was you who made me pick up Plate To Pixel after I had stopped at the first chapter. I’ve been admiring your photography all this time, especially how it developed and turned out so beautiful.

    Personally, I’ve been stuck in a rut with my own photography for a while, because I felt I couldn’t get my visions into a picture. I didn’t know if what I currently do has become my style because of a lack of imagination or if it’s a case of not knowing how to take the next step. What I do know is that I don’t really want it to be my style, I want to develop it. By "it" I mean all three elements – photography, styling and props.

    I’ve actually just come back from a food photography workshop with Helene Dujardin, and I have a lot to think about. I know it will take some (even a lot) of time for me to process everything I learned there, and your post couldn’t have come at a better time to assist in this thought process, so thank you for that and the great timing!

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 1, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Hey Kiki, I am thrilled (and slightly jealous) that you attended her workshop! Good for you. I am sure that you have a lot to process, and I have taken a well overdue peek at your blog today and I can totally see a massive improvement in your technique. You should be so proud of yourself. I don’t think that you lack imagine, I think (for me at least), when one lacks direction or organisation, that makes us struggle with the work we want to produce. If you ever want to chat about how to take the next step, or even what that might look like for you, please shoot me an email. I would love nothing more than to chat to you about it. Sometimes it just takes an outside perspective to see something that we are blind to because we have been staring at it for too long! Anytime,

      Please keep in touch and let me know how you go!

      • Reply Kiki October 2, 2015 at 9:55 pm

        Thank you so much for your offer to chat! I’d really love to do that, and once I’m home and have started processing what I’ve learned, I’m sure I’ll appreciate a chat as well as advice, especially from someone whose pictures I adore!Talk to you soon.

  • Reply Karene' October 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Hi Rachel Jane, I love the way you broke this all down into manageable steps. I’ve been shooting for many years, but it took me a really long time to realise that you can’t find your style inside of you, while sitting in a vacuum, but that you need to open yourself up – be eclectic, look at what everyone else is doing and absorb bits that feel right. We need to learn from others all the time. Everyone absorbs different things, which keeps us all slightly different. Then a little bit of gut feel can come into it after you’ve found your way. You’ve summed up a wonderful reminder of the process. I think it is an ever-growing process that I need to return to regularly. I love your clean, serene style. Good to be hearing from you again.(Very jealous of the Helene Dujardin workshop too! )

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 9, 2015 at 3:54 am

      Hi Karene, It’s so great to hear from someone who has been shooting for some time! You are totally right and I love how you have expressed finding style as opening yourself up and being eclectic. Everyone does absorb things differently, that is so very true. I think writing this post has allowed (and reminded me) that it is all a journey and I need to keep creating and pushing myself and this is the exact process I need to walk through to get there.

  • Reply Jo October 1, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Each this post is BRILLIANT!! I think its hard sometimes to even recognize your own style because you know everything that went into a shot and you’re not just seeing the finished product. I was shocked when someone told me that when they one of my Insta posts they know right away its my photo – I think I have the most inconsistent style because I love trying new things and exploring – much like what I love it life : Variety. Do you think its important to have and stick to a particular style or be adaptable especially when it comes to working with different clients needs? I know I feel way better about my work I am producing photos of a consistent quality. Plate to Pixel is what got me started too!!!

    • Reply Jo October 1, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      Silly auto correct – Rach not each!! 🙂

      • Reply Rachel Jane October 4, 2015 at 4:32 am

        Haha, I know. This happens a lot. It drives my husband crazy!

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 4, 2015 at 4:31 am

      Thanks Jo! So pleased you enjoyed it. It is funny, sometimes we are so involved in the work that we produce we find it hard to look at it for what it is. I totally would be able to pick which images are yours, as I know what your ‘look’ is or when your work reflects you. I do often wonder if people would be able to do the same for my work!

      I definitely think that one needs to adaptable and flexible to shoot varying client needs, however the work will always reflect the direction of your style. I think clients approach certain photographers because they want their project to be executed with your eye and artistic visions. If someone approached me with a concept that I didn’t think was within my realm of ability, I’d have a conversation with the client to set expectations and what the work would look like if I executed it.

  • Reply Aysegul Sanford October 8, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Dearest Rachel,These are incredibly helpful techniques. I totally agree about the fact that it takes time. And most of the time we do not like this fact, but it is a reality.When I started back in 2013, I had a couple of people that I admired but as time went by I immersed myself in the community and started liking people who are completely different. At times it was (and still is) a painful process, but in a way it is almost like learning about yourself and how you see the world. I did benefit so much from Helene DuJardin’s book as well. I still follow her to this day and she is always amazing. Another book that I learned from was called "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. It talks about what you said – Learn from others work by analyzing and trying to figure out what you like about them and apply those things to your own work. It was such an eye opener for me. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. Your style is one that I admire and learn from regularly.Sending lots of Caribbean sunshine to your way! XOXO

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 9, 2015 at 3:57 am

      Oh you are so very welcome! Recently I was told by someone that they could see how impatient I was and wanting it all to happen right away. This is a reminder that it is about the journey and not the destination. Who did you admire in the beginning and who do you admire now?I was also directed to that book, but have not read it yet. I actually have it book marked to read in the future along with a few of his others. I really enjoyed writing this post and find it so fulfilling that my experience can help others. Thanks for stopping by. See you on IG!

  • Reply nanette October 20, 2015 at 3:17 am

    I love this! This is so insightful and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Reply Rachel Jane October 20, 2015 at 4:45 am

      So great to hear that Nanette! I’d love to know what was your one main takeaway from this?

  • Reply Susan November 3, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Love the beautiful local craftware Rachel! LOVE Bridget Bodenham’s work. Great to support local talent..

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 3, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Me too! Her work is incredible. Putting that on my Christmas wish list!

  • Reply Giulia November 7, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Rachel, thank you for this inspiring post. I’ve been blogging for more than 6 years now, and I learnt food photography by admiring other food bloggers and photographers and reading Helene’s book. Recently I was lacking inspiration and I was looking at my pictures and thinking there was something which needed some improvement. I’m working on this now, and your article is really what I needed to make a step further in my investigation. Thank you, I’ll follow you to learn more!

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 8, 2015 at 3:42 am

      Hey Giulia, it is so lovely to hear from you and that you got something out of this post. I find that there is a lot of resources for beginners, but not so much for those wanting to make the leap into a new space. I would really love to hear how this journey goes for you! Take care and best of luck!

  • Reply Rakhee @ Boxofspice November 18, 2015 at 10:46 am

    love your site and your photography! as a food blogger/food photographer I am always searching for indeed locally made pieces mostly at flea markets. works well for my style of photography. 🙂

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 18, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Yes me too! Always have an eye out everywhere I go. Have you found any amazing pieces recently? Thank you for the kind words. Have a great day.

  • Reply Karene November 19, 2015 at 5:47 am

    This is such a wonderful way of putting it! It’s in the subtlety of your additional props. That’s what creates the sense of quiet, in your photos, without being too stark or clinical. It’s a wonderful observation – so when we’re aware of it we can choose to create something busy or calm, by the amount of passive space we use, and be fully in control of what we intend to do. I like that. I find I crop too tightly and I constantly have to remind myself to pull back and allow for breathing space, but what goes in that breathing space is important too. Thank you for sharing this!!! You’ve switched on a lightbulb!

  • Reply Rachael November 19, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Thanks for this post Rachel – very inspirational! I love improving and growing as a budding food photographer, but I often feel like I’m getting stale, so a new perspective is a wonderful thing. I’m going to set myself an A-Z challenge as I read Helene’s book. Thanks.

  • Reply Susan November 19, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Agree with Karene. Totally ‘got’ the subtle difference between negative space and passive space. Love the idea of props playing a pared back role that compliments rather than competes with the main focus. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Rachel Jane November 22, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    It is sure Rachael, and it happens to everyone whether they are just starting out or a seasoned photographer. Challenges are a great thing to do. I should dig up my old A-Z images and share them for everyone to see the improvements in my work. Should be a good laugh.

  • Reply Maeve November 24, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Thanks so much for writing this all out for the world.. I’m studying photography and doing my final portfolio on food photography and have really gotten sort of stuck. This post was like a wake up call and a reminder of why I love photography and especially food photography so much. Truly inspiring. Thanks for kicking my butt back into gear! Ready to finish my semester strong x

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 22, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Yes it is something that I do often without even realising. It took me a while to put into words, but once I did it made total sense. Might be something that you can utilise with allowing more space in your images as we discussed!

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Hi Maeve, I am so pleased to hear it. It is always nice to find that motivation again, what a great feeling. Best of luck with your final semester – how exciting!

  • Reply Lauren November 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Oh hey! It’s me! 😉 Grateful to have a moment to myself this Thanksgiving morning to spend some time with your beautiful work and blog. I love this post! It’s amazing to me how much of our journey is similar. I was in a photography class years ago when my teacher said that I should try to grab a copy of Plate to Pixel. Isn’t that book amazing? I’ve done a workshop with Helene and she’s just as wonderful (if not more so) in real life. I don’t shoot food as much anymore but I’m always drawn to your work, and I love your five steps. Another step that helped me (because I’m verbal) was to come up with three words that defined my style. This took a lot of thought and a narrowing down of a much longer list! Now, when I shoot, I try to have those words in my head. Doing so creates cohesion, at least I hope it does!

    Looking forward to continuing this conversation. You always inspire me!

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 27, 2015 at 12:22 am

      I am so grateful for this response and that you took time out of your Thankgiving day, I feel very blessed. So thank you too!I feel that a lot of our journeys are the same and that we shouldn’t have to do it alone. The most powerful part of being creative is working as a team and as a community. That is when the most incredible things happen. I am so intrigued by this concept of the three words and would love to continue the conversation. I am a very visual person, but I ‘see’ words too! I will shoot you an email.

  • Reply Lauren November 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Beautiful concept! I adore negative space and use it all the time. It’s a concept I love teaching my beginner students too, although they are always reluctant to embrace it. The idea of passive space is just as powerful as negative space to enhance the subject and draw the viewer’s eye to the visual weight in the scene. There’s a tension created, but it’s the good kind, the kind that comes from your viewer wanting to absorb the entire scene to learn the whole of the story. I love it!

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 27, 2015 at 12:20 am

      Wow Lauren, that is such a beautiful response. I really feel this is something important in food photography to really create that emotion and story that a food scene craves. I really do see that beginners are reluctant to embrace it, and it’s so funny cause once you do I think maybe it can be over used (if that is even possible!). Maybe not over used, but becomes a staple design technique.

  • Reply Kym Grimshaw November 27, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Hello from not so sunny England!

    I’ve been a lover of your work through Instagram and Pinterest for a short while now, I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read your blog but I made it! So glad I did 🙂

    This post is really useful as a reminder that these things do take time. I’ve just started my food blog and have already found myself getting tirelessly frustrated with my photography and styling, I want everything to be perfect NOW! That being said I do enjoy it, I’m going to pay more attention to the journey. The A – Z of vegetables project is a fab idea to help with this! Thank you for the motivation.

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 29, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      Hey Kym, thanks for making the journey over to the blog! I am so glad you did too.

      Things indeed do take time and I am so classic gen y and want everything to be perfect now as well. It is interesting how we resist the desire to be frustrated, when in fact it is these occurrences that actually make us think differently and get us where we need to go!

  • Reply Jonathan Thompson December 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    What a wonderful post. I love the way you describe how you see. It makes it clear to us, your readers, how and why you shoot this way. Giving us a better understanding and clearer way to apply it to our own work, in whichever way we want to.

    I can feel the energy and love you put towards your photography. It’s evident to see for me, but to have it backed up by your delightful and descriptive written word, brings a bit of your magic to wherever we happen to be reading this. When someone describes their why and it’s so similar, but distinctly unique from my own, I take a deep breath in, and it’s crisp, spring morning air to me. Someone else gets it… Oh dear lord thank you 🙂

    • Reply Rachel Jane December 3, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Thank you Jonathan! Sometimes (as the writer) you know exactly what you mean, but to convey that to others in words that motivate them is truly an achievement. I think it is really great to have different perspectives and takes on things. Keeps it fresh and inspiring. It is really nice to have you here and thank for your contribution!

  • Reply Aysegul December 14, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    This is such an inspiring post. I do not do a good job of setting goals, but from now on I will. I do need to get into photographing drinks as well. Great goal to start for me as well.Thanks for sharing! Love these posts. Cheers!

    • Reply Rachel December 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      That is so great to hear Aysegul! Goal setting is such an active thing, that most of the time we just dream about it in our head and never take any actions. Can’t wait to see how you go with your beverage photos. So much to explore isn’t there?

  • Reply Donna S December 14, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    What a wonderful and inspiring post. Interestingly one of my goals was actually to get better at artificial lighting as well. Your pictures are amazing. Would it be possible for you to share your lighting setup so that I can learn from you also. I am about to invest in artificial lighting so I would love to know what type of lights you use and also what camera and lens you use because your photos are so crisp and clear and absolutely beautiful. Thanks for any advice that you can give. And thank you for setting the ball in motion for me to actually stop procrastinating on my goals for the new year.

    • Reply Rachel December 20, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Hey Donna, that is great we have a similar photography goal! Thanks for your kind words. I’d love to share what I learn on artificial light. I have only played around with it a couple of times so I am still a novice at this stage. Is there anything in particular that you want to create with artificial light or you just want to play around in general?

  • Reply Sara December 14, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Like you and Donna, artificial lighting is also something I want to nail. And I don’t think I’ve ever set a goal in my life – I feel inspired to now. I think a lot about the things I want to achieve but I think writing them down and displaying them somewhere is the key to actually achieving them!

    Thanks for the post. 🙂

    • Reply Rachel December 20, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Wow! Time to get goal setting then. I am really excited for you. It is so funny that all of us constantly think about those things, but never take actions towards it because we don’t quantify them. Is there a particular goal that you’re most excited about?

  • Reply Pang December 19, 2015 at 12:01 am

    My goals are to come ‘here’ more often, and to set my own goals already. 🙂 I love these photos, Rachel; I would not have thought that they are from only artificial lights.

    Thank you so much for the nudge. I am now inspired and excited for the new year & new goals.xoxo

    • Reply Rachel December 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks Pang. I was surprised by the results so am excited to play around a little more. What goals have you set for the coming year?

  • Reply Keyte Brito January 9, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Hello Rachel, Keyte of Brazil, okay? I’m here sipping your expeiência and delicate language. Very grateful for all !!! No doubt your photo fulfilled one of its missions, I was hungry. :)But as these logistics functions for photoshoot … You go to the place or do in the studio?

    • Reply Rachel Jane November 22, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Karene, this is so great to hear and I think you have dissected the post really well. I do love hearing how others view my work – you make some interesting observations so thank you. I am pleased that you’ve had an ‘ah-ha’ moment, they are such precious gems when you can get them. Have fun creating something that has a little more breathing room!

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  • Reply Lauren January 24, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Oh great post! It’s just how I go about the process…, and since I’m visual too (because, duh), It’s so nice to see your list and your crossed-out list and how you winnowed the words down. It’s such a wonderful exercise, isn’t it? And thank you so much for your kind words, my dear (and too far-away!) friend. XO

    • Reply Rachel January 24, 2016 at 11:52 am

      It really was! I am glad that you liked the word bank, I think that will help people think of some associated words that can be used. Thank you so much for sharing this idea. I just love that we can continue the conversation!

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  • Reply Susan January 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    That’s such a great story! And how lucky for you that you got to work with Helene. And now you’re inspiring others – love how life works!

    • Reply Rachel January 31, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Thanks Susan! We do love a good story that is for sure. Life does work in strange ways. I feel very fortunate to have met Helene, even under the circumstances!

  • Reply Kiki January 28, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Rachel, must have missed this post but am glad I just found it – I’ll be sitting down this weekend doing a word search for my style; thanks for another very inspiring post!

    • Reply Rachel January 31, 2016 at 11:16 am

      I am so pleased to hear Kiki! Would love to know what words you have come up with. Such an intriguing exercise. Please do share!

  • Reply | Krystallia Giamouridou January 28, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Sorry to hear that you were sick during those days. At least spending time and photoshooting with Mrs Dujardin ”paid back” all this hassle. Now I am able to understand 100% that her personality is reflected to her images! Thank you for sharing this.

    • Reply Rachel January 31, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Thank you Krystallia. You sure are correct, it was a lovely ‘pay back’! Such a wonderful observation about her work. I think all true artists personalities are reflected in their work in some way. It was a pleasure to be able to witness her in action. Glad you enjoyed the story!

  • Reply Sini January 29, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Oh my… Well you sure had two unforgettable days with Helene! So sorry that you had to spent them by being sick most of the time. This is a good example of “life doesn’t always go as planned”. But hey, you still got to shoot with her and man do I love these pics you’ve made! xx

    • Reply Rachel January 31, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Thanks Sini! Yes it is a good reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned and sometimes things happen in ways you’d never imagine and end up being better than you could have thought. Something that I won’t every forget and such a personal experience. It is so interesting how our personalities and traits are reflected in our work, what we chose to shoot and the props we like and how we position them. Lovely to hear from you also, it’s been a while since we’ve connected.

  • Reply Lili January 29, 2016 at 5:36 am

    Maybe it didn’t go as planned but I’m sure you got as much as possible from those few hours together and it was still amazing experience to shoot with such a talented food photographer! Her book Plate to Pixel was the first thing I read when I dived into this beautiful world of food photography 3 years ago and I still go back to it every now and than. P.S. I’m glad I discovered your blog dear Rachel! 🙂

    • Reply Rachel January 31, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I sure did Lili! Like so many of us, we started out on Plate to Pixel and I couldn’t imagine where we would be with it. I heard that they weren’t reprinting it anymore and so it is harder to find. Quite sad really. Lovely to have you along for the journey. I could definitely use some of the those almond chocolate chip cookies you just posted about. Drool!

  • Reply Sarah and Laura @ Wandercooks February 1, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Well that is one adventure you won’t be forgetting quickly! I’m glad to hear all turned out well in the end and those photos (and food) look like they were definitely worth it. Plate to Pixel is an amazing book – just finished it last month. I can only imagine how amazing it would’ve been to meet Helene in person. Laura and I were actually in a old antique shop in Nagasaki collecting props yesterday and I was thinking about Helene’s collection – so good! xx

    • Reply Rachel February 2, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Me either guys! It certainly was nice to have a silver lining. So your just fresh out from reading Plate to Pixel and full of inspiration I’ll bet. I remember that feeling, I can still see the pages in my minds eye. I just love prop shopping, there is a bit of a knack to it and I find that I am always drawn to the same things, and I need to remind myself that I already have a piece just like that!

  • Reply Karené February 10, 2016 at 3:25 am

    Ok, it’s been brewing.
    1.Bold – in tonal contrast, and sometimes I still crop too tightly. I can’t get away from bold.
    2. Clear – I’ve played around with hazy effects, but generally I like a clear light, tonal clarity and even a clear composition.
    3. What I realised in this exercise that I hadn’t even admitted to myself is that my love for bright colour has filtered through into all my shots. I used to paint bright bold colouristic paintings, I like splashes of bright colour in my home and I have started to recognise this in my shots, now. So word 3 is colourful.
    Thank you! This helps me be more confident in my how I approach my work!

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      I am so pleased to hear that Karene! I love the words you chose. Especially, bold. I love how that translates differently to the work of others. There are a few people here that like ‘colourful’ and I think that is so important in food photography! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply Using a Tilt-Shift Lens in Food Photography - Two Loves Studio February 11, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    […] and freedom of capturing the angle I want whilst being able to play around with negative space or passive space for cover images, simply by adjusting the shift function up/down or […]

  • Reply Jo February 11, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Awesome post Rach thanks so much for sharing!! I’m slowly getting my head around how a tilt shift works and this helped SO much. xx

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Perfect! Yes, writing down what tilt v shift meant really helped me. I had to run it over with Matt a few times to make sure I had it down pat.

  • Reply Karene' February 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    I did one assignment on an old tilt-shift sheet film camera when I was studying and had totally forgotten the magic you can create! Wow. It opens a whole new world of possibilities, doesn’t it? Oh, dear, I think I might just have to add another “must-buy” to my list of things to save up for. Beautiful deep tones in these shots, by the way. Good luck for your shoot!

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      I feel the same way! I love that you had a go on an old film camera that is wicked. I feel like I just touched the tip of the iceberg so definitely want to shoot some more with this lens.

  • Reply Aysegul February 11, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    A very informative post. I have been procrastinating to rent one and play with it. But I guess after reading this I am so encouraged that I may do it sooner than later.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge Rachel!

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      That’s is so great. I just kept putting this off too and time really does get away from you. Maybe you can combine this with some of the awesome styling you would have learned at the workshop you went to recently, (which by the way, I’d love to hear about!).

  • Reply Louise | Cygnet Kitchen February 12, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I am SO glad I found your blog (via Bea’s Cookbook). Your photography is just beautiful! This is a great article, another lens to save up for! I just wondered as a Canon (5D Mkiii) user how did you find using a Canon compared to your Nikon.

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Hey Louise! Lovely to meet you. Thanks for stopping by. Isn’t Bea great. I am so lucky to have her as a fellow photographer.
      Yes the good old Canon v Nikon conversation. Like many photographers, I there are things about both that I like and it would be amazing to take the best features of both and combine them into one body! (One can dream right?). Overall I personally don’t think it matters. I like where the buttons are placed on my Nikon, but that is such a small thing to consider as new makes/models will often move buttons so you can’t rely on that. My Nikon currently doesn’t let me use Live View whilst tethering, which the Canon does. Really when the deciding factor for me when I chose a camera was how it felt in my hand. Being a petite person with smallish hands, the Nikon just felt more like an extension of me and fit almost perfectly in the grip of my hand. So I went with that. I don’t think I’d switch brands, simply because I wouldn’t see a return in investment. I’d be better investing in using/learning about medium format brands. I think they are both great cameras and when you’re a professional it comes down to knowing both how to use them and how to manipulate your surroundings and settings to create something amazing!

  • Reply Victor February 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Awesome post. I understand why I was unable to recreate some shots now. Thanks for the explanation. I surprisingly understood 😊

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Well great! I know these concepts can be like ‘wha’? It’s so amazing what this lens can open up. I hope you can now recreate some of those techniques you’ve been looking for. Please do share!

  • Reply Jessica February 14, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you! I would have to say. Colourful, symmetrical and bright. I do love colour, but I also love when things come together, or are parallel. I love bright even when I’m shooting with dark backgrounds. I’m just coming into my photography style so this is a very helpful process. Thank you so much! I’ve been following your blog for years.

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Oh symmetrical is a great one! That is more sophisticated than you can imagine. I’ve been reading some articles on dissection of art and lines are super important. I am pleased that this will help you on your journey. I do believe I remember you from way back when I started on wordpress! Cheers for your support.

  • Reply Pang February 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    There are reasons I have admired & followed you, Rachel, and here it is again, another reason to be your biggest fan!! Thank you SO MUCH for such a wonderful post. It is thorough and fun; this post makes me want to run out & rent one immediately. I am gonna have to wait until I fly home though.
    Thank you .. Thank you .. Thank you 🙂

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Pang you’d love this! I can see you really creating something amazing with this lens, especially in your beverage photography (which you’ve been doing really well in recently btw!). As always, your kind words make this all worth while! Stay well my friend.

  • Reply Pang February 15, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Two of my favourite food photographers in the U.S.!!!! Those photos must turned out amazing, no doubt.
    As for the sick story, I think that is one ‘meet-cute’ you can tell the story for a long time. 🙂

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      I sure will Pang! This one is a keeper.

  • Reply Sarah and Laura @ Wandercooks February 15, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Incredible. The tilt shift is fascinating to read about, and now you have me intrigued to do further research. Loved the example images, it’s amazing what you can achieve with just a little focus adjustment. Thanks x

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      So fascinating and even more in real life when you can see it right in front of your eye. If you rent one, I’d love to know what you think!

      • Reply Sarah and Laura @ Wandercooks February 17, 2016 at 11:42 pm

        Yes, definitely. OR if I meet my photography goals by the end of the year + save my pennies…maybe that could be my reward. After reading more info, it really does sound amazing and there isn’t a lot online about using it with food. So thanks for sharing what you know.

  • Reply Des February 16, 2016 at 5:49 am

    Love this! I am a self taught food photographer too- with similar tastes as you. I love white clean bold photos. I would love a post from you on how you edit these! Getting the right white balance is SO hard with white. And making sure they are not too harsh or too dingy. I’ve also noticed that when I upload to my blog their quality is diminished- it comes out a little dingy and blurry on the platform. Have you ever experienced this? Sheesh I wish I could come shadow you for a day. Love your style. THANKS!

    • Reply Rachel February 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Hey Des, thanks for stopping by and lovely to hear from you. Yes, the good old white balance issues. By the sounds of what you are describing, it think you could be experiencing a few issues. If you can’t get the white balance right in camera, you can edit the image to fix the white balance to near perfect if you shoot RAW files. JPEGS are so limited in correcting white balance, so if you can shoot RAW files that will make a huge difference. You’d also need to make sure your computer is colour calibrated, but you’ll never get an image to be prefect on all screens as different makes/models will have different calibrations. Are you uploading the images to WordPress? I noticed a plug-in on my site was reducing the image quality, when I deactivated it the quality improved. I’d love to do more posts on how I edit. I’ll keep this in the pipeline!

      • Reply Des February 16, 2016 at 2:25 pm

        Yes! I shoot in raw. And use Lightroom to edit. Do you use a grey card? And I do upload to WordPress- do you remember what plugin it was? How did you even figure that one out! Haha and I use a MacBook- I feel they are the best color calibrated other PC’suve had have been awful with that issue. Sometimes I wonder if it has to do with my lens? A nice lens would maybe communicate better to the camera? I dunno? What are your thoughts? (Sorry to keep bugging you!?)

        • Reply Rachel February 17, 2016 at 12:54 am

          Well that’s great! Process of elimination. I guess it’s not impossible it could be the lens your using, but the lens would have to be really crappy. So I guess it’s back to the process of elimination. I’d say it could be one of the following: how you edit the WB in Lightroom, the use of mixed lighting, your whites (background) not actually being white (they could be warm/cool whites or creams), the brightness of your image vs the brightness and colour of your theme on WP. Without seeing your raw file and how you edit it, it’s hard to tell as there could be a number of factors. As far as the plugin, I had Photon – Jetpack and had to disable it to stop it from reducing the image quality.

  • Reply Sarah and Laura @ Wandercooks February 18, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Okay, I promised I’d get back to you and I’ve finally done it. In Bali no less, ‘Eat. Pray. Love’ style. The perfect place to comtemplate before heading back to the real world. (Ironically, I’m currently reading her next book Big Magic which I can not recommend enough, I think you’d love it!)

    Originally working with Laura, we had placed opposite words on a page and marked where we think my photography stood between them. This included words such as Light/Dark, Warm/Cool, Clean/Chaos, Colourful/Grey, Action/Still etc which helped slightly, but didn’t delve deep enough into my personal style. Those words helped to achieve just a look, but with no meaning behind them.

    So we delved deeper, and into your word exercises. Which for anyone else doing this, here is another great source of words:

    Many scribbles and discussions later, and I’ve come up with the following:

    1. Eclectic – I want to take my readers on an inspiring journey through global ideas and flavours. Always showing something a little different that leaves them curious and intrigued.

    2. Real – The images have to look edible, drool-worthy and just so damn delicious. I want people to feel like they could sit at that table and join in, or most importantly feel that they could replicate it at home.

    3. Bold – Bold is such a powerful word that can have so much meaning. What does bold mean to you? Is it the lines, sharp textures or the smack of colour dominating the photo? Pushing your boundaries of composition to achieve something so incredible you want to stare at it all day? Or simply a new ingredient, flavour or dish that takes you out of your comfort zone? For me, it’s a little of all of these things.

    Am I pumped and ready to practise with these circulating in the back of my head?

    Hell yes.

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:17 am

      I just love these Sarah! I especially love ‘Eclectic’, I think that matches what you are trying to create over @wandercooks perfectly. Thank you for sharing those descriptive words. There is an amazing collection there. I will post into the main body cause I think people could really benefit from it. Bold is such a powerful word, I’d agree. I’ve been thinking of the meaning for me for while now and I think ‘bold’ to me means that the dish can stand on it’s own right. That is to say if it were removed from the photo and composition, the dish would still be strong enough to create a powerful message.

  • Reply Pang February 18, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s imperative to TRULY BE with the loved ones at the moment we want to remember forever. And I am so sorry for your lost, Rachel. xoxo

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Thank you Pang. I’m sure you feel like this whenever you visit family back in Thailand.

  • Reply Sunday Swoon - Fork Knife Swoon February 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    […] using a tilt-shift lens in food photography. Now I desperately want to rent […]

  • Reply Aysegul February 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss Rachel. Sending you my heartfelt condolences.
    I agree with you on the obsessing part when it comes to taking that great shot. And Penny de LosSantos’s speech is one of my top 5 TED Talks of all times. <3

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:18 am

      Thank you Aysegul. I’ll bet she is. She is so amazing.

  • Reply Jo February 23, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Big love to you Rach for this post and I hope you and Matt are doing ok.
    I agree so much with what you’ve written. Corey and I love capturing some of experiences and we make a very conscious decision before we even think about what we’re cooking as to wether its to enjoy or to capture. These photos in this post are incredible!! What a colorful place and you captured it perfectly.

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Thank you Jo! We are, just living one day at a time. It is great you two are on the same wave length. It can be hard when you want to share more with your readers to. Balance is key to remember for sure.

  • Reply Karene' February 23, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Oh this is SO true! There is so much connection lost when you have a black box between you and your kids or your loved ones! We went on an incredible holiday to Sardinia, and I packed my camera away for the entire holiday, except for 2 days where I told my family, that I would take it along to document a snippet of what we’d experienced. That way we got a some photos to jog our memories of the beautiful scenery, but the rest is written in our hearts. Not every moment needs to be photo documented.

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Sounds like the perfect plan Karene! Recently in Canada we made time to take some shots on two days only. All we need really because it is quality over quantity and what would we do with all those photos anyway?

  • Reply Eden passante March 1, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    This looks amazing! I love the color from the strawberries! So beautiful!

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Thanks Eden. Yes, strawberries are just so delightful. I swear one could make a big ol’ strawberry mess and it would still look tasty!

  • Reply Lynnette March 3, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    This ginger snack cake looks amazing. I really like the moody shots but what draws me to your photography is the beautiful clean, crisp and bright photos you produce that makes the dish just pop! I can smell that cake from here. Need to pin this so that when we get back to our home, I can use the oven to bake this gorgeous treat. A cup of earl grey tea would do nicely.

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Cheers Lynnette. Yes, we know I am a big fan of the bright and airy images. I do like it when moody ones surprise me and I am really conscious of getting more variety in my portfolio this year. The cake is amazing and I am not a huge fan of cake (for eating that is). Nice choice, earl grey would pair amazingly. Love it.

  • Reply Kristi March 4, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! And, I second what Lynnette wrote. Your eye is so amazing!

  • Reply Kristi March 4, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Oh, and congratulations on the column! 🙂

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Thanks Kristi! It is a bit of fun to part of the Decor8 team. I had a poke around your site and I love what you have done with the place! Our tastes are so similar.

      • Reply Kristi March 8, 2016 at 1:29 pm

        You bet, Rachel! I’m looking forward to checking it out.

        And I have to be honest in that your site inspired the direction I went with mine, in case it wasn’t obvious 🙂 I love your style and your posts and have been inspired to learn more about food photography as a result. Thanks for that! 🙂

        • Reply Rachel March 9, 2016 at 11:03 am

          Yes I did notice Kristi! I am always inspired by what others are doing and trying to work that into my site in a way that reflects me also.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way March 5, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Hi Rachel! I just found you and none too late. I am working on my photography and it is a challenge. The camera I’m using unfortunately I can’t switch out the lens. For the time being I am learning all of the settings and how they work together. Another challenge I have is that hubby and I travel a lot and we’re not at home where all of my “things” are. I have to work with what is in our rentals or some props that are inexpensive. I will definitely learn a lot from your blog. Before we left for Florida I bought en EGO table light to use for those dark days — that is something else I’ll be learning — how to use artificial light. It’s great meeting you!!

    • Reply Rachel March 8, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Hi Marisa, lovely to meet you too. Yes, I think we can all say that it sure is a challenge. But nothing in life that is worth doing is easy right? What sort of camera and lens kit do you have? Travelling can be a challenge. I find that a few key pieces and some linen will always fit in my bag, but it is the backgrounds that we can’t take with us and who knows what we will find when we check into our accommodation. Sometimes you’ll be lucky but I find most of the time not. I guess that is a matter of trying to make work with what you have. Glad to have you along for the ride and hope you finding some inspiration here.

  • Reply Kristi March 8, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    This is a wonderful post! I follow you on Instagram, and I’m impressed that you don’t post daily, especially given that you are a photographer! As a blogger myself, I have been told countless times that I need to post multiple times a day, but that rarely feels right. I dig your approach – it’s a great example for the rest of us.

    • Reply Rachel March 9, 2016 at 11:05 am

      So glad you got something out of this post. I am intrigued by this, that you have been told you need to post multiple times a day. It is such a fascinating tool and I have been reading a lot on Insta at the moment and have totally changed my mind on how my feed is and how I will post. I will see how it goes and maybe do a post on the blog about it! Would love to see your reading on this if you have any links you can share.

  • Reply Sarah and Laura @ Wandercooks March 8, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Great! It is a fascinating collection of words that really make you stop and consider. Nice personal meaning behind your ‘bold’ too, love it.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way March 9, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Hi Rachel! Congratulations on your new adventure. I can’t wait to see more of the recipes. I love gingerbread! Your recipe looks amazing. Now, I have a question — what is your dark surface. It looks a little like a slate of some kind. I really like that it isn’t real shiny so that it would interfere with the light. Have a great day!!

    • Reply Rachel March 9, 2016 at 11:06 am

      It is a slate placemat, from West Elm in fact. If you head over the to full post on Decor8 (link in the body of the post) you will see a link to their site with the product itself. It hasn’t got a finish on it so hence the mat look. Shiny would be too much I agree.

  • Reply Pang March 10, 2016 at 10:22 am

    oh my goodness, Rachel, these photos are SO BEAUTIFUL beyond my imagination. I agree with you B&W is indeed simple, yet emotional. I have never been able to capture the beauty of it in food, just yet. This post of yours is so inspiring and all around fantastically wonderful. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I love love love every single photos here.

    • Reply Rachel March 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      As always, thank you Pang. I feel photography of black and white food looks more realistic than a black and white filter and so creates some new depth to the image. I have quite a few shots from the project, but only posted the best! Glad you love, love, love them!

  • Reply Jena | Little Rusted Ladle March 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    GORGEOUS!! That half made pie is so elegant! I love black and white food. We did a lovely black and white series for New Years. Here are a couple of them you might like! and

    • Reply Rachel March 10, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Hey Jena! Oh wow, thanks for sharing those with me. How great is it that this same idea has visited us both? I love your composition with the pasta on the spoons. Very cool. The half pie is my favourite too!

  • Reply Susan March 10, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous Rachel! It puts me in mind of the wonderful black/white magazine issue that Donna Hay put out a few years ago. I think I’ve still got it somewhere…

    • Reply Rachel March 10, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks Susan. Yes I remember that issue well. The White pana cotta they did? To die for. I wish I still had a copy of that issue.

  • Reply Jo || The Luminous Kitchen March 10, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Ok so I read the title of your email and clicked through. While page was loading I was thinking about Penny and how she says you have to assign yourself your dream assignments and then I read it in your second paragraph!! Smiling the whole way through this post and simply in awe! Exquisite work babe!! 👏🏻👏🏻

    • Reply Rachel March 10, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Really! That is too spooky. Great minds think alike as they say. That seriously resonates with me and some of the best advice I think I will ever have received. Keeps my passion alive. Cheers for the kind words as always.

  • Reply merilyn March 10, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    your work is simply stunning! thankyou for your beautiful aesthetic Rachel!
    love m:)X

    • Reply Rachel March 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Thank Merilyn! Such kind words. Also, how cool is that you’ve been following decor8 for years. The internet can be a small world sometimes.

  • Reply Jasmine March 10, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Stunning Rachel! Reminds me of the Donna Hay Black and White issue a while ago, it was such a stunning issue to see black and white foods and such a restrained colour palate. I love setting yourself a challenge and then nailing it. You definitely have… that half done lattice pie is gorgeous.

    • Reply Rachel March 10, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      I love the pie too! Yes, I tell you there were quite a few shots that didn’t work out and I really had to push myself and up my game. I really learnt a lot from this project. That issue of Donna Hay was truly amazing. I was just replying to Susan, the white pana cotta they did, truly amazing.

  • Reply Helen Tzouganatos March 10, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    These images are stunning Rachel. They belong on the front cover of Harper’s Bazaar!!

    • Reply Rachel March 11, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Wouldn’t that be amazing hey!

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way March 10, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Oh my Gosh!! How terrible for you but the story reminds me so much of my own. Not about photography but returning to Italy and seeing my relatives — some I hadn’t seen in 60 years. Well, I prayed to the porcelain god practically the whole time. We arrived in Venice on one day, the following day my cousin and son came up from Trieste to take us to celebrate at a family dinner. I couldn’t eat a thing and most of the time I was in the bathroom. They took us back that evening and so that was my visit with family. Totally horrible!! I can’t wait to go back and hopefully I won’t have a stomach bug. I just gave you the short version of the adventure. They all were so sweet I wish I could have spent more time with them.

    • Reply Rachel March 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Oh Marisa, that sounds terrible. It does make for a good story after wards, but what a shame. I really hope you get back there sooner rather than later and have the vacation and time with family that you’d planned.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way March 10, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I can’t believe how the black and white draws your eyes to the star of the show. There are no colors to distract other than what comes through with the star. It reminds me of a black tie affair whereby everyone is dressed in black but somehow if there is just one person is in white — that is where the eyes go. This is a great study, Rachel!!

    • Reply Rachel March 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

      I like the journey that you were taken on! Without colour, I learned a lot about the shapes and preparation of food. Was a neat little exercise.

  • Reply Aysegul March 11, 2016 at 12:29 am

    I am speechless Rachel. These photos are incredibly creative and beautiful.
    I have never tried this technique, but I am so inspired to give it a try.
    PS: That lattice pie is all my dreams come true in a food photo. <3

    • Reply Rachel March 11, 2016 at 8:56 am

      Oh that is too kind. You totally should. Or even another colour would be cool too like all red or all green!

  • Reply betty March 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    This is too inspirational! I love it – and thanks to Aysegul for introducing me to your work! 🙂

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Oh hey there Betty! What a lovely surprise. I love your work, especially how you bring alive seafood. Thanks for stopping by. Don’t be shy and keep in touch!

  • Reply Kristi March 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    No words…seriously, these are massively inspiring! So gorgeous…

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Thanks Kristi! It was a fun and challenging project. Do you have a favourite image?

  • Reply Laura March 12, 2016 at 5:02 am

    I’m fascinated with your job Rachel, this project is very beautiful. You have a special gift for sharing your love for photography and inspiring us through your words.

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Sometimes I have so many ideas and others, it like a massive drought. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply Mixed Lighting: Edamame Avocado Hummus Toast - Two Loves Studio March 17, 2016 at 10:00 am

    […] images are shot with mixed light, meaning a mix of natural and artificial light. So as part of my goals this year, I shot this series with a mix of natural light from my North facing window and my Profoto […]

  • Reply Jo || The Luminous Kitchen March 17, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I Love these!!! They are bright and airy, but have so much depth! It looks like the kind of magical lighting that happens on a cloudy day!! 👏🏻

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:15 am

      I love how it compliments each other and that I can be in control of creating that! Thanks Jo.

  • Reply Kristi March 17, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    This post is really helpful to me, as I haven’t a clue about what I’m doing but am soaking up photography info and inspiration like a sponge! I dig the infographic and would love to see more of them.

    One thing that would be really helpful for me is a primer on how to deal with shadows/excessive highlights in Lightroom, particularly when they are only present in a portion of the picture. I’m sure there are video tutorials I can find, but that’s the sort of thing that would be really awesome to know. Another thing that I’m currently trying to figure out is finding the balance between too little and too much light.

    Thanks for the great post, Rachel!

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Great, thanks for the insight Kristi. It is always a balancing act. Sounds like you looking to get these skills in post production? Key is to getting it right in camera, but that isn’t always achievable so good to know how to fix a few things should you need to.

  • Reply Helen || Hungry & Fussy March 17, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I love that lighting quote. So true yet takes a while to master and have confidence in your own ability and judgement. Practice, practice, practice!I’m on a steep learning curve.

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:17 am

      It is practice for sure. Trial and error. I guess the key is to play with no expectations in the beginning and just letting what will unfold undfold.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way March 18, 2016 at 12:10 am

    You have helped me a lot!! You see, I thought you had to go either/or. Everyone screams natural light! But for me it is impossible at times. I purchased a Lowell EGO table light but I haven’t used it yet. You’ve excited me so much because now I can see how I can utilize some of the natural light plus augment it with the EGO light. It will be great experimenting. Thank you for the tips!

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Natural light is amazing, truly and the first port of call for photographers is to master it. But there will come a time when you want to create something new and challenging and artificial light is good too! Just play, find your style and create beauty.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way March 18, 2016 at 12:21 am

    WOW!! This is a real poser!! I am going to have to go back and look at my images. Do I have a style or am I still searching? I think I’m still trying to find “me”. I want to tell a story about the food — is it a celebration? Is it comfort food after a long day? Is it a celebration, but keeping a style that’s “me”. Thank you for such inspiration!!

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Let me know what you find Marisa!

  • Reply Olaiya March 23, 2016 at 9:07 am

    This post blew my mind. Now understanding how to get some of the elusive focus I couldn’t make happen with my current lenses. Will definitely be renting a tilt-shift to see if I need to add one to my collection. Also, so glad to have discovered your blog. Adding it to my Feedly now. Thanks for a great post!

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Great Olaiya, that is what I want to hear. I hope you get a chance to rent one, cause you won’t grasp its full capacity until you test it out in the flesh. Let me know if you do!

      • Reply Linda April 16, 2016 at 1:34 am

        Your posting really stgearhtined me out. Thanks!

  • Reply Susan March 24, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Interesting new development Rachel. I find lighting the most challenging aspect of food photography. It seems so easy, but combining light with the right camera settings is no easy task! How to hit that sweet spot between under and over-exposed; how to make food look natural yet bright and appealing… I reckon you could write a book on that topic alone!

    • Reply Rachel March 31, 2016 at 10:21 am

      It becomes easier, but at first can seam daunting. Every time you practise is a step closer to mastery.

  • Reply Vanessa H. March 28, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Love the recipe and the photos <3

  • Reply Peek Into My Food Photography Goals March 31, 2016 at 10:00 am

    […] A few months ago I introduced you to setting goals as part of your food photography journey in my post, Set One Year Food Photography Goals. […]

  • Reply Jo || The Luminous Kitchen March 31, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    LOVE it! Especially how you’re keeping yourself accountable to your goals. Beautiful photos and savory is being sweet to you here for sure – that soup looks delish!

    • Reply Rachel April 12, 2016 at 10:18 am

      That is the thing about goals, no one will keep you accountable but yourself and without action they never get any closer. I thought this might be a nice way for me to stay accountable and serve as a reminder for others to keep on truckin’. Soup is delish Jo. You would love it. Make it sometime!

  • Reply Victor April 1, 2016 at 12:19 am

    WOW! These are absolutely stunning. I’m with you on this journey. Kudos

  • Reply Jessica April 1, 2016 at 7:13 am

    I can’t believe that last picture is artificial light that’s amazing. Love watching you on this journey!

    • Reply Rachel April 12, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Great! I love that. Means that it looks natural which is totally what one tries to create with natural lighting. Hope this excites you to play around with natural lighting.

  • Reply betty April 1, 2016 at 7:35 am

    You are amazing! Keep going and please keep us updated 🙂

    • Reply Rachel April 12, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Thanks Betty! Means a lot coming from you.

  • Reply Stacy Howell April 6, 2016 at 2:31 am

    I can’t imagine!! But it does make a great story. I also live in Charleston and from time to time pass Helen in the grocery store. I’ve been tempted to introduce myself, have never wanted to bother her…one day 🙂

    • Reply Rachel April 12, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Stacy, this is such an amazing story! I love that you pass her int he grocery store, how ordinary but extraordinary! Charleston is such a wonderful place, you’re super blessed to live there and call it home. You should totally introduce yourself. Maybe just even via email. You never know when she may need another photographer to work on a project with.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way April 7, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    The minute I saw the title of your post I knew it was meant for me 🙂 Little did I know you’d mention me!! Thank you Rachael! You’ve given me some hope that I can get some ideas for surfaces and backdrops and NOT be tunnel visioned. We’re home for a month then off again for another month 🙁 I plan on being prepared with at least some white cloth backdrops. I’ve used white flannel before (bed sheet) and it turned out great. Soft surface and no shine. BTW, may I borrow your sister?? Have a great weekend — back to studying your shots!

    • Reply Rachel April 12, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Such a nice little surprise! I knew you’d like that. This was a post for you and also for me and everyone else that feels that same. It was great that you had mentioned it as it really stuck out for me this time. I was just thinking the whole time, there has to be something!!! I also took a few little props with me, but they never seem to be right. Maybe I also needed to venture out in the open away from the hotel? But alas, it was raining a lot at the time. No one wants soggy cake, even at the cost of a good pic!

  • Reply Lynnette April 9, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Such a great post. I have had trouble in the past with the lighting (not being balanced and exposed all around) and it is nice to see a way to bring in artificial lighting to give it more depth. Love the info on the photos to show the difference. 🙂

    • Reply Rachel April 12, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Hey Lynette, glad you lied the post. Mixed lighting can be a b*tch sometimes for sure. I shot a cafe last night for Broadsheet and it was in evening fading light, so I had to deal with natural light, plus artificial store lighting and neon signs! It was all kinds of white balance nightmares. A good mix of natural window and artificial from my B1 Profoto is actually easier than you’d imagine. I’ve been doing some behind the scenes shots to share, so hopefully I get better at that for my readers enjoyment!

  • Reply Fran Flynn April 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Rachel, I wonder if you found the tilt-shift helpful when vertical lines in an image tend to curve? Does it give you some control to straighten them up again? I’m a food photographer also and this kind of lens is on my wishlist also – and it would be great if it could overcome this issue also… Thank you, Fran

    • Reply Rachel April 12, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Hey Fran, great question! Do you have an example of these vertical lines and when they aren’t co-operating? My pet hate is glassware that tends to look like they are falling over at the edge of the frame, but that’s not a tilt-shift issue.

      There is an example of vertical lines of buildings curving and how the shift function corrects them back to being straight. Check it out here: Tilt Shift Introduction – Photography Concentrate. Is that what you were referring to?

      • Reply Fran Flynn April 12, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        Hi Rachel, that’s it exactly! The glassware falling off the frame issue – I was hoping tilt-shift might be able to help with that, since it seems to be a problem created by the spherical nature of the lens… and I knew that tilt-shift can help the distortion in the case of buildings. I’d love to get one just for the focusing capabilities, but I was hoping it might be the miracle answer for this issue also. Have you found any other way to address it? Thanks a million, Fran

        • Reply Rachel April 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm

          Hey Fran, yes this is a different issue and I do know how to solve it! I was actually thinking before you mentioned this that I should do a post on this! Too much explaining for the comments, but feel free to email me to chat about it!

  • Reply 4 Steps to Overcome a Creative Block in Food Photography April 14, 2016 at 10:00 am

    […] recent struggle I had was with my Black + White Chocolate Cake shoot I did for my personal project Black + White Food Photography. This was my inspiration image and boy did I […]

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way April 14, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Rachael! I sure do learn a lot every time a read your posts. I also study your photos — a lot. Right now you have your camera and settings figured out — I’m still at that learning curve plus wanting to arrange my shot so that I’m satisfied. Whew!! a lot going especially when hubby is ready to eat the meal. Do you have a light tent for the dark moody shot? I believe I’m going to have to figure how to get my shots so that I have a backdrop. You see, otherwise I have a lot of distractions in the background and trying to get a shot without all of the “other things” sometimes makes the shot too tight. But I’m learning and I’m learning a lot from you. Thank you!! Have a great day.

    • Reply Rachel April 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Hey Marisa, I don’t have a light tent. I prefer to use natural light of my Profoto B1. It can be hard to shoot certain angles when there are a lot of distractions in the background, often doesn’t give you the feeling you are after so a backdrop definitely helps!

  • Reply Angelica Talen April 17, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Wow, I can so relate to this of late… Go down to Denmark on holiday? Great photos. Catch my cat napping in the afternoon light? Got a great spontaneous shot. But make a batch of shortcrust pastry, bake a tart from scratch, style an autumn-themed shoot with great potential? Photos turn out like they were taken on an instant camera.

    I made, styled and photographed that flipping tart on THREE separate occasions before I came up with something remotely good enough! As you say, it really pays to leave your preconceived ideas at the door if they’re not working, take a deep breath and start to build your stage again. And it always helps know that you’re not alone when it comes to creative frustration…

    • Reply Rachel April 21, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      I totally agree Angelica, it’s nice to know that we’re all in the same boat. Funny how shoots turn out sometimes! Nice to see you around here.

  • Reply Sarah @ Wandercooks April 19, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Haha Rach, your posts make me laugh (in a good way of course!) because I can totally relate. I’ll set something up and start shooting and be saying in my head – it’s crap, oh it’s so sh*t…what is that even? Why? No.

    So then I do a couple of things. 1) I take a slow breath and close my eyes. 2) I move my feet – is it the angle? Or the setup? If I need to go to 3) I’ll head back over to my props or background and see what I can change to improve it by asking myself – why aren’t I happy with it? Where’s the issue I need to improve?

    Sometimes I feel like I need to get a couple of the staged and crappy shots out the way in order to break down that ‘okay’ barrier and hit the fist pump mode that is oh-so-good when you get there.

    You’re totally right though – wanting to be better is key. The determination and the drive to know that you can do it and be better is what what keeps me picking that camera up every. single. day.

    • Reply Rachel April 21, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      Oh that’s too funny! Glad you can relate. It sounds like your quite composed when shooting and things don’t work out which is a really good skill to have!

  • Reply Sarah @ Wandercooks April 19, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Nice question Marisa! We dealt with this frequently on our big trip.

    I think my favourite example of this was in Bali, Indonesia. We had to get a recipe out and I was running around the room and balcony trying to think of anything I could use. Finally, I spied the large shallow wooden dish that was holding all the remote controls for the tv, air-con etc. Perfect. With a quick wipe down, we set the food on it and it looked good…but the tiled floor wasn’t doing it any justice. Then I had an idea with the block-out curtains, I closed them until they only shed a tiny bit of light, with the sheer curtain behind it to act as a diffuser. Next, I had Laura hold the wooden dish, but stand in the darkness. Looking at my first shot to the final one was amazing. Sarah: 1, Hotel: 0.

    PS. How was the Nutella Cheesecake?

    • Reply Rachel April 21, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      I’d love to see this image! Maybe share a link? Nutella Cheesecake was amazing. So, so rich. I could have eaten a quarter of it and been satisfied!

  • Reply Sarah @ Wandercooks April 19, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Love it! Your images are looking fantastic, Rachel.

    Love the cucumber beverage shots. The texture between the pattern on the glass and the slice of cucumber is AMAZING in that first shot.

    Can’t wait to see how far you’ll go this year. 😀

    • Reply Rachel April 21, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you! They are cute aren’t they. Picked them up at a little vintage store. Happy with that find!

  • Reply Katelyn Williams April 22, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I loved reading this post, mostly for your frank honesty and admitting that you too have creative blocks! So now it feels totally normal for the rest of us 🙂 Thanks for the great post!

    • Reply Rachel April 23, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Hey Katelyn! I know, I know, I am human too. It’s a good reminder cause hey, we all started at the same place and well, even if some of us won’t admit it, we all go through the same thoughts, emotions and hurdles. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Reply Sarah and Laura @ Wandercooks April 24, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Haha! Thanks 🙂 that would be such a good challenge as a photo series actually! Hmmm… Might have a new goal for next month I think.

  • Reply Vaida April 27, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    whoooah!!! I aboslutely love this post! That’s so on point, and yeah – very helpful! Girl, you’re an inspiration! I love your photography, the style, aesthetics and the whole vibe. TOP notch! 🙂
    Vaida |

    • Reply Rachel April 28, 2016 at 6:52 am

      Well Vaida, you are a day maker! Stoked to hear how helpful this was for you. I think it’s super handy to know how to deal with these situations as they always come up when you can least afford them too.

  • Reply Kiki April 28, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Ah, it feels like you did that video just for me 😀
    It’s great to see your process live, and I’ll be looking at it several times more before my next photo project!!

    • Reply Rachel April 28, 2016 at 6:53 am

      Oh Kiki, I totally did! I just felt this was a really good way to show people how simple goes a long, long way. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply Bea April 28, 2016 at 7:05 am

    LOVE IT RACHEL!So inspiring!

    • Reply Rachel April 28, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Thanks Bea!Not bad for a first attempt video. I didn’t want it to be a super glossy vid, just the real deal so hope that came across.

  • Reply Lynnette April 28, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Such a great video! Loving this 🙂

  • Reply Debs April 28, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Awesome video, Rachel. I never would have guessed that it was your first one! Well done!

    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Well that’s great to hear. I am a bit of a perfectionist so would love to get my hands on some better editing software!

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way April 28, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    I loved watching the video and I’ll be watching it again and again. I haven’t been shooting tethered but I can see where it would really help in getting “the shot”. I do love your simplicity — the food is the focus not any other prop. Thank you and you’re doing great with your videos!! Have a great day. I’m going t o make your plaster backdrop.

    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Marisa, it’s a real game changer if you have the capacity (and gear) to do it! You can see improvements in the moment and build your styling skills.

  • Reply Marta April 28, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Rachel!

    Thank you very much to share all your knowledge about food photography with us.I´m thinkining about taking my food photography to a higher level and maybe turn it into my profession. Your blog is such a source of inspiration!!!


    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Hi Marta, lovely to see you here. Whatever your journey my aim is to provide some insight into my journey to help others. I just checked out your blog. You really know how to use light girl – amazing!

  • Reply Chelsea April 28, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Beautiful! I loved watching the behind the scenes video. I hope you do more of those! Excellent work.

    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Me too Chelsea. If you have any ideas of what you’d like to see, please share with me!

  • Reply Pang April 29, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing all these, Rachel. Oh my goodness, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE your style. Always a joy to be here. 🙂

  • Reply Susan April 29, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Hi Rachel. Love seeing the process! Two questions: Firstly, do you always tether your camera to a lappie? I guess it takes a lot of guess-work out of the process? And secondly, when you take overhead photos, what’s your process? Do you keep the food on the table rather than put on floor level? And do you use a tripod? I try taking photos without one, because it’s often so difficult to position a tripod unless the food is on ground level, but then I find it hard to get really clear photos – if you don’t use a tripod for overhead shots, do you use manual or automatic focusing?

    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Hey Susan. My preference is to tether, and for client work it is a non-negotiable really. You want to be able to correct the composition and elements in the moment. A lot of the time clients will want to see the shots as they happen to provide feedback/direction. I shoot on the floor, and on different heights of tables depending on the concept. This height of the table is dependent on the light that I need in relation to the light source. I use a tripod for overhead shots (ideally) so I can have my hands free to style. I find that if I shoot without it, I tend to shoot off centre which really shows in the final result. I also can shoot without the tripod (if the light is good!). I also primarily autofocus. I have a good tripod that allows me to get directly overhead, and I just change my prime lenses to what will work for the shot.

  • Reply Helen || Hungry & Fussy April 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Rachel

    Love your video. Question. When you shoot overhead is your camera on a tripod with an arm extension or do you shoot hand held? This is something I struggle with. I don’t like being constrained by the tripod and half the time it ends up falling on my food but I worry about the sharpness of hand held shots. What aperture setting do you use for overhead to avoid camera shake?

    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      Hey Helen. I shoot both depending on the composition and how my props I have on set. I like to use a tripod so I can have my hands free to move things around whilst maintaining the same angle of shot. If it is something super simple like in these shots then I can shoot without a tripod, (this will depend on the light and my camera settings. There has to be enough light for the shutter speed to be quick because I am a little shaky too). I also shoot continuous high (setting) as sometimes the shot will be blurry due to shake so taking a few in quick succession will allow me to get at least one in focus. Oh no, that’s too funny it ends up in your food! I use a sandbag to weigh the tripod down to prevent that from happening. As I tether I can see if they are sharp in the moment.
      My setting will change depending on the light and the style of shot I am trying to get. I shoot on manual and try to shoot at 4.5 or 5.6 for overhead so it will depend on my shutter speed and ISO to get something that allows me to handhold. I can sometimes get down to 1/100 sec and hand hold. Depends on the day though!

    • Reply Susan May 2, 2016 at 5:30 am

      Hi Helen. I giggled when I read this, as it’s the same issue I have… I’ve had broken glasses, spilled smoothies.. you name it, because of a precariously placed tripod! I wondered too whether Rachel might have an arm extension on her tripod – sounds like a great idea to me!

  • Reply Kankana April 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I have always been so terrible at making a fancy breakfast. Weekdays are fixed to oats or granola with bread and weekends are when I do get some time to actually make a breakfast spread. But, guess what, I still don’t get that inspiration in the morning. I am so glad you started this series 🙂

    • Reply Rachel May 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Lovely to hear from you! Breakfast for me is still a struggle to find inspiration, especially on busy mornings.

  • Reply In the kitchen – Edamame and Avocado Hummus with Pistachio Dukkah – my yellow jumper May 1, 2016 at 7:58 am

    […] lunch style recipe.  It is a slightly adapted recipe, with my own pistachio dukkah by Rachel from Two Loves Studio who writes a monthly column for one of my all time favourite blogs decor8.  I adore Rachel’s […]

  • Reply Lisa May 2, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Rachel, I just stumbled on our blog on Pinterest, and I’m sooooo glad I found you! I love the thought exercise in this post, and I can’t wait to sit down and think more about this. I struggle with figuring out what my true style is, even though I’ve been blogging for over two years now. It’s funny, sometimes, I want things to be clean, and other times, I want EVERYTHING in the frame. Anyway, I can’t wait to poke around your site to pick up some tips for my photography!

  • Reply Susan May 2, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Hey Rachel.. just an afterthought.. I’d love to see you do a whole photo shoot by video – it would just answer so many of the questions I still have. For instance, showing how you position food, how you position your camera in terms of the light (both natural and artificial), camera settings for different situations, how best to use a tripod, how you move between side angle and overhead shots.. I’d pay for that kind of a resource! Just putting it out there!

  • Reply chandu May 3, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Hi Rachel, this is Chandu, iam free lancer photographer,i loved these images which u have been clicked,can u tell which lights did u use for this product..really i loved the picture….

    • Reply Rachel May 5, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Chandu, I only used natural light for these images. A North facing window and some black cards around the set to fill. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Maeve May 4, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Rachel this is honestly so inspiring. I’ve taken a break from food photography to focus on my current portfolio for school – but I’ve just been rejuvenated by your work!

    • Reply Rachel May 5, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      Oh perfect! That is music to my ears. Send some rejuvenation my way while your at it! Best of luck with your portfolio. Hopefully some of this inspiration will flow on through.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way May 6, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Rachel! I really needed these quotes this morning. I believe life and photography is a learning process and I get frustrated I’m not learning fast enough 🙁 I have several learning videos made by Penny De Los Santos and I really like her. She is so down to earth and I am picking up some new tips from her. And I have to thank YOU because I am always inspired and enthused after I read your posts and you’re kind enough to share your talent and tips — Thank you! Have a great weekend.

    • Reply Rachel May 11, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Oh that is great Marisa! We all get frustrated, I am with you there. That is so great to hear!

  • Reply Aysegul May 6, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    These are amazing quotes Rachel. I am a huge fan of Seth Godin and Austin Kleon. As a matter of fact, I just read Austin’s latest book, Show Your Work. Such a great read with a lot of great ideas to get out there and share your work with the world…
    As a photographer, I sometimes beat myself up for not getting the right shot, compare myself to others, and feel not good enough. But in reality, we all have our own paths and need to work on staying on it. Getting 1% better each day is enough. As long as you do it
    It is easier said than done, but a working process for sure…
    Find so much inspiration in your words/photography/candidness, my friend. Keep them coming.

    • Reply Rachel May 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      Me too! How are you finding the book? I am always comparing myself to others much to my detriment. I write these posts as a reminder for myself as well. (Take my own advice Rachel I say). Great to know we are not alone I think!

  • Reply Wilmari May 7, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Thank you for always being so encouraging Rachel. You and your work are an inspiration. I’m on the brink of following my dream and growing as an artist and this quote by Ira Glass is one of my all time favourites:

    “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

    • Reply Rachel May 11, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Oh you are so welcome Wilmari! I love when I see my favourite creatives sharing their struggle, it helps me sleep at night knowing that there is nothing wrong with me! I love your quote. Thanks for sharing. I am always on the look out for inspiring words.

  • Reply nicole ( May 8, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Thank you for another great post, Rachel! I love Alain de Botton’s quote here, how right he is! A quote that has inspired me lately is this one by Seth Godin: “Anxiety is practicing failure in advance.” I try to keep that in the forefront of my mind at all times and it really helped me to approach things (including my photography) a little more relaxed.

    • Reply Rachel May 11, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Oh this is a good one too Nicole. Anxiety is definitely something I’ve had to deal with in my life. I like how this put. Me in a nutshell some days I think!

  • Reply Sunday Swoon 15 - Fork Knife Swoon May 9, 2016 at 9:33 am

    […] love a peek behind another food photographer’s […]

  • Reply Cali May 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Gorgeousness Rachel! I’m just starting out, looking for more interesting backgrounds like this first shot. Would you mind sharing what it is/ where you found it? It looks like concrete or marble or something… I’m not sure if I should be looking for a real concrete slab or just a thin look-alike! Any suggestions would be totally awesome 🙂

    • Reply Rachel May 13, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      Hey Cali! Yes, how important are backgrounds? If you haven’t tried my DIY Background you get for free when you sign up to my blog, it’s such a cheap and easy way to create texture that looks like concrete. You can make it with any colour, which is awesome! I got this background from Agonys Art on Etsy – If you are doing this at home, you want something that is light and can be easily transported!

      • Reply Cali May 14, 2016 at 6:44 am

        Yay thanks so much! 🙂 🙂 So stoked

  • Reply Sunday Swoon no. 8 - Fork Knife Swoon May 16, 2016 at 5:09 am

    […] using a tilt-shift lens in food photography. Now I desperately want to rent […]

  • Reply Claire @ The Simple, Sweet Life May 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Great post Rachel! I feel like I’ve been right there, in that mental spot you’re talking about, SO many times. As of late, in particular, life has been hectic and I’ve felt the residual stress creeping into my work leading to untold hours of frustration and disappointment. Thanks for the reminder to take a step back! 😀

    • Reply Rachel May 18, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      Hey Claire, me too! I especially feel this when I am stressed and attached to an outcome. I have to use this often. Hope it works for you and keep moving!

  • Reply Anna Dunleavy May 17, 2016 at 12:50 am

    This is so interesting! I’m a natural light photographer but would love to explore artificial lighting to add to my skills!

    • Reply Rachel May 18, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Natural light is amazing for sure, but can be even more incredible with a little power from another source. Something to dabble into when you feel like a new challenge!

  • Reply Anna Dunleavy May 17, 2016 at 12:52 am

    This really was helpful, thanks for your post!

    • Reply Rachel May 18, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      You’re so very welcome Anna. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Stephanie May 18, 2016 at 2:30 am

    That was so cool! Behind the scenes video are always a treat!

    • Reply Rachel May 18, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Hey Steph, they really are aren’t they! Glad you liked it.

  • Reply Pang May 19, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Oh my goodness!!! I couldn’t bookmark this post (& the next 2 posts) fast enough. Thank you SO MUCH. You are so sweet for sharing the knowledge. Sending xoxo to you from SF.

    • Reply Rachel May 19, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Haha, you’re just the sweetest Pang and you are welcome. It can be such a minefield so I wanted to shed some light on the things I’ve learned!

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way May 19, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you so much for a wealth of information. It is difficult to say *ahem* I charge this amount for the job. We need to be confident in our ability and our worth. Love the worksheets! Can’t wait for the following posts — but I always feel that way about your posts, anyway.

    • Reply Rachel May 20, 2016 at 7:37 am

      It is for sure Marisa, and it does get easier over time. Although each job will be different you will get a sense of that ‘ball park’ figure more quickly. With every job you learn something new about pricing that you implement for the next time. Even seasoned professionals tell me they experience the same thing. We’ll get more detailed in the coming posts! I can’t wait either.

  • Reply Cali May 20, 2016 at 4:02 am

    This is so awesome, just getting me thinking about these questions puts me in the realm of possibility! Can you give us like a range of what low-end is and high end pricing to give a reference of what the market is- as you say- willing and able to pay? Also, I am sure as a beginner I would start out locally, but do you have the customer pay travel if they are out of your local area? You’re awesome 😊

    • Reply Rachel May 20, 2016 at 7:38 am

      I love the realm of possibility! Those are all great questions and something that I will be coming in the coming posts. Stay tuned.

  • Reply Noi Tran May 20, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Awesome! What an interesting concept, well done. Love it!

    • Reply Rachel May 24, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Thanks Noi, glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply Aysegul May 20, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    One of the biggest mistake that I made when I first started was to undersell myself just to get the job. In some instances it paid off, but in other it made me feel so bad. In the end, biggest lesson for me was that sometimes it is better to not get the job then get underpaid.

    Your tips are definitely a good place to start. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. <3

    • Reply Rachel May 24, 2016 at 9:29 am

      That is good advice Aysegul. Sometimes there will be payoffs for taking a job that doesn’t pay well if it will get you connections, experience or it is something you believe in. What isn’t good, like you said, is underselling yourself just to get the work. Ideally you shouldn’t be getting every job that comes your way, as it can mean you are pricing your services too low!

  • Reply Claire @ The Simple, Sweet Life May 21, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    What a great post Rachel! I can’t wait for the next two!! Maybe you’re going to address this in your upcoming posts, but do you have any advice on finding and landing clients? My food photography skills are still pretty beginner level so I don’t know that I’m ready to embark on this sort of journey just yet, but I love the idea of doing this sort of thing on a daily basis (food + photography… What’s not to love?!). That being said, I think the biggest thing that would hold me back would be just having no idea where to start!

    • Reply Rachel May 24, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Hey Claire, that is something that I have been asked a lot lately. It is totally it’s own kettle of fish and I’d love to delve into that more in another series. I am still trying to figure this out also.

  • Reply Shannon Deutrom May 21, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Its great to have a guide to work out exactly what I am worth as a stylist and photographer. After a long time off raising my 4 children and a change of career (I was a graphic designer pre babies ) this is what I need to focus my skills and be paid for them ! xx

    • Reply Rachel May 24, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Hey Shannon, sometimes getting started is all you need! It is totally an amazing thing to get paid for the skills you love doing.

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  • Reply Stephanie May 23, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Wow, this is so awesome!!! You’re so awesome for sharing! Thank you so much! xO

    • Reply Rachel May 24, 2016 at 9:33 am

      You’re welcome Stephanie. Hope this was able to start that conversation for you.

  • Reply Weekly Coups de Coeur - Pardon Your French May 23, 2016 at 4:44 am

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  • Reply Shannon Deutrom May 23, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Love this! I also seem to have a fear of the savoury and will make this a goal of mine for the rest of the year.

    I will work to become an expert at photographing and styling savoury dishes!!!!

    • Reply Rachel May 24, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Way to go! Set those goals and start chipping away at them.

  • Reply Des May 26, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    I noticed some other commenters but I am also wondering the same thing! How do we get started. I have a food blog and feel my photography is getting up there- and would prefer to more do food photography than a blog. More profitable. I could even afford more props and such (btw I loved your article on photography tips!)

    Also, what would you consider yourself based on the article linked up above? Professional? Etc? Thanks!!

    • Reply Rachel May 26, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      Hey Des, yes such a common question! In this series I will be focusing on food photography pricing, how to get into the business is a whole other kettle of fish! Something I would like to talk about but need to work out how to make it actionable and intentional. I’m still trying to work that out myself. Relationships and businesses take time to build.

      Good question. Those terms (i.e. amateur or professional) are so subjective. Technically as I make a living from photography I can call myself a professional, but there are levels of professionalism too right. I would say currently I would consider myself a semi-pro/pro. I don’t think it matters what you consider yourself really, (labels can be limiting) but since you asked!

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  • Reply Yereum kim May 30, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Rachel! I just came across your photos and then website. These photos are amazing and really inspiring! I’m learning food photography by myself. Your photos can be my bible! 🙂 Thanks! – Yereum from Florence.

  • Reply Complete Guide to Food Photography Pricing (Part 1) May 31, 2016 at 4:01 pm

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  • Reply Tanya May 31, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Great article, thanks for sharing! We can all use insight on how to overcome that dreaded creative block. I’ve just started making contact with potential clients for commercial food shoots…any advice on how to land my first client? Thanks in advance and have a lovely day!

    • Reply Rachel June 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      We sure can Tanya! Yes getting clients. Such a huge topic and a never ending learning curve. Something I’d love to talk about on the blog when I can figure out how to make it actionable for people. Glad you found this helpful.

  • Reply Cali June 1, 2016 at 7:45 am

    This is so awesome you are amaaaaaazing! Is there a # of how many pictures you give them or is it just however many good ones you produced? Or just a couple shots?

    • Reply Rachel June 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Hey Cali, so pleased to hear! This is such a great question. A great photographer will never give all their photos. It is part of their job to select the very best and a representation of different angles. I usually have a set number that comes with a small business package, a set number for my half/full day rates and this can also depend on if I am licensing the images for additional chargers (another whole topic one could talk for hours on!). It does depend on price too.

  • Reply Shibani June 4, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you so much for detailing the complex pricing factor. I am a newbie and you can understand my dilemma. This is so helpfull.

    • Reply Rachel June 6, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Hey Shibani! It sure is a complex topic, so many factors to think about. I totally understand how daunting it can feel at first. Hopefully there was takeaways here you can start implementing!

  • Reply Moya June 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing your valuable information and your inspiring photography 🙂

    • Reply Rachel June 6, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Oh you’re welcome Moya! Glad to have you along for the ride.

  • Reply Jo || The Luminous Kitchen June 9, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I love that you’re putting all out there as pricing in Food Photography seems to be something food photographers don’t really like to discuss with each other. You are so right about the “YOU” part.

    For me I always consider 3 things in regard to negotiating my rates ( which I tend not to do too much of)
    1. The client – Do I actually want to work with this person / brand?
    2. The job – Is the actual job going to be fun or creatively stimulating
    3. The benefits – Is this a job that could potentially lead to other things/ more work?
    Is it an ongoing job? I have 2 clients who I shoot for every month and who have booked me 6 months in advance so for these jobs I have a special rate worked out with them because of the consistency of the work.

    You have to find rates that you feel good charging knowing that your time, talent and effort are properly and fairly exchanged and then feel confident owning those rates.

    I’m not suer there is a food photographer out there that does this as just a “job” – we are the lucky ones who have found a profession we LOVE and that can sometimes be difficult to charge for especially when you’re starting out, but I think you’ll do one job where you undervalue your services and it will feel so yuk you’ll never do it again.

    Thanks Rach for these posts!! You’re a superstar.

    • Reply Rachel June 10, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      Such great points Jo! Consistent and ongoing work is something to consider for sure. That is so great that you have clients booking you that far in advance. Those three points are really great things to keep in mind when approaching a job. Something for all of us to run through when we estimate a job.

    • Reply Ryan April 29, 2017 at 1:58 am

      how do you charge if the client wants to own the copyright to all images. No watermark. Use is for marketing, restaurant electronic boards, menus, advertising


      • Reply Rachel May 1, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        Hey Ryan! Very interesting question, without an easy answer. Normally if a client wants to own the copyright then the price of the images would increase very significantly. In fact, the price for owning copyright would be out of most clients budget. Large companies usually get around this by having an in-house photographer who is an employee, thereby giving the company the copyright over images. Signing over copyright isn’t something that I do with my work, and there is a difference between exclusive ongoing licensing and owning the copyright. The thing I would think about is do you want someone else to own your images? They could then sell your images to a competitor (for example) then make money off your images. That is totally a personal preference. But usually, the fee is significantly higher, like even 10 times higher. There are some percentages that I have seen thrown around in the design world, but I haven’t seen any for food photography. How does that feel for you?

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way June 9, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you Rachel for such valuable information. It took time for you to write this all down and here we are getting it for free — again thank you. This is one of those pay it forward type thing. You are great.

    • Reply Rachel June 10, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Hey Marisa! It sure did take a lot of time, and best that it came in three parts. Can you imagine scrolling through that as one big post? Pricing is a something that you have to develop on your own, but this will definitely get you in the right direction. Good to start thinking of these things before you get approached by a client so you can be ready to rock!

  • Reply davin rodriguez June 10, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Rachel this is an invaluable spreadsheet for someone just starting out! Thank you so much for taking the time to share and explain in detail!

    • Reply Rachel June 10, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Hey Davin! It’s not to shabby is it? It will definitely get some solid figures for you to start thinking about. Better to be prepared for when client comes knocking, otherwise it is a little more stressful than a pleasurable experience. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply jupiter June 10, 2016 at 9:27 am

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  • Reply Melissa Darr June 11, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you for such a great 3 part series. It’s been very helpful and given me the ability to start thinking more in depth about my pricing. Also your portfolio site!!! Is it wordpress or something else? I love it and have been tossing about how to start a portfolio site up. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Reply Rachel June 14, 2016 at 11:13 am

      Hey Melissa! So glad to hear that this series has equipped you to get where you want to be. Best of luck with it.

      At of now, I use a Squarespace site and the Ishimoto template. Highly recommended.

  • Reply Carlos Leo June 12, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Hello Rachel,
    I love all your tips. They are very valuable. Do you have all those tips in e-books? or in PDF? I would love to print them. Thank you for helping us to get better. BIG THANK YOU!

    • Reply Rachel June 14, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Hey Carlos! I am so pleased! Creative blocks are the worst, but bound to happen so accepting them and working through them is the most important part. Currently, I don’t and I am working towards putting some ecourses together. My inbox is always open if you want to send me ideas of things you would like to see available on/via the blog – twolovesstudio [at] gmail [dot] com.

  • Reply Janelle June 12, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Hey Rachel!
    I have just discovered your gorgeous blog today and I love! Your photography and style is just beautiful. Thankyou so much for
    being so generous and sharing your tips and tricks with us!! Looking forward to seeing more of your work!!
    Janelle xx

    • Reply Rachel June 14, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Hey Janelle! Thank you so much for taking the time to explore. Pleased to have you here. It’s great to be able to give back and allow others to shine, like people have done before me. Looking forward to having you on the journey and please do let me know if you have any ideas of things you’d like to see on the blog.

  • Reply heline June 14, 2016 at 4:57 am

    The quote, which inspires me deeply is “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams
    For me it means I can create anything I want, I am in control,and that I can always, always learn and improve myself and my photos. There’s no failure.

    • Reply Rachel June 14, 2016 at 11:17 am

      This is great Heline! I love this quote too and I think it really resonates with food photography for me as this type doesn’t occur naturally. You have to create it from the ground up. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply ED June 15, 2016 at 11:53 am


    Love the post and pics are amazing…mind sharing what light setup you used? it doesnt look like a flash was used so a constant light from above?

    • Reply Rachel June 16, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Hey Ed! Thanks for the kind words. You can see a little behind the scenes shot here from some recent work I did for Cannings. Just a simple natural light from a very large window. Overcast day. Pretty cool huh?

  • Reply Kym Grimshaw June 15, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Only just caught up with this but I think it’s so wonderful you’re putting this out there to help people! I find it a bit of a taboo subject to approach any peers in food photography unless I know them really well, and I don’t know any at all well enough to probe for this kind of stuff. Maybe it’s the curse of being English! It’s hard not to feel like a deer in the headlights when you get an email asking for your ‘rates’, I mean where do you start?? So thank you. This has been such a great help and certainly got me thinking strategically about it rather than plucking figures from thin air!

    • Reply Rachel June 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Hey Kym! Nice to see you round here. I think it’s common not to share, like somehow that will stop you from being successful and taking the work of others? Yet action will always get us where we want to be! You’ve got to start somewhere you’re right and taking a total stab in the dark isn’t super helpful. This will definitely get you on the right track and how far down it you go will be up to you. Hope you find the worksheet in Part 2 super helpful. Make sure to stop by more often. I love seeing you around here.

  • Reply Lizzy June 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    amazing Rachel! I love this!

    • Reply Rachel June 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks Lizzy! Hope to see this on your blog soon.

  • Reply Jo || The Luminous Kitchen June 16, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    You are amazing!!!!! I can’t wait to try this. Woohoo. I’m excited because Corey’s hand are kinda hairy and I do use him as a hand model, but I prefer not to 😂

    • Reply Rachel June 16, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Oh Jo! This did make a laugh out loud. I’d love to see multiples of Corey’s hands in your shots just for fun. Totally understand where you are coming from. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Reply CrazyLittlePolka. June 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Hi! Thank you for the post. I love it! It is very useful. Can’t wait to shoot during the weekend. Your blog is amazing. Love from Poland 🙂 Jowita

    • Reply Rachel June 16, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Hey Jowita, oh you are so welcome. Please do share a link with some images once you have tested this out! Excited for you.

  • Reply Shannon Deutrom June 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Fabulous idea Rachel! I love it. I will have a try this school holidays : )

    • Reply Rachel June 16, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Great Shannon! Have fun with it and please do share a link to some of the work you create!

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        Hallo Peter,die neuen Bedingungen gelten ab dem 1.Januar 2013. Wenn du schriftlich Widerspruch einlegst, gelten für dich die alten Bedingungen bis Juli 2013. Dann behält sich McFIT jedoch die KÃudnnÂigƒ¼g deines Vertrages vor.

  • Reply CrazyLittlePolka. June 16, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I like the quotes very much. I am in the beginers phase, so they are just for me. 🙂 The quote that I have printed and standing on my desk is: “Development happens outside a comfort zone” – Lama Ole Nydhal – that is very useful in hard moments.

    • Reply Rachel June 17, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Great quote! That is so very true. Thanks for sharing. One to definitely keep in mind in those hard times.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way June 16, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    This is great!! I’ve never used my own hands, just my hubby’s as he’s cutting meat or grilling ( that is his forte). I’d better get a manicure before I attempt this especially since I’ve been doing quite a bit of gardening 🙂 You are fantastic!! Thank you.

    • Reply Rachel June 17, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Yes, I do like to paint my nails before I do it! hehe. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Reply Chaimae June 16, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Oh my GOD !! This is awesome !! Thank you because I always wondered if all these photographers always have a bunch of people at hand to make beautiful photos !

    Okay, I have a question… How do you take photos from above (bird eye view) ? Do you have some expensive / complicated stuff to do it ? How can an amateur photograph achieve something like that (I have backache and it’s terrible when I try to style and prep not on a table)… Thank you in advance !!

    • Reply Rachel June 17, 2016 at 9:18 am

      Hey Chaimae! Thanks for stopping by. There are certainly shoots where there are a lot of people and hands available, but if you are flying solo then no worries you can still give this a try.

      You just need to be on a tripod to do this so the angle/focal length is exactly the same. It will be super hard to put it together otherwise. I actually shot this on a small table. Like a coffee table height, tripod over head. Tripod setup was like this, but imagine I am styling on a table and not the floor. Hope that helps.

      • Reply Chaimae June 17, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        Oh yeah that helps a lot !! Thank you very much, it’s always such a pleasure to read you ^__^

  • Reply Laura { Lau Sunday cooks} June 16, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Woow Rachel! love this, it’s so clever! Thank you 😉

    • Reply Rachel June 17, 2016 at 9:13 am

      It is such a bit of fun Laura. You’ll love it.

  • Reply Bea June 17, 2016 at 7:25 am

    You never stop inspiring me!Plus I could listen to your voice forever!!!

    • Reply Rachel June 17, 2016 at 9:14 am

      I knew you’d say that Bea! Notice how Aussies turn their sentences into questions when they aren’t? Too funny. You’d be great at putting something like this together!

  • Reply Aysegu; June 17, 2016 at 11:13 am

    This was SO SO helpful. Thank you Rachel.

    • Reply Rachel June 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      You’re so welcome Aysegul!

  • Reply Kelly - A Side of Sweet June 17, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    This is so stunning and so useful! Just out of curiosity, what surface are you shooting on? Is that actually a massive marble slab?

    • Reply Rachel June 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      Perfect, so glad to hear that Kelly! And I’m totally embarrassed you asked that. It is not marble, ‘sigh’. Too heavy and expensive. It is actually vinyl flooring glued onto a board. Not bad eh!

      • Reply Kelly - A Side of Sweet June 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        Ha! I was hoping you would say that actually. I use a vinyl backdrop I got on Etsy but it’s a bit grayer than yours and I was curious to see if yours was the real deal. I’ve checked the hardware stores and even specialty flooring stores all over San Francisco and for whatever reason no one caries it. Hopefully someday we’ll have the space to invest in a real marble table.

        • Reply Rachel June 23, 2016 at 9:08 am

          I hear that Kelly! Let’s made that a goal.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way June 17, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Rachel! I sent you this question in an email but I thought that some of the other readers might like to know too — do you use a graphic pad and pen when you are doing editing with brushes. I don’t have a set but I imagine it would be easier than using a mouse. Thank you so much it was a fantastic conversation — I could have kept you on Skype for hours 🙂

    • Reply Rachel June 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Hey Marisa, I do not use a pen tablet. My husband uses a wacom tablet, but I just use the mousepad on my mac book pro (as mentioned in the video), so I use my finger. I guess it’s not ideal, but works better for me than a mouse for instance. They do take a while to get used to, but see what you can create with what you have first or a second hand one.

  • Reply Shibani June 18, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    Thank you so much for the valuable tips.They are so essential for newbies like me.

    • Reply Rachel June 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      You’re welcome Shibani! Lovely to have you around here. Please keep commenting!

  • Reply Lynnette June 21, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I am devouring all the posts and tutorial from your wonderful blog in hopes to re-launch my blog soon. Such beautiful photos and great tips. Thanks Rachel!

    • Reply Rachel June 23, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Hey Lynnette! Great to have you here. Thanks for stopping by. What will you be re-launching? Platform, design or content? Sounds exciting!

  • Reply sabrina June 22, 2016 at 3:37 am


    Thank you so much for taking the time in educating others about good business practices. You work is remarkable and it’s great to be taught by such an incredible and talented individual like yourself.

    Sending big hugs and gratitude your way!!


    • Reply Rachel June 23, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Oh thanks Sabrina! That is so kind of you to say. Very grateful that you found this helpful. We all need a helping hand from time to time for sure.

  • Reply Jessica June 23, 2016 at 6:20 am

    I LOVED this post! That video was so helpful. I now want to try this just to see if I can do it the same, even if I have extra hands haha! In general, loving all your posts!

    • Reply Rachel June 23, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Do it! You’ll totally love it. A couple of readers have already done some great work. Very inspiring. Let me know what you come up with!

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  • Reply Karene' June 23, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Love this Love this!!! Thank you! So logical! Can’t wait to try it!
    You have been so busy. Loving all your posts. Useful and informative and always beautiful. Brilliant!

    • Reply Rachel June 27, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      Yay Karene! Please do. I’d love to see what you come up with.

  • Reply Karene' June 23, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    That’s amazing Rachel! I never thought of watermarks in that way. I’ve thought of them as ways to protect your images and as ways to send people to your website, but not that one might sell your images like that. I’ve been in between watermarks, so I’ve left them off recently. Definitely time to bring them back!

    • Reply Rachel June 27, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Karene. I just thought I would offer a different perspective as I know people have strong opinions about watermarks. I can’t imagine putting my work out there without it. Mostly I want people to instantly know it is mind, so interested to know what people think makes a good watermark. Do you have any thoughts on what makes a good watermark?

    • Reply Nikki June 30, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      This is such a great argument for watermarking! Your watermark is also how I noticed you on Pinterest and started following your site, btw. The funny thing is, my background is design and I’ve created many logos and watermarks but I don’t have one on my own photos! It’s probably time.

      And what makes a good watermark? A simple, recognizable image that complements your style as a photographer. Nothing too ornate. When I design these, I zoom in and out quite a bit to make sure it’s recognizable at any size.

      Thanks for the post!

      • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:38 pm

        Nikki! I am pumped to hear you say that. Makes me feel like I know what I am talking about.
        I totally agree, there was a phase of ornate watermarks going around and I think they killed it for everyone. That is a fantastic point. So now we know who to get to to get a watermark done!

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  • Reply Karene' June 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Just had to quote and I get myself into such knots when I do! I’ve printed all three parts to this and am quietly going to sit down and work through it to see whether I’m on track. My new client of lifestyle food has come back asking for pack shots too. I’ve decided that for those less creative (but sometimes technically challenging) shots, I’d charge per image. Because there are many repeats, you are expected to do much more bulk work in your time slot and breaking it down per image shows them the value that they are getting. It also just makes it easier to quote and easier for the client to budget.

    • Reply Rachel June 27, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Yes, there are many things to consider once you have a price in mind and thanks for sharing this with newbie readers. Price is always a negotiation when there are multiple jobs or an ongoing relationship. But at least people have somewhere and something to start that conversation with.

  • Reply Shibani June 23, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Rachel, This is an interesting topic and I have always watermarked my images after I found them stolen and published in many sites. How cool it would be to be contacted by Art directors for publishing….. .
    Lovely article.

    • Reply Rachel June 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Hey Shibani! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I just wanted to offer a different perspective and conversation around them. I know that people will steal images if they want, but for me it is like leaving the house without clothes on. I can’t let my work go out there without watermarking. If you have any thoughts on what you think makes a good watermark, I’d love to hear them!

  • Reply Saxon June 25, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Oh no. Now I’m questioning my stance again. I’m a yo-yo on watermarks. Aesthetically I don’t really like them but I used to do them on all of my blog pics. It took ages placing them ‘just so’. I even wrote this post about it >

    Then I got talking to some of my Instagrammer mates with massive followings and some top Aussie photographers who all said – we never bother. And I stopped. Can you detect I’m a little indecisive. Haha I think if you are in a tight niche they can be helpful as promo. Such as you are in Rach. As a ‘defence’ against theft I wouldn’t bother though. They really do take a while to get in the right place and can detract from a photo in the wrong spot. At least in my opinion.

    • Reply Rachel June 27, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      Well I guess that is a good thing Saxon? I am going to take it as one. I know that people have a lot of strong opinions on watermarks, and most people seem to tell me that they think mine works? I do spend time putting them carefully onto each image. It’s like leaving the house without perfume, you feel naked. I don’t want my images to be naked so I watermark them. Maybe I have a problem? Just thought I’d offer a different opinion, but I do get your points and apprehension. Maybe it is the niche I am in? Would be interested to know if this works for any other niches? Thanks for offering your perspective!

  • Reply Rachel Korinek June 30, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I think one great takeaway from this Saxon is that there are going to be things in our lives that happen that aren’t in our control, and so feeling sorry for ourselves doesn’t help. Life doesn’t really owe us anything, so reframing ‘want what you have’ is a really powerful. Be grateful everyday and take those moment of pleasure and happiness however fleeting. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Saxon July 1, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Thanks for having me over. I forgot to wipe my shoes before I came in, sorry about that. Yup – the only constant in life is change. Cheers

  • Reply Laura | Wandercooks June 30, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I love that mantra Saxon. It’s really important to keep those black dots in perspective and not let them overwhelm all the good things in life, so I’ll definitely be training myself to use this mantra going forward. I wish you all the best as you recover and adapt to this new way of living. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Reply Saxon July 1, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Cheers Laura. Yup ‘Black Dotting’ things is really empowering. I haven’t been able to make them work for parking tickets and inspectors yet though 😉

  • Reply Sarah @ Wandercooks June 30, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Saxon! Awesome post – absolutely love your positive outlook on life. Ah – and the people watching. While I love taking photos of food, capturing those unique and spontaneous moments of people overseas is simply captivating.

    • Reply Saxon July 1, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Thx Sarah. Never tried food photography. I am very unsuccessful at cooking the stuff so I would imagine I’d be useless at photographing it. NYC and France are my fav places to visit mainly due to the people and the street photo opportunities. Happy snapping whatever is in front of your lens 🙂

  • Reply Jo || The Luminous Kitchen June 30, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve never been into watermarks because I feel that if someone is going to “steal” my work then they have whats coming to them and I don’t want to have find out their email and ask them not to use my images because thats a pain and a lack minds, but I love this perspective on it! I have always loved your watermark and the way you do it adds to the image. You do it really well babe. xx

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Absolutely Jo! I know what where they is a will there is a way, and people are going to steal if they want to steal. I just look at it like ensuring people know who I am and get more eyeballs onto my work for what it is. I do like my watermark. Not sure what it is about it. Clean I guess?

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way June 30, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I usually do add a watermark and kind of let it fade into the background. I do love yours because it doesn’t detract rom the photo. I think i need to rethink the font for mine . Great post!! Thank you.

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Yes Marisa, I have this one made for me by a graphic designer. Detract sure is a key point. I personally try to look through a watermark to be encapsulated by the image itself and I think if anyone has good work then they are able to see what a good watermark from a design perspective would be.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way June 30, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Saxon! When something touches my heart and mind I reread it! After I write this I will think about what you said and then I’ll reread the post. I’m sorry for what you’ve had to face but I’m glad that you are finding your lemonade. The last two weeks have been tough but I will get through, hopefully smarter and stronger. Journey well!!

    • Reply Saxon July 1, 2016 at 11:10 am

      ‘White Dot’ Marisa. White dot! It exists 🙂

  • Reply Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire June 30, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    This is just genius! I’ve always loved shots like this, but just don’t have that many people at my disposal. I have a feeling I’m going to have a lot of fun trying this out.

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      You will Amanda. I have had quite a few readers all send me images that they have mastered doing this! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Reply Stephanie July 1, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Wow, what a great idea! I never would have thought about it in this way. Something I’ll have to think about! Thank you for all your awesome posts!!! xO Steph

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      That’s perfect! Always good to have a new perspective on something even if we choose not to roll with it!

  • Reply Tash July 1, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    I get why people don’t really like watermarks but I’m starting to feel like it’s a necessity if you can do it the “right” way. I’ve recently started watermarking pretty much all my photos I put on line. I decided to do this mainly because I know a couple of woman on IG that also run styling businesses and have the habit of posting up other peoples photos and not mentioning that they aren’t their images (although they don’t claim them as their own either either hmmmmm – I get a little cross at them both when I see this)

    I like quite simple fonts and have been messing around with different styles to see what works with the majority of my images. I think I’ve just settled on a style which is really really really simple, I fade it out a little and even change it’s colour to suit the image.

    I think as I grow with my photography hobby I might like to read more about how to process/manage the payments/sales side of things. Sounds like in this day and age it’s a good thing to know about and I know that through my IG account I’ve recently been getting asked more about what i’d like to do with my photography and had a few business/earning options for the future thrown out there to think about.

    Thanks for a great article.

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Hey Tash! You are very welcome. I don’t think anyone has a soft spot for watermarks, but just like relationships there are good ones and bad ones. I am sorry to hear that someone is taking your work. There needs to be a lot of education for being a good digital citizen these days.
      Yes, changing the colour to suit the image is a good idea. I have a black png file and a white png file and I mix them up depending on the image. You have some nice images in your IG feed – keep creating.

  • Reply Shivaji July 3, 2016 at 1:18 am

    One word “Beautiful”

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks Shivaji. I’ll take that!

  • Reply Melissa July 7, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I’d love to hear your tips on what you’ve learnt on taking beverage shots. I really struggle with them too and looking for some tips. Especially camera settings/aperture etc

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Yes I hear that Melissa! Noted.

  • Reply Stella @ Stellicious Life July 7, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you Rachel for sharing your tips and experience. You don’t know how much it’s appreciated that you broke down your process and advice, finally something I can understand and implement myself. Thank you! (ps. and that beverage shot is tunning!!)

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      I love how simple it can be sometimes! You are very welcome. Love to hear what your next goal is.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way July 7, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Rachel, you always inspire me to be the best I can be and to keep learning. I’ve wanted to learn how to do pour shots or sprinkle shots with my camera (I’m saving for a new one so I can get a good lens). I downloaded the goal sheet and I’m going to write out my goals. I wish I could sit on your shoulder and just follow you around for a month 🙂

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      Oh yes, sprinkle shots would be epic! Fast shutter speed is what you want to aim for so think about how you can achieve that with the tools you have. (Remember to think about how fast shutter speed is connect with aperture and ISO!)

  • Reply nicole ( July 8, 2016 at 3:08 am

    Thank you for another great post, Rachel. It’s a very timely one for me because I’ve really been “drifting” this year, taking assignments as they come, continuing on the same path with my blog when instead I should be taking control of the stirring wheel and moving it into the direction I want to go in. Downloaded the sheet and are thinking hard about new goals! 🙂

    P.S.: Needless to say, that beverage shot is stunning!

    • Reply Rachel July 8, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      Go Nicole! #gogetem. I’ve been there. Just waiting for that person to tap me on the shoulders and hand me my dreams. I’d be waiting a while if I did that. Love to know what your next goal is!

  • Reply shibani July 8, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Rachel. Thank you for the easy Demo. I tried and did it , feeling simply proud of it. Thank you

    • Reply Rachel July 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      That is so amazing Shibani! Can’t ask for more than that right!

  • Reply Elle July 9, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Thanks so much for the inspiring and insightful read! Always so great to read about others experiences. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Rachel July 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Oh you are very welcome Elle!

  • Reply Anila July 12, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I am completely agree with you that setting a goal is really needed for any photographer. I am glad you have shared your own goal with us here. Thank you, this post is strongly recommended for all photographers out there.

    • Reply Rachel July 19, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks Anila! I totally agree. What is your next goal that you are working towards?

  • Reply Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire July 16, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Cant wait to start filling out the sheet! My goal right now is learning how (and when) to create an impactful image using darker backgrounds and props. I love darker shots, but struggle to get my lighting just right.

    • Reply Rachel July 19, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Yay Amanda! That is such a cool goal. Love the word ‘impactful’. Hopefully the sheet with help you organise how to get there. Shout out if you have any questions!

  • Reply Carlos Leo July 21, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you!
    You are awesome!
    This post is very clear and very helpful. I’m looking forward to starting practicing. I admire the moody photos and the drama. Thank you!

    • Reply Rachel July 22, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Hey Carlos! I know, weren’t we just speaking of this over email? Glad you found it helpful. I know not everyone will have a speed light, but they are such a valuable part of one’s photography bag. Yes, something different for me too.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way July 21, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    I always get something from your posts. It really helps to see how a food shoot was set up. Can I assume that in some of the shots the food was on the floor? Thank you, Rachel for sharing this.

    • Reply Rachel July 22, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Hey Marisa, this shoot was on a small table, which you’ll be able to see in the diagrams I drew in the worksheets. But still very close to the floor indeed. The light was above it for sure.

      • Reply Tim Walter October 3, 2016 at 11:53 pm

        A couple times a month I will stop by a reclaimed building materials warehouse. Sometimes they have some great old flooring, paneling, doors, or tin ceiling tiles. They all make great backgrounds. Watch out, though. That junk (junque) accumulates in your studio!

        • Reply Rachel October 10, 2016 at 11:31 am

          Oh that is fabulous Tim! I would love to be able to do that more. It’s so magical to find those one of a kind pieces. For sure, also a good problem to have. hehe.

  • Reply Layla July 22, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Thank you so much for this great post! It was really helpful. What kind of material/background are you using for these photos?

