When Perfect Isn’t Everything

The one thing that I’ve learned in my career as a food blogger is that the perfect image isn’t everything.  I know. This is a shock to me also since I worked my tail off turning my photos from something that looked like my Aunt Flores took with her early 90s cell phone without her glasses into something that could grace the cover of a say, cookbook.

In my never-ending Facebook and Instgram feed of lunch after lunch, I’ve seen that excitement over a recipe can be driven by the right light on a goppy piece of ketchup even though everything else is blah.  Even a photo where it looks exactly like it would look right on your counter can be so much more popular with your readers than the one where you styled everything perfectly and the dish is looking straight like “sizzle.”

It’s easy to forget in the quest for food photo perfection that food is comfort and when you can convey that in an image it will reach your audience in ways that the you would never guess.

Which type of food photo are you drawn to? Have you noticed the same thing with photos shared on your site?


  1. Love this post. Perfect food pictures are nice and appealing, but I also really appreciate the “real” pictures. I like to think people relate to them more and don’t feel like they have to be able to make food that pretty in order to eat healthy; I know I feel that way. But maybe that is just wishful thinking since I have no desire to become a good food photographer.

    1. Lol, yes, I know some of my most popular post are the ones that I took when I was just learning and I have no desire to change them.

  2. The whole photography perfectionism thing is what scares me away from food blogging. It’s good to know they don’t have to be stunning or cover-worthy every time!

    1. Yes, you never know what will connect with your reader and often, it’s the photo that looks just like what they would see on the counter.

  3. well, i agree with you about perfect picture, but i dnt add pictures to my own food blog, although its a matter of choice, but i still have people following and visiting my blog, its only few i said i would use pictures on.

    1. Rock on for being able to create a space for foodies without photos 🙂

  4. I’m gradually finding my interest in food photography growing. As a landscape and travel photographer my skill set is very different. Food photography is an niche I respect highly knowing the intricacies. For me, a nicely cropped shot of pretty much anything with a decent macro lens gets me going. Especially if meat is involved. Cue up my Pinterest button. lol

    1. I’m right there with you on the meat, lol. Yes, I clearly remember the day I thought I could take some portraits and wow, yeah, my photos were pretty awful. It’s amazing how much study and practice it tacks to perfect each niche 🙂

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