Category Archives: Food Photography

Behind The Scenes and the Future of Our Food Blog

Since 2010, my brother and I have been maintaining our food blog Certified Foodies. We’ve had an amazing ride so far, even being recognized as one of the top food blogs in the country, which is really just the cherry on top.

2013 October cover v1

My brother and I have had this passion for food since we were kids. We both love cooking, him being the more skilled one. So we feel that we were meant to start our own food blog. We never intended to gain fame or even earn from our blog, but we did and continue to do so, which pushes us more to make our food blog better.

During the past 2 years, I’ve seen new food blogs launching here and there, and I was actually glad to see more people becoming more adventurous with food. We’ve received emails and inquiries from new food bloggers asking us for tips and help, and it seems that the most common question was how they can earn from blogging about food. And I think that’s the wrong way to approach blogging, especially when you’re writing about food. If it was for a different niche, I’d be perfectly okay, but I feel like for someone to start a successful food blog, one must have genuine passion for it.

Me at Seoul Garden - just showing you the grill at our table -

A really, really, really old photo of me. ๐Ÿ˜€

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New Pinterest Categories and My Features Wish List

One of the fastest growing social media sites to-date is Pinterest. We are all born visual, meaning images can grab our attention quickly and easily, which is why Pinterest is considered to be one of the most addictive sites there is, after Facebook and Twitter. I usually spend thirty minutes to one hour per day to check out what’s new that I can pin, and I love the quotes people create and share on Pinterest. So, I was ecstatic to learn that they have added new Pinterest categories!

New Pinterest categories for Quotes, Tattoos and Weddings

They have finally created Pinterest categories for Quotes, Tattoos and Weddings! I’m sure a lot of Pinterest active users will be happy about this too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What’s good about this is you can improve how you categorize your pins and boards, making it easier for others to see what you’re sharing. I post all my favorite quotes or my own ones under My Thoughts EXACTLY, so I can now categorize it under Quotes instead of My Life.

My Pinterest board 'My Thoughts EXACTLY'


If you also enjoy sharing or reading inspirational or funny quotes, then, it’ll be easier to find them for your posts elsewhere. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pinterest new category for Quotes


If you’re on Pinterest, follow me? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Follow Me on Pinterest


I also see artists sharing their own tattoo designs on Pinterest. Now, they have their own category! If you’ve been inked, this is also where you can show off! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pinterest new category for Tattoos


And for those who are planning a wedding for a friend or for themselves, Pinterest makes it easy for you to find ideas, inspirations and tips with the Wedding category.

New Weddings category on Pinterest


Oh, did you know that Pinterest has a category for Geeks?

Geek category on Pinterest


They also modified the categories “Pets” to “Animals“, which I find most appropriate. There are photos of animals that are worth sharing and they’re not necessarily considered pets, just like that cute Otter at the lower part of my screenshot below. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pinterest category for Animals


My time browsing on Pinterest is spent on browsing for cute photos of pets, fashion for women,ย  ideas for my bedroom, kitchen setups, nail art and shoes! Well, that’s just 40% of my time because the rest of the time, I’m looking at food porn and I pin them for our food blog. ๐Ÿ˜€

Certified Foodies Pinterest page



My Pinterest Features Wish List

Since I’m one of the active Pinterest users, I have my own wish list of features I hope they’d add in the upcoming updates. For sure, this will increase how organized we can be with our boards (for the OC people like myself):

  • Option to rearrange boards while viewing them in a list form OR the ability to rearrange the boards in alphabetical order. This will extremely be helpful for those of us who have a lot of boards and want to organize or move them quickly on my main Pinterest page. Having to drag the boards from the bottom of my browser up 10 rows of boards can be a little hard, especially when I’m using my laptop and my trackball mouse.
  • Ability to move pinned items or everything in a board to another board. I have recently decided to add a completely new board for some pinned items because I felt like I’ve grown my interest in them. So, I need to quickly move some of the old ones I pinned and categorized differently from other boards to the newly created board. It’s been tedious, so I end up with duplicates.
  • No duplicates on main page. I see people I follow repinning the same thing. I hope they can add a feature where we won’t see the same item over and over again. I especially hate the repetitiveness when I’m doing a search.

So far, those 3 are the only ones I’m hoping they can implement the soonest time possible. How about you? Do you Pinterest? ๐Ÿ˜‰


Food Photography Tips

If you are a keen photographer, then you have probably tried a whole range of styles, from wildlife photography to sports photography. If you are looking to expand your portfolio and enhance your photography skills, then why not consider taking up food photography?

Food photography might sound easy but there is a lot to learn. There is more to food photography than simply taking a picture of the dish. You have to consider the lighting, the composition and the angle. If you are keen to learn more about food photography, why not leave your online game of Solitaire or Cheekybingo for later and check out the tips below?

These are tips based on what I’ve learned so far as I take photos for our food blog. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve learned a lot over the past months as I continue to read and practice.


Fill the Frame

If you want to create the atmosphere of a packed table full of food at a dinner party, try utilizing all the space in the frame. Pick one dish and make it your subject for the frame. Use a small aperture, so the main dish is in focus and the surrounding food is softly blurred out.

Fresh Fruit Halo-halo with Gata


Getting a Classy and Minimalist Effect

If you want to show a dish which is classy, simplicity is the best effect. However, simplicity is different to having a bare or empty frame, so make sure you look for an angle that doesnโ€™t make you feel like youโ€™re wanting more substance. This can be tricky, but with practice, you’ll soon have the eye for it.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread -


Some food can be arranged just how you want them. Things like scallops look very effective when they are all lined up neatly. This works really well if you use a shallow depth of field because this really isolates your subject from the background.