    • Reply Rachel July 22, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Hey Layla, this particular background was a painted board. An effect to look like a concrete/stone. So glad you found this helpful!

  • Reply Justin @ SaltPepperSkillet July 22, 2016 at 4:55 am

    Another fantastic tutorial. Moody light is one thing that is difficult to figure out, and this helps so much.

    I have tried to do it using a soft box on my speedlight, but I never thought of using a diffuser in between the speedlight and the subject. This will give it an even more natural light look. Also, what a fantastic tip showing how angling the diffuser changes the light so much.

    Thank you!!!

    • Reply Rachel July 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Yay Justin! Great to see you around here.

      I guess it depends on the size of the soft box you used right? The reflector was a large 42″ disk which was double the size of my subject. It is easy to forget that the reflector takes on being the lightsource rather than the light itself.

      Yes those images aren’t the final of course, but it is very useful to see how a slight change can change everything. Lighting is so fascinating and infuriating at the same time.

  • Reply REINIS July 23, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Hey, looks nice.

    Can I ask you, what are you spraying on the cake?

    • Reply Rachel August 24, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Just plain old water! Keep it from looking dry.

  • Reply Lou August 3, 2016 at 2:39 am

    I’ve just come across your site and I’m feeling so inspired, thank you! I’m a graduate photographer and was wondering if you had any tips for getting work as a food photographer?

    • Reply Rachel August 24, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Hey Lou! Thanks for your kind works. Yes the million dollar question, something that I think we are all working on. I would start by telling everyone, everyone that you are a food photographer. That will ensure that you start thinking and acting like a photographer and you never know who knows someone who is looking for a photographer.

  • Reply shibani August 4, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Lovely article Jonathan, I love old and tarnished baking trays for image backdrops too. I loved your way of preparing it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Jonathan Thompson August 4, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      Hi Shibani, so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have a go at this, I’d hate to think I was the only one stinking out my kitchen 🙂 Let us know how you get on, love to see your results.

  • Reply Inspiration Strikes! Flourless Lemon, Almond and Moroccan Mint Cake, and a Lesson in Moody Lighting. - T h e U r b a n N e s t August 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    […] finished cake too. It was a very specific idea, based on my doing an excellent online tutorial from Two Loves Studio for capturing moody light in food photography. I took loads of photos, but wasn’t happy with […]

  • Reply Carlos Leo August 4, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Excellent article!
    I was looking for this information. Perfect!

    • Reply Jonathan Thompson August 4, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      Hey Carlos, my Spider Sense was tingling, it must have been you. Glad you liked it.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way August 4, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    To think of all the time I spent scouring my baking trays so they’d be clean and shiny! I could be selling baking trays now for photos. We do have a terrific baking tray we’ll be willing to our kids — it is our bbq rib pan. We’ve used it so many times for ribs it’s retained the aroma. YUM!! Great idea, Jonathan, and Congratulations on you photo feature and cover shot!

  • Reply Stella @ Stellicious Life August 4, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I’m always looking for more tips on how to make photography backgrounds.
    I have a few well seasoned baking trays and what I would normally find sad that they can’t be scrubbed so neat anymore, is a great advantage when it comes to taking photos on/with them. I agree, they add wonderful texture and give the shoot a homey, antique kind of feel.

    • Reply Jonathan Thompson August 4, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      Hi Stella,

      Sad baking trays are now happy, creative masterpieces. Think of it as their retirement gig 😉

  • Reply Jonathan Thompson August 4, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Hi Marisa, thanks for the congrats, really made up 🙂

    Ahh, the family heirloom rib tray. Better than anything else you could inherit. We use all our trays all the time, when you do ‘clean’ them, concentrate on the middle bit, that gives the edges a nice vignette. Remember it’s just a deeper level of delishiosity and only gets deeper.

    I remember my Aunt had an old chip pan. It was properly broken in and almost black inside. My Cousin came home after living in Australia for a few years, thought he was doing her a favour by cleaning it out… You can imagine her face when she realised what he was doing.

    Now I’ve saved you from all that scrubbing and you have a legitimate reason for keeping them in a creative state.

    All the best, JT

  • Reply Laura Bashar August 5, 2016 at 12:42 am

    I have some sad baking trays from 10 years of abuse that I use as backdrops. But I never thought of buying cheap trays and deliberately abuse them to get the same desired look! I’ll have to check out my dollar store! Thanks for a great post!

    • Reply Jonathan Thompson August 5, 2016 at 2:14 am

      Hey Laura,

      You know those days that you just need to get all those irritating things out of your system, that’s when you take to the baking sheet abuse therapy course 😉
      Glad you enjoyed the post, let us know how you get on.

      All the best

  • Reply Karené August 11, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    This is such a wonderful reminder of how simple it can be! Such stunning soft clear tones in your images! I’ve never used the black foam core, but seeing your examples shows the benefits beautifully – I can imagine it working wonderfully when using a dark grey background, for a more moody effect. I’ve also planned a big window in my new studio – which will have some direct and some indirect light. I cannot wait! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Reply Debs August 11, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Love your style Jo! I’ve been following you on Insta for ages and always wondered how you got your look.
    Thanks for the tips and info. Really useful! x

  • Reply Anna August 11, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Love it! Thanks for your inspirations <3

  • Reply Jess @Nourished by Nutrition August 11, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    This was such an great reminder/tutorial and simply put! I haven’t had the time to work focus on my photography but now I am starting to have more time since I’m out of school. I’m so glad I’ve subscribed to Rachel’s site and was able to read your tips Jo. Thank you. You both are such an inspiration!

    • Reply Rachel August 24, 2016 at 9:41 am

      So glad to have you Jess!

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way August 11, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    This is really helpful, Jo! I love the light bright look. It looks clean with the food being the star. I’ve been fretting about having too much light in our dining room. We have huge south and east facing windows. With winter coming on here, my south window will be bright since our huge tree will shed all of its leaves. I truly appreciate you and Rachel sharing your setups. It helps in my learning process. Thank you!

    • Reply Rachel August 24, 2016 at 9:41 am

      You are so very welcome as always Marisa.

  • Reply Guest posting on Two Loves Studio - Jonathan Thompson Photography August 11, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    […] I’ll be super quick today, but I just wanted to let you know I’ve been asked by the lovely and talented Rachel Korinek, over at Two Loves Studio, to guest post. Today it’s live, “How To Make Textured Food Photography Backgrounds with Baking Trays” […]

  • Reply Deeba Rajpal August 11, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    I’ve been using my old baking trays just like this, and I think they make a fab background. Moody, rustic and full of character. What a great tutorial Jonathan. I’m going to buy some more asap!

    • Reply Jonathan Thompson August 19, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Deeba, and I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who sees the benefit in grubby textured baking sheets 🙂 Send in photos of your new tray backgrounds, would love to see how you get on.

  • Reply Kym Grimshaw August 11, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    My old and weathered baking trays have always been my favourite backgrounds to use, I’d never thought to try and replicate them! Will definitely be giving this a go, can never have too many backgrounds!


    • Reply Jonathan Thompson August 19, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      That’s great to hear Kym, let us know how you get on. You’re right, who ever heard of too many backgrounds? Ludicrous! 😉

  • Reply Jonathan Thompson August 11, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Jo,
    That is truly some beautiful, silky light. I’m not at all envious that you have such great locations around your home to shoot all day. In fact I love the graphic that the door, window light has on a lower shot. It’s an element we don’t have but I look for it out on location. It’s funny how me and Debs talk about buying our next home (or building it come to that), how our photography and home will be part of our studio too. The living studio I guess I’d call it. I’ve looked at getting a roll down defuser blind for our south facing window, instead of wedging a big defuser in the window. Simplifying the set up mean you can better concentrate on the creating process.
    I’m so glad you mentioned the washed out colours too and how you tackle that. I find it gets left out of many posts and tutorials.
    Your work is simply stunning from every aspect. Thanks for sharing and inspiring my wife and I. You ladies are awesome.

  • Reply Jo || The Luminous Kitchen August 12, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for having me on TLS Rach! Such an honor.

    Jonathan – what a great word to describe it – silky light and thank you so much for the kind words.

    Marisa – Having too much light is never a problem as it can always be modified and blocked. Having too little light is a problem because without artificial light its very hard to add light to your set. Winter is a great time for food photography especially with overcast days that produce some beautiful white light.

    Jess – Its such a pleasure. I’m looking forward to seeing some of your creations!

    Debs – how wonderful to hear I’ll have to find you on Insta!

    Karen – You’ll be amazed at the depth that a black foam core board can add to an image. Thank you for reading.

  • Reply Angelica August 14, 2016 at 10:51 am

    This is amazing! As a beginner food photographer I’m still strugling to find the right light. I don’t have any south facing Windows in my house, but I will be trying with every window in every room and I will find it! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  • Reply Michele Garcia August 15, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Hi Jo, thank you for sharing this tutorial! I have a south-east facing front door with a window that I covered with a frosted privacy film when we moved in a few years ago, and since I started working on my photography skills through a 365 challenge this year, I finally noticed the lovely glowing light that comes through it, especially during certain times of the morning. The light can be strong, so your tip about covering the window with baking paper was helpful and not something I’d thought of since it was already covered with the frosted privacy film. I’ve got a big box of half-size sheet pan parchment paper that I bought at a local restaurant supply store, so I’ll tape a few sheets together and tape it over the window to see how it softens the harsher aspects of the light the next time I use the front window as a light source. Thanks again for the tips, thank you Rachel for sharing your knowledge through your site and Instagram account, and thank you both for your beautiful images!

  • Reply Kym August 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Thanks so much for this post. Though I haven’t received any passive income from my watermark as yet, I always watermark photos I put on the internet. I have also found photographers that I like from their watermark, so you’re right on the money there!

    • Reply Rachel August 24, 2016 at 9:42 am

      You are welcome Kym! It is an interesting thing to think about right?

  • Reply Paula Casimiro August 24, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Hi Rachel!
    I just discovered your blog today and I love it. Thank you for sharing so much information.
    This post in particular might well be what I needed to read. I have a food blog as a hobby, mainly, and for the last year or so I could see my photography evolving and I was full of motivation. Now I need to take another jump from where I am and where I want to be, to take the kind of pictures I love to see, and it’s not working so well. A lot of trial and error, a lot of pictures taken just to be deleted afterwards and a terrible sense of “maybe I can’t do it”. So, thank you for this post and some others that I just read and that are so useful for me at this moment.
    Have a lovely day!

    • Reply Rachel August 24, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Hey Paula, so lovely to have you around here for the journey. We all take crappy photos! Even the best photographers. The hit rate of keepers will always be love, but you only need a couple of stellar images, rather than a tonne of mediocre ones. Every crappy photo you get out of the way makes more room for better ones as you learn and progress. We all had to start somewhere. I hope this post helps you to know you can do it!

  • Reply Amanda August 25, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for a great post. Very helpful – I use two of the four listed but am still learning about their strengths. A question, what f-stop do you shoot your overhead shots at, please? You mentioned you keep it quite low and I tend to go higher but I am never happy with my overheads. Perhaps my f-stop is my issue.

    • Reply Rachel August 29, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Hey Amanda, so glad you found it helpful! Some of these types of questions in photography are kinda like ‘how long is a piece of string’! It is so dependant on many factors that there isn’t a hard and fast rule. It will depend on how close you are to your subject, the heights of your subjects, the look you are trying to create and the lighting. I’d say if my lighting is fairly decent then I would start around f/5.6-f/4.5.

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  • Reply Chaimae August 25, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Wah… There’s no more accurate word to describe these beautiful photographs ! The color of this beverage is mesmerizing ! Thank you, your blog is by far one of my favorite (even if there’s no recipes on it) because you’re always full of advices and (very) useful tips and how-to about food photography ! We can see you love your job (and maybe that’s the reason you’re good at it haha =D)

    Thank you ^__^

    • Reply Rachel August 29, 2016 at 8:28 am

      Yep, no recipes around here. The internet is filled with so many great ones already. Thanks for the very kind words!

  • Reply Melissa August 25, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Alright now you’ve got me all confused. Ha. I’ve been saving for a new lense and thought I knew what I wanted. I’ve got a nifty 50 f/1.8, and a 24-105 f/4 L . I wanted to invest in a prime or maybe a macro lense of some sort. What would you recommend as the next investment as a food photographer? I was thinking maybe a 90mm macro or a 85mm prime? Thoughts/recommendations? I can’t decide.

    • Reply Rachel August 29, 2016 at 8:29 am

      There is rarely such a simple answer when it comes to a new lens right? Do you have a cropped sensor or a full frame? I would first think about the shots that you really want to get but can’t with your current lenses. I find that helps steer me in the right direction.

      • Reply Melissa September 1, 2016 at 8:33 pm

        I’ve got a full frame camera. Maybe thinking of a macro since I don’t have one.

        • Reply Jonathan Thompson September 2, 2016 at 7:24 am

          Hey Melissa, have you thought of using macro extension tubes with your current lenses. They fit between the lens and the camera body allowing your regular lens to focus at a close up distance for really tight, macro shots. You can pick them up for £25-35 on Amazon.
          If you’re using your 24-105 for food and you use Adobe Lightroom to edit and organise your images, you can search your food photography folder and see what focal length you’re using the most. If you’re around 85, maybe that’s a good call, if it’s more around 100, you have more relevant info to make an informed decision.
          I always tell people to really work the kit they’ve already got. You have a focal range which is more than enough. If the image quality isn’t there, due to the lens, maybe it’s time to change up the kit. Often I found myself looking to more kit to solve a shooting issue, when it was me that needed to change things up and my technique.
          I’m pretty certain you’re shooting Canon. My 50 1,8 isn’t very sharp, until I get to f8, which is fine for overhead. The 24-105 is a bit of an old girl too, not the sharpest piece of glass in my bag, and there’s a new one coming out. I use the 100 f2.8L Macro, there’s a cheaper version I’d be tempted to purchase 1st, see if you like it, perhaps it will be great for you and no need to invest so much in the L lens. If you want to upgrade after 6 months because you love the 100 macro, then sell it and buy the L version, which is very good. Even renting a lens before the big buy can be a good route for some.
          I hope all that makes sense.

          • Rachel September 2, 2016 at 2:21 pm

            Always a pleasure having your thought here, especially being a Canon shooter! Obviously most of my experience is with Nikon. I always, always rent or borrow lenses where possible. I know not everyone has that luxury. But something to think about for sure. What is your favourite lens?

          • Jonathan Thompson September 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm

            Ahh, thanks Rachel, I hate to see folks struggling with the same stuff I did starting out. I actually go a different route to most. After a recent business coach meeting and running through my personality and traits, doesn’t surprise me now. I mostly use the new 24-70 f4 with astonishing IS (Image Stabilising for anyone reading who doesn’t know) It’s reeeeeeeally sharp and covers the focal length I’m often using, 50-70, it can also do macro detail shots and no lens changing. I also bring in the saucy minx of my camera bag, the 100 Macro f2.8 L IS. Some how I always get a shot and view point I like with this lens. I even dusted off my 70-200 f2.8L the other day, just for giggles, and it brought in a view point I hadn’t thought of before and only that lens was going to give it to me. If the crowd is doing one thing I’ll be somewhere else experimenting. That doesn’t mean the crowd is wrong, but I can get creatively claustrophobic.
            With my subject matter being more varied than most my kit tends to be a little different. I’ll be borrowing a tilty shifty for some focal plane fun as the summer wanes for us and makes it’s way over to you. Play time is a good time 🙂

        • Reply Rachel September 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

          That would be my pick for you where price permits. The 100mm before the 60mm. If you can rent one or borrow to test out before buying is ideal. Jon makes some good points! I haven’t done that myself, but I knew I would have the lens for life so saved up for it. Tamron is also a really good option. Jo from The Luminous Kitchen loves her 90mm Tamron macro.

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way August 25, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Hi, Rachel! This is such a good article. I’ll be sharing it with my food photography groups. I have a Nikon D7200 and my first lens is a Nikkor AF-S 50mm 1.4G. I plan on getting another food lens and an all around lens. Taking into consideration the crop factor, which lens would serve me the best? We are traveling for a month and I’d love a lens for outdoor shots and then my next food lens. I am getting the full frame lens because should I ever upgrade to a full- frame camera I wouldn’t want to start over.
    I looked at your workshop. Wish I could have been there. BTW did you have anything covering the windows to diffuse the light?

    • Reply Rachel August 29, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Hey Marisa, do you mean diffuse the light at the workshop or in the images in this blog post?

      Is there shots that you currently want to get but aren’t able to with the lens you have? The 35mm is a good lens on a cropped camera as it will give you the feel of a 50mm. If you ever upgrade to a full frame the 35mm is really awesome for journalistic and travel photography and I know you travel often! I’d say if you see yourself using it for travel in the future (when a full frame comes along) then this will work well for you.

  • Reply Michele Garcia August 26, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Thanks Rachel-very helpful post! I just upgraded to a Nikon D810 ( from a D80) and purchased the 50mm f1.8G, and I have a 24-120mm 4G that came with the body. My D80 was a great starter camera, especially when I added a 40mm f2.8G lens, but I love the greater range and flexibility I have now with the D810. I will keep this list for future reference!

    • Reply Rachel August 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

      That’s amazing Michele. I have the D800E so quite similar. It’s such an amazing experience when you get to full frame and see the lenses focal length for actually what it is. The world if your oyster now!

  • Reply shibani August 26, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    lovely article Rachel. I really need the Tilt – Shift lens. Have seen the pictures shot from this lens. Totally different.

    • Reply Rachel August 29, 2016 at 8:34 am

      You and me both Shibani!

  • Reply Angelica August 28, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I am very new to food photography, why does it say 105 mm Micro/ 100 mm Macro? Or 60 mm Micro/ 60 mm Macro? Are those different lenses? My first le se was. 50 mm f 1.8 Canon lense, I’m saving for the next one, a macro lense, I was told the 35 mm would be a good purchase, but now I’m consideran de 60 mm, what do you think? Thanks 🙂

    • Reply Rachel August 29, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Hey Angelica. Good question. If you take a look at the name of the lenses and the images of the lenses, you’ll notice that the Nikon macro lens is called a ‘micro’ lens and the Canon version is simply the ‘macro’. Essentially Nikon calls their macro lenses ‘micro lenses’. I shoot Nikon, and I know there are a lot of readers who have Canon, so I put both lenses up there.
      Do you have a cropped sensor or a full frame? The reason they say the 35mm is a good lens for a cropped sensor if that it will give you the feel of a 50mm. Which lends itself quiet well to food photography. If you ever upgrade to a full frame the 35mm won’t be so good for food photography anymore but rather travel and journalistic style images. Not a bad lens to have though as food often ties in with travel. I think a macro lens for food photography is really a must. If you can, I always advise to rent your options and see what you like. I’ve always done that in the past before I purchase.

  • Reply Angelica August 29, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Thanks Rachel, I have a cropped sensor, I’m still trying to understand how does that work, and what does it mean. I’m reading the article you mention here

    • Reply Rachel September 2, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Did that article help you at all Angelica? It can be confusing at first. I would have a think about what your lens current can’t do for you, and some sample images of what you’d like to create. Then we can see what sort of lens would suit that. Let me know!

      • Reply Angelica September 3, 2016 at 10:50 pm

        Thanks Rachel, I’m still trying to understand the effect of cropped camera, I need to read the article a few more times. i would love to be able to capture the texture of the food a little closer, for some things, like the little parts of the berries, or the sprinkles on a cupcake or the texture of puff pastry, that’s why I was thinking on getting a macro. i usually shoot with the 50 mm and I do some of the overhead photos with de 18-55 mm Lens that came with the camera, because I find it easier to Fiat everything in the frame with that lense, e en if I’m on a little bench I have to do this.
        I also want to let you know that you have inspired me to start My own A-Z project, Fritz and vegeta les, and I will be posting on My blog. :). So far, I’m on the letter C

        • Reply Rachel September 9, 2016 at 9:04 am

          I know it’s hard to grasp, but it will come and will really help you to make the right choices for what you are trying to achieve. I’d look into renting one if you can and have a play! If you still can’t work it out, please send me an email with what your struggling with and I will see if I can put it into a blog post for the future.

          I am pumped to hear about your A-Z project. You will learn a tonne of stuff! I like the little flower sugar cookies you have on there!

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  • Reply Melissa September 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Oh i can’t wait to try this rachel. Can you advise on the equipment you use in this shoot to hold your fill card? So sick of falling reflectors onto my set knocking glasses of liquid over. Also your tripod type 😊sorry for all the questions. Ha.

    • Reply Rachel September 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Isn’t that the worst? It does make for a better story than I just broke my favourite glass wear washing it up (doh!). I have a few Manfrotto 5001B lighting stands. Just helps with the hands free. My tripod is absolute gold but doesn’t come cheap. It’s a Gitzo carbon Fibre Tripod. Ball head is additional.

      BUT, you don’t have to spend so much money. When I first started I used a clothes rack (like this) to clamp my reflectors too, or hang a sheet to diffuse.

      • Reply sharon benton November 17, 2016 at 9:11 am

        I looked at the Gitzo tripod, as it came highly recommended – and it’s a very nice tripod indeed! However, just starting out, I decided to go with Enduro. It was about 1/2 the price and is very stable. It holds my 5D Mark 3 very well. It may be a little heavier, but that means I just get a better work out setting up and carrying around – right! LOL! I’m very happy with it. Maybe one day, a Gitzo…

        • Reply Rachel November 18, 2016 at 5:59 pm

          Yes it’s not necessary to get the best all the time. You get something you can afford and that will work. Then you see what you like and what functions are missing and go from there. It’s better to have a cheaper tripod than none at all (and when I say cheap, I just mean not expensive!).

    • Reply Tim Walter September 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      There’s never enough help holding modifiers. When shooting on a tabletop I use large metal bookends and magnets. It works great.

      • Reply Rachel September 9, 2016 at 8:52 am

        You’re on the money there Tim! Love the problem solving. What a great tip. Get on this everyone!

  • Reply Marisa Franca @ All Our Way September 1, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    I ditto what Melissa said! I have some clamps but for some reason, I can barely open them and they won’t hold the cards. And now that I have a heavier camera my tripod is all wrong. It’s a really iffy thing if I try putting my new one on there. The head on the tripod isn’t very versatile. I like the idea that your head has that long reach that looks over the box. If I would try that with my tripod you’d see the legs. 🙁 Nicole from The Spice Train does some really great shots with the dark moody look. I always think it’s great to expand your wings. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re doing. Now to find an old box 🙂

    • Reply Rachel September 2, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      SO many feels there Marisa!

      If you can see in the images, I have a 5kg (10lb) sand bag on the top of the tripod to stop it from falling top down (as yes the camera is super heavy and will be unbalanced).
      I know what you mean by seeing the legs. Mine actually can be taken apart so that you can swap the side in which the arm extends to avoid this. This kind of feature will be available on better models of tripods.The Manfrotto 055 series can do this.
      Yes those clamps can be really tight to get open, I do hear that. You just need something simple like this, which I have seen at a couple of dollar stores.

      Yes she does! Super cool.

  • Reply Justin @ SaltPepperSkillet September 2, 2016 at 2:35 am

    I love this and can’t wait to try the setup! So beautiful.
    I did something similar with grapes a while back, but not completely boxed in. You can check it out on my IG at

    • Reply Rachel September 2, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Oh great! So simple and such rewarding results. I totally think this is something to hit up before halloween! Awesome image! How beautiful is that light?

  • Reply Jonathan Thompson September 2, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Love these shots Rachel, you’ve no idea how long this kind of shoot has been on my to shoot list. Maybe your long distance kick up the proverbial is what I’ve needed.

    • Reply Rachel September 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Oh great! I kinda do. Like me it has been a year in between shots, time just gets away from us. This is for sure a long distance kick up the bum! Those cherries you shot for the baking tray would be killer in a box like this! Mmmm, that gives me an idea for the summer.

      • Reply Jonathan Thompson September 2, 2016 at 4:53 pm

        Thanks Rachel, the Murdered Cherries are quite popular and the set up on the tray was almost accidental. I have trouble with cherries after living in Canada. The Okanagan cherries are soooooo good in the summer and I can eat my way through a bag of fresh cherries no trouble at all. The tiny little packets you see here in a supermarket are pretty sad. Home sick for Canada again, it’s been a trait this year. Time to save up for a trip.

  • Reply Brynley King September 2, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Rachel! You are seriously amazing!!! This is so stunning!

    • Reply Rachel September 2, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Fun hey Bryn! Lovely to see your face around here xx

  • Reply Heather @Boston Girl Bakes September 3, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Such a well done article- the best I’ve read on food photography lenses! I’ve pinned it already! And now I want a 60 mm macro lens 🙂 And love the idea of renting a lens before idea you could do that! Great advice!

    • Reply Rachel September 9, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Oh Heather, you’re so sweet! Happy to heat that. I aim to teach. Yes, I always rent one. They are so pricey that it’s a blind commitment when you first start and are just beginning to understand lenses.

  • Reply Meg @ With Salt and Wit September 3, 2016 at 1:15 am

    They are beautiful! Would you mind sharing your settings? I always have trouble with dark photos as my photos always turn out under exposed. Exposure is always my problem! ugh.

    • Reply Rachel September 9, 2016 at 9:01 am

      Hey Meg! Happy to share the setting I used to capture this shot. The thing is though, my settings aren’t really going to help you. See the settings I used worked for the light I had, (time of day, intensity, direction, distance from light source etc), the depth of box, look and concept. You could take my settings into any other conditions and you wouldn’t get the same results. What will help you is really understanding the relationship between your settings, ISO, aperture and shutter speed. If you aren’t shooting manual, the camera is deciding the settings for you and it’ll never be able to capture what you’ve envisioned. My hope is to offer some 1:1 coaching later this month so that’s something we could chat about so hopefully you’re on my list!

      For this shot: ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/4 sec.

      Feel free to email me if you’d like to see something about this up on the blog!

  • Reply betty September 4, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    This is fantastic. There’s been much unsettlement in the community about imitation and the very thin line between inspiration and outright copying, but I think you summed it up really well. But there is another side to it – not only is there the novice taking on inspiration (which inevitably happens in our small community, so well connected via social media) who has to be wary of toeing the line, but I’ve also been seeing (sadly), those with established styles who go paranoid on thinking everyone is copying them. I love that you’re sharing your thoughts – thank you for this! I’m going to be sharing this!

    • Reply Rachel September 9, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Hey Betty! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. It is definitely a changing world and the access to photography is unparalleled. I really think Steve Simon said it the best, ‘everything’s been done before, do it better’. It really allows you to take the concepts you love and roll it into work that is your own. It’s so interesting because I find that I can’t replicate someone else’s style. It always looks like my work. Appreciate you sharing this perspective!

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  • Reply Jackie September 6, 2016 at 3:15 am

    Your beautiful food photography is very inspiring!! I love so many different kinds of photography it’s sometimes difficult for me to focus on one thing. I worked photographing food at local restaurants for a magazine for a couple years and then went to photographing for a catalog for a few years and now have come back around to food. I’ve been working on beefing up (haha food pun) my food portfolio and randomly found this post today. Thank you for your thoughts and advise. I printed off the 1,5,10 year goal sheet from the link you had on your original post and think it will help me move forward on my food photography goals.

    • Reply Rachel September 9, 2016 at 9:10 am

      That is great to hear Jackie! Our goals change all the time so it is great to be in charge and taking steps to get there. I set goals all the time now, otherwise I get distracted by a whole bunch of stuff and never achieve the things I want to. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are going!

  • Reply Erin September 12, 2016 at 3:17 am

    I love all of these so much! My favorite is “Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough” by Alain de Botton

    This applies not only to my work but also my life – I’ve been through a lot and overcome some serious hurdles. Thank you so much for sharing these!

    • Reply Rachel September 16, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Hey Erin, thanks for sharing your favourite quote from the post. I think that is so true and something I feel quite often!

  • Reply Alejandra September 13, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Thanks indeed for sharing Rachel! I love it!
    I’ll take the challenge to create an A – Z project of fruits and veggies this fall as you suggested on your post “5-steps-to-discover-your-food-photography-style” and applied this technique you shared.
    Thanks again, your amazing!

    • Reply Rachel September 16, 2016 at 11:27 am

      You’re welcome Alejandra. That sounds great. All the best with it!

  • Reply Ami T September 13, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Rachel, thank you for another lovely post. I still remember the first day I found you on pinterest (2 years ago), I went on a “pinning” marathon of your blog. Your pictures and advices never once disappointed me 🙂
    A question for you, so I have a cropped d7000, a 35mm fixed and a 50mm fixed. I plan to shoot scenery (travel) and food mainly, so the Tokina 11-16mm is on my shopping list. However i am thinking of selling the 50mm to get a macro lense mainly for food, do you recommend the 60 over 105 or 90 tamron?

    Thank you so much!

    • Reply Rachel September 16, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Hey Ami! That is so lovely to hear. Great question. For me, I would think about whether I was ever going to upgrade to a full frame in the future. As that drove my lens choices when I was starting out. The 50mm is a great lens to have, (when it is actually a 50mm). The 60mm, 105mm and 90mm macros you mentioned are all great lenses, it just comes down to how you will be able to utilise them with your cropped sensor. The 60mm will be more like a 90mm, whereas the 105mm will be more like a 150mm (as I am sure you’re aware). If you were shooting with a full frame I would say the 90mm/105mm before the 60mm, but they will be so incredibly close that I would chose the 60mm over those for a cropped sensor. I have a full frame and I often use my 60mm, it is one of my favourite lenses so definitely isn’t a waste of a purchase if you upgrade to full frame. I hope that helps you. If you are able to rent some options before you purchase I highly recommend doing that as there is nothing quite like a test run to see if the results of the focal length will work for you.

  • Reply Life Images by Jill September 16, 2016 at 12:46 am

    thank you for this post Rachel. I’ve always loved natural light, and chase it around my house. I’ve just discovered your site, and I’m delving through it . Thanks Rachel.

    • Reply Rachel September 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Hey Jill! Lovely to meet you. Natural light sure is a wonderful thing. Jo Anderson is such a great photographers and love that she was able to share this with us. Keep in touch!

  • Reply Siobhan Wolton September 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I love your posts and advice. Thanks so much! I wouldn’t have put watermarks on my pics but now I’m going to create one for the very reason you mentioned. Great tip, thanks again. X @siobhan_wolton

    • Reply Rachel September 19, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Oh great Siobhan! I’d love to know what type of watermark you go with and what you think makes a good one.

  • Reply alma September 23, 2016 at 4:53 am

    2000? fr the aritficial light?????? wow…. any other suggestions for people who do not have the money to spend on a 2000 light?

    • Reply Rachel September 28, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Yes I know. I understand this isn’t achievable for everyone, but here at TLS I am teaching about my journey and the gear that I use as well as more affordable techniques. Always love to help where I can! Are you just looking for general advice for artificial lighting, or what you are wanting to achieve?

  • Reply Justin @ SaltPepperSkillet September 28, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Hi Rachel,
    Watching the video was super helpful to see how you work. My question is about using the gradual filter and then the adjustment brush. Was the gradual filter necessary since you ended up masking out the details anyway? Or do they work together? Thanks so much!

    • Reply Rachel September 28, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Hey Justin! Thanks for watching, glad that you found it helpful. Great questions. There are so many different ways you can approach editing and none are right or wrong necessarily. Essentially, you’re correct, you could just use the adjustment brush. I tend to start with the gradient filter as it allows you to gain control and even up the particular item that you are targeting (which in this case was exposure and shadows). By using this tool I was able to get a more even playing field to tweak to what I needed. If I used the brush I would have had to be careful that I was applying the correct level of decreased exposure to that side of the image, as there was a large difference in exposure. My work flow is to get things even and then work from there so I do use those tools in conjunction with one another.

      • Reply Justin @ SaltPepperSkillet September 29, 2016 at 11:57 pm

        Hey Rachel. That really makes sense to do it in that order. 🙂

        • Reply Rachel October 3, 2016 at 9:48 am

          Perfect! Sometimes there is a method to the madness.

  • Reply Marco September 28, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Great post, love the 90mm Marco too. So an “ordinary” 105mm macro is redundant for this type of work?

    • Reply Rachel October 3, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Marco! I wouldn