T.G.I. Friday's Burger Sliders -


Have Your Cake and Eat It

Food is intended to be eaten and enjoyed. There’s something charming and appealing about seeing crumbs scattered around a half-eaten pie dish. A few crumbs scattered about, a rumpled cloth napkin in the corner of the frame or even an open sugar packet and half-drank espresso all adds to the atmosphere.

A shot of ristretto with Van Houten semi-sweet chocolates

Tips from a Newbie Food Photographer – Part 2

Here’s the continuation of my tips for food photographer wannabes or beginners like me out there. Make sure you’ve read part one. These are so basic and are based on what I’ve learned so far as a newbie food photographer and blogger. I don’t consider myself a professional, but these tips are for those who are starting their own food blog and just gotten into food photography ๐Ÿ™‚


Tip #7: Take a Lot of Photosโ€ฆ and Quickly!

It’s pretty funny dining with people who don’t understand that I’m a food blogger and I need to take photos of food I eat. Take for instance, my mom and bro (before we put up Certified Foodies). They’d really be impatient with me and I end up with photos with their spoons already on the food (*LOL*).

My brother wanted to start gobbling up those sylvanas! -

Can you tell how much my brother wanted to grab one of those Sylvanas?

So, if you’re dining with people who aren’t into food photography like you, take photos quickly! Plus, the quality of food degrades fast so it’s really important that you take your photos immediately after it’s served.

And, of course, you should take LOTS of photos. That way, you’d have a variety to choose from. Remember to use different angles and distances.



Tip #8: Take Photos of the Menu instead of Note-Taking.

This tip is not really for newbie food photographers, but for those who post their photos on their blogs and have to describe it and mention the price, too.

I used to copy/write down descriptions and prices of food we order. It could take a lot of time, especially when you ordered a lot of food. It’s also a hassle on your part when the waiting staff need their menu back for new customers who haven’t made their orders yet.

So, my solution was to take photos of the menu, capturing the description and the prices. That way, I can quickly return the menu to the waiting staff and I can start eating already when starters or appetizers are served. Plus, you get to spend more time bonding with the people you’re with at the table than note-taking for your blog.

Here’s an example from Bigby’s Restaurant: Bigby's Restaurant's menu -

I even take photos of the menu posted on restaurant’s walls, especially at fast food chains, just like this one at Krispy Kreme in Greenhills.

Krispy Kreme's menu -


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Tips from a Newbie Food Photographer – Part 1

All the photos on our food blog Certified Foodies were taken by me (except indicated otherwise). And, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m still a newbie when it comes to food photography. But, I’m proud to say that I’ve improved a lot since I started taking photos of food.

I’m no expert in food photography, but I have learned and discovered a couple of things along the way while I self-train myself into “professional-looking” food photography. These tips that I’m about to share should help other newbie photographers out there.

Included in this post are a couple of my food photos, some were taken about 2-3 years ago before I knew better (lol). I’m posting some unedited photos (except for the watermarks and resizing) so you could see how awful they look and to prove my point.

By the way, I was using a Sony Cybershot DSC-T2 point-and-shoot camera before. Now, I’m using Canon PowerShot SD1000. I’m planning on purchasing a new point-and-shoot in the next weeks. By middle of next year, I’m hoping to already own a DSLR for my travel and food photography. ๐Ÿ™‚


Tip #1: Use Good Lighting.

This is a very general and no-brainer tip. If you’re taking a photo of something you cooked at home or you ordered at a restaurant, try to place your food subject in front of a window where a good amount of light comes in. That way, you’d get a natural look and colors on your photos. That’s the best way to take photos of food. Just look at this one that I took while we dined al fresco at Best Friends in Monumento.

Natural sunlight makes a food photo automatically look yummy! -


Tip #2: Avoid Using Your Camera’s Flash.

I used a lot of flash in my photos! -

Yes, I used to use flash A LOT. Just look at my photo of this chicken dish. Though it does look delicious, the colors have been altered already and there are just too many shiny spots on there.

So, my #2 tip is as much as possible, do not use your camera’s flash when taking photos of food. It makes the food unappealing with all those unnatural shiny spots. Plus, like what I’ve mentioned earlier, flash alters the true colors of your food. It makes the whole photo look flat in my opinion.

Now, compare that first photo with this one, where I turned off the flash. Doesn’t it look more natural, and yummier?

Without flash, it look yummier -

Now, if I apply a little post-processing to that natural-looking photoโ€ฆ

Applied a little post-processing... -

That looks GOOD, considering I only used an 8.1-megapixel point-and-shoot camera. Most people won’t notice ’cause the food just looks yummy.


Tip #3: Use your camera’s ISO and White Balance settings.

ISO refers to light sensitivity of the image sensor on your camera. This is pretty easy to understand:

Bright scenes = Lower ISO = Finer photo

Dimmer conditions = Higher ISO = Grainy / Noisy photo

Now, take note though that you shouldn’t set your ISO settings way too high because your photos would end up too noisy. Unless you’re using a REALLY good camera, of course, set your ISO to only 100.

I usually adjust the white balance or brightness settings on my camera instead of changing the ISO. That way, I won’t end up with a too noisy photo.

